Sphenisco-LogoDear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sphenisco is hatched. Punctually, on the appointed date, it has crawled out of its egg: 38 people were present, from which 34 confirmed themselves hatch-helpers by becoming founding members, including activists from Chile. Rosa Rojas, from the the civilian action group MODEMA, whose name translates to The Movement for the Protection of the Environment, located in northern Chile, and Katja Siemund from the environmental group ECOTURISMO Punihuil, or Ecological Tourism Punihuil, located in southern Chile, the home of the Humboldt Penguin, were also present and became founding members. They acted true to the motto, „Hatch locally, protect internationally.“

The Landau Zoo and also the Zoological Gardens of Bremerhaven, Dresden, Dublin, Halle, Kolmarden, Magdeburg, and Osnabrück, declared themselves ready to work with Sphenisco and to support species protection in the wild. Through zookeeper Angelika Hoffmann, the Dresden Zoo announced that it would join the organisation. Dr. Shappert, acting Director and Curator from the Dortmund Zoo, was impressed by the quality of the activities in Chile and the event in Landau. She intends to discuss a commitment with her organization. 16 additional people indicated that they would become members.

The meeting to establish Sphenisco was honorably and professionally led by Mr. Ernst, retired Judge and Honorary Chairman of the Landauer Zoofreunde. In some places the meeting was quite celebratory. Here the abbreviated results:

  • the 34 founding members confirmed Sphenisco's articles of incorporation,

  • the founding members chose Gabriele Knauf (psychologist) as the Chairwoman, Dr. Christina Schubert (biologist and Zoo Administrator of the Landau Zoo) as the Vice Chairwoman, Klaus Blumer (registrar) as Treasurer, as well as Susanne Janz and Reinhold Knauber (psychologist and physiotherapist) as Auditors.

  • changes were made to the organization's constitution as well (soon to be posted).

  • For the work in the planned networks the following members have offered their services: Environmental Education: Nicole Betram, Stefan Görlitz, Julia Haubs, Anne Laux, Jeannine Schützendübe; Research: Ulf Janz, Natalie König, Ulrike Meyer, Christina Schubert; Zookeeping: Astrid Haberland, Angelika Hoffmann, Jeannine Schützendübe; Public Relations and Sponsoring: Verena Kaspari, Fabian Klute, Werner Knauf, Gerald Perry; Translation: Veronica Abrego, Erich Greiner, Herman Klamandt.

During the afternoon, at the informational meeting „Abrazo – Save the Humboldt Penguin“, Professors Simeone and Luna, communicating via Skype, expressed their opinions about the situation in Chile and the perspectives on species protection. In an impressive lecture, Rosa Rojas told about the threats to nature in the Coquimbo Region and the battle of Chilean citizens against the planned construction of three coal-fired power plants on the Pacific coast. Gabriele and Werner Knauf outlined the prospective activities of Sphenisco in Chile, and last but not least, Nicole Bertram informed everyone about her experiences in natural protection work at the Natural History Museum in San Antonio, Chile.

It was a terrific day, with a pleasant atmosphere, characterized by much commitment, creativity, competence, and positive personal contacts.

Werner Knauf


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