Activities in Europe

Sphenisco Foundation established

Landau 27th March 2024. One year ago, Gabriele Knauf, the founder and long-standing chairwoman of Sphenisco, passed away. She had been campaigning for Humboldt penguins and the protection of their habitat since 1994. Together with her husband, she initiated the association Sphenisco-Schutz des Humboldt-Pinguins e.V. in 2008 and managed the organisation until her death. 

Ghost Nets - Danger for Animals and Humans 

WWF and Rostock Zoo draw attention to invisible traps on the seabed

Rostock January 21, 2022.

At Rostock Zoo a new outdoor exhibition was opened together with representatives of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) at and even in the penguin basin. The purpose of the initiative "Ghost Nets - Danger for Animals and Humans  is to draw attention to the considerable dangers posed by ghost nets in our oceans. The exhibition, a collaboration project between WWF and Rostock Zoo, is on display until March.

Create space in your closet and help penguins? That's possible!

 Landau November 7, 2021.

Sphenisco is taking part in the "Make room with heart" campaign. This is a non-profit initiative that supports social projects around the world by reselling old clothes. In the current voting, the 100 non-profit organizations with the most votes will each receive 500 euros.


Petition "Humboldt penguins finally need protection!"

Landau 13 October 2021.

The proponents of the mining and port projects "Cruz grande" and "Dominga" are strongly on the defensive due to the revelations of the last weeks (see reports on The chances are good to finally push through the long overdue marine protected area for the valuable ecosystem "Archipel Humboldt". The association "Save the Rainforest" has put the petition " Humboldt penguins finally need protection!" online.

A weekend in Landau

... or a different kind of members meeting (once again)

Magdeburg 22th of July 2021.

The title already gives a hint: Pandemic and general assembly are not compatible! Also one „beak length“ distance, as I like to call it as a hobby penguinologist in reference to a well-known penguin researcher, is not a hundred per cent safety from a virus that has been influencing the lifes of all people in all countries for more than one and a half year.

Warning Tone for Humboldt Penguins

Landau, 6 May, 2021.

In the summer of 2020, research was done at the Landau Zoo on behalf of SPHENISCO concerning "Bycatch avoidance of penguins in the set net fishery off Chile". Prof. Culik, Kiel, searched in cooperation with the University of Landau for a warning signal that can prevent (Humboldt) penguins from swimming into the fishermen's set nets and dying as unwanted "bycatch" (see also How to strike the right tone on this page). The German Press Agency (dpa) covered the research work broadly. All over Germany daily newspapers as well as several radio and television stations reported on this subject.

Species Protection Euro for Humboldt Penguins

Landau 27 January 2021.

On 1 March, the Frankfurt Zoo will also introduce the Nature Conservation Euro. Like a growing number of German zoos (note 1), the Frankfurt Zoo is promoting the fact that visitors can contribute to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats with a small donation. Under the motto "Make your visit to the zoo more valuable", many small donations are to be bundled into a greater financial support for the protection of species. "You can become part of a big whole with little effort," Christof Schenck, Managing Director of the Frankfurt Zoological Society (ZGF), said, praising the initiative. 

Free Trade Fair Trade?

- EU and Chile Plan New Agreement -

Landau 2 January 2021.

At the end of last year, Deutsche Welle and Deutschlandfunk reported on the free trade agreement currently being negotiated between Chile and the EU. This article is a review of the two articles.


How to strike the right Tone

- Penguin research at the Landau Zoo -

Landau 20 October 2020.

At the end of June the search for a warning signal for Humboldt penguins began at the Landau Zoo. On behalf of SPHENISCO, various signals were to be tested to see if they were suitable for deterring Humboldt penguins in their natural habitat from swimming into fishermen's set nets and dying as unwanted "bycatch." The research project was conducted by marine scientist Prof. Culik, Kiel, in cooperation with the University of Landau (Prof. Dr. Entling). The project was generously supported by Vogelpark Marlow, which - like the Landau Zoo - is a member of SPHENISCO.


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