Six new penguins (three male and three female) with cool "hairstyles" are now part of the Central Park Zoo's Polar Circle exhibit; the macaroni penguins feature distinctive yellow-feathered heads.

The Wildlife Conservation Society explains that the penguins come "from the Montreal Biodome and SeaWorld San Diego on a breeding recommendation from the Macaroni Penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability of animal populations in zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)."

Macaroni penguins are not common in North American zoos and aquariums, and only seven AZA-accredited facilities house the species. These six birds have joined a bustling seabird colony that includes four other penguin species - king, gentoo, chinstrap, and rockhopper.

The species is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In the wild, macaroni penguins live on the southern tip of the South American continent, throughout the sub-Antarctic islands, and on the Antarctic Peninsula. Populations throughout its native range are decreasing due to climate change where higher temperatures lead to a loss of fish, krill, and crustaceans that make up its diet, and the degradation of coastal ecosystems which reduces nesting sites.

"Many species of penguins are susceptible to the effects of climate change,” said Craig Piper, WCS Director of City Zoos and Central Park Zoo Director. “Learning about these birds and the harsh environment they thrive in is an important step in fostering the next generation of conservation-minded citizens."

There are five of the world's 17 penguin species at the Central Park Zoo, while the Bronx Zoo has Magellanic penguins and little blue penguins, and the New York Aquarium houses African black-footed penguins.

The Central Park Zoo's current hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-5:30p.m. on weekends.