World Penguin Day in Chile and Peru

Coquimbo, Chile; Pisco, Peru; Landau, Germany April 25, 2024.

Good News for Sphenisco on the World Penguin Day.

In Chile, the newspaper El Norte reports that the Humboldt Penguin has been declared the “symbolic bird of the Humboldt Current”. In Fort Lambert (Coquimbo) representatives of authorities and organizations from science and civil society met to proclaim the endangered Humboldt Penguin the “symbol bird of the important marine ecosystem of the Humboldt Current”. 

(Little) Penguins need your help!

Burnie, Nuremberg, 10 February 2024

In January of this year, we were working as volunteers for the Penguin Rehab & Release ( Sanctuary in Burnie, Tasmania.

Penguin Rehab and Release is the only facility in North West Tasmania dedicated to the rehabilitation of penguins (and other seabirds) who come into their care due to illness, injury or exhaustion, with the aim of preparing them for a successful release.

This year has been an above-average busy season for Penguin Rehab and Release, in which 33 penguins have already been successfully cared for, overseen and released back into their natural habitat. Currently, 16 penguins are still being cared for at the facility in order to regain their health and the strength for their release. Caring for such a large number of penguins is not only time-consuming, but also costly, and the organization's resources are currently almost exhausted.

The following article is therefore not only intended to report on our experiences in the care and reintroduction of sick, injured or exhausted penguins, but is also connected with the request for donations for this organization and its highly commendable work. Donations can be made by PayPal via the following link: Donate (PayPal)

Newsletter December-January+++Newsletter December–January+++Newsletter December–January++

Landau, 4th February 2024


+++Loser of the year 2023+++
Humboldt penguins in Chile and Peru have been suffering from bird flu and El Niño for months. According to the WWF, they are therefore among the losers of 2023. Sernapesca (Chilean fishing authority) reported the discovery of 3,000 dead animals in November. This corresponds to around one third of the population. In view of this horror story, it is comforting that Humboldt penguins have the ability to reproduce more strongly after such disasters. In Peru they breed all year round, in Chile not just twice as usual, but three times. It is currently unclear what the current losses mean for the survival of this penguin species.

Conference on the design of the Humboldt Archipelago Marine Protected Area

La Serena 8th December 2023. At the beginning of November, fishermen's and environmental organizations (1) from the coastal villages of the municipality of La Higuera, together with Alianza Humboldt, hosted an event on "the community for the Humboldt Archipelago Marine Protected Area with different uses". The aim of the small conference was to discuss the role and responsibility of citizens in the upcoming design of the Marine Conservation Zone (AMCP-MU). Representatives of fishermen, environmental organizations, water committees and the indigenous Changos community (1) were invited. Around 40 people took part and the event was sponsored by the Bergzoo in Halle.

News October – November+++ News October – November+++ News October – November+++

Landau, 3 December 2023



On November 30th , the Chilean government's decision to establish a "Marine Protected Zone of Various Uses" (AMCP-MU) was published in the Official Gazette. The publication was celebrated in the municipalities on the coast of the Humboldt Archipelago, as reported by Economia Desarrollo Regional. Now, a management plan for the protection zone can and must be drawn up within a legally prescribed period of two years. This is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment, represented by the Undersecretaries of State for the Environment, Natalia Penroz, for the Atacama region and Leonardo Gros for the Coquimbo region.

Newsletter August-September+++Newsletter August-September+++Newsletter August-September

Landau, 3rd October 2023




+++Alianza Humboldt in the Senate+++

The week before the decision of the Council of Ministers regarding the creation of the Humboldt Archipelago Marine Reserve, the issue was discussed in the Environment Committee of the Chilean Senate. The meeting was attended by several members of "Alianza Humboldt Coquimbo-Atacama" among others Erika Ahumada (Treasurer of the Fishermen of Los Choros, Chungungo Creek) and Carlos Flores (Director of the Trade Association Pt. de Choros) as guests. The position of Allianza Humboldt was represented by its spokesperson, Nancy Duman, and by Oscar Avilez (La Higuera City Councilman and President of the Pt. de Choros Trade Association).

A Different General Meeting

Edenkoben July 6, 2023

It was very difficult for us to attend this year's general meeting. Until now we have always been looking forward to the reunion with like-minded people and to the reports and exchange of ideas about our projects. However, the death of Gabriele weighed like a dark shadow over our meeting. We are mourning with Werner and our pain continues. With uneasy feeings we entered the room of the zoo school we had come to love and where we founded our association fifteen years ago and elected Gabriele as our first chairwoman.

Newsletter +++ April May 2023 +++

Landau, 5th June 2023




+++Research für Survival+++
All breeding islands of the Humboldt penguins in Chile have been closed since december due to avian flu. Unfortunately, this also has an impact on research work. Thus, the 2nd monitoring of breeding success on Choros Island had to be terminated prematurely in December. The foraging surveys planned for June cannot be carried out either. 

A Heartfelt Thank You

Landau April 19, 2023

We would like to thank you sincerely for the many expressions of condolence, sympathy and friendship that we received after the death of Gabriele Knauf. Also the amount of donations to Sphenisco, which had been asked for in lieu of flowers at the funeral, was overwhelming. A big thank you to all donors! We are touched and grateful to have received so much support, which will help to continue the work for the protection of the Humboldt Penguin in the spirit and memory of Gabriele Knauf with all our strength.

Werner Knauf, Dr. Christina Schubert Klaus Blumer

dank 2



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