Adélie penguins can be found in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic areas. Some recently studied populations are located on Anvers Island Ross Island, Signy Island in the South Orkney Islands, and Marguerite Bay (Bucher et al. 1993; Hunter & Davis 1998; Lynnes et al. 2002; Ribic et al. 2008; Friedlaender et al. 2008).
Fossil remains for the Adélie penguin have been found in several locations in the Ross Sea. These remains, at about 45,000 years old, are the oldest known samples for an extant penguin species. Egg shells have also been found at Cape Hickey verifying the presence of breeding penguins in the Ross Sea (Emsile et al. 2007).