Newsletter +++ June July 2022 +++

Landau, 4 August 2022


+++Research for Survival+++

After the fact-finding study into the population and breeding success of the Humboldt penguins, research on their search for food on the island of Choros was also carried out in June (see research impressions 1st and 2nd part on this page).

+++Start of a GEF Project (1)+++

On June 10, the participatory workshop entitled "Encuentros desde el Maritimo" (Maritime Encounters) took place in Chañaral de Aceituno (Municipality of Freirina, Atacama Region).  At the meeting, the local community met with international, national and local authorities to discuss upcoming challenges for the coastal region. Nancy Duman and Karen Quezada participated for Alianza Humboldt / SPHENISCO.

In the presence of numerous representatives of the population, Environment Minister Maisa Rojas opened the meeting with which the Global Environment Facility (GEF) project "Coastal Marine Governance" was launched. The aim of the project is to preserve and use the marine resources in the coastal areas for current and future generations.

+++Exhibition "Humboldt Penguin - Emblematic Species"+++

Since World Penguin Day, the photo exhibition "Humboldt Penguin - Emblematic Species of the Coquimbo Region" has been shown in schools in the Coquimbo region (more information in the article "World Penguin Day on 25 April, 2022" on this website). After the premiere at the Javiera Carrera School in La Serena, the exhibition has now also been shown at the Liceo Gregorio Cordovez, Colegio Cordillera, the San Joaquin School, the José Agustín Alfaro School and the New World School. At all schools there was a great response and interest. The schools announced that they would continue to work on the topic and cooperate with SPHENISCO.

Due to the winter holidays, the project was paused in recent weeks. Since 27 July, the exhibition has been shown again and will be presented - as planned - until November in a total of 21 schools, including at the end of August in the municipality of La Higuera. The photo exhibition was and is made possible and supported by environmental groups and institutions, scientists such as Dr. Alejandro Simeone, and artist collectives. The project "Travelling Exhibition" is funded by the Tierparkvereinigung Neumünster e.V.. (Animal Park Association, Neumünster).

+++Environmental Education in Schools+++

SPHENISCO is hosting a two-day seminar on environmental education on 29 and 30 August for teachers from 21 schools in the Coquimbo region, including the municipality of La Higuera. As an introduction, the teachers visit the Humboldt Archipelago. Dedicated citizens then inform the teachers about this natural heritage of global importance before Nancy Duman and Karen Quezada introduce SPHENISCO. Together with the speakers Fernando Muñoz and Mario Ortiz Laferte, the teachers will then deal with methodological problems of environmental education and develop pedagogical guidelines on the subject of the Humboldt Penguin and this penguin species´ habitat.

The aim is to integrate the guidelines for different subjects into the curriculum and to work with them independently in the classroom. SPHENISCO plans to accompany this process with campaigns, and especially to encourage and support the schools of La Higuera.

The teacher training is sponsored by the Species Conservation Foundation Karlsruhe Zoo.

 +++Dominga Mining and Port Project+++

The decision on the approval of the Dominga Mining and Port Project must now be made by the Committee of Ministers of the Boric Government (see also article on this webiste). The Secretariat of the Committee has invited supporters and critics as well as all institutions involved to make a statement by July 27th.

The Committee of Ministers is chaired by Minister of the Environment, Maisa Rojas. In addition to the Environmental Minister, seven other ministers are members of the committee, including Finance Minister Mario Marcel; Minister of Economy, Tourism and Development Nicolás Grau; and Minister of Mines and Planning Marcela Hernando.

+++Training of First Aid Divers+++

In addition to fishing, diving for mussels and sea snails is an important source of income for residents near the Humboldt Archipelago. From 16 to 25 October 2022, SPHENISCO, together with the Association Francophone d'Education et Promotion de la Santé-AFEPS, is organizing a seminar on diving techniques and safety in diving. The training is tailored to the needs of divers and artisanal fishermen of the bays of the Humboldt Archipelago and takes place in the coastal villages of Caleta Chungungo and Punta de Choros. The French specialists have developed their program with the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine at Sainte Anne Hospital in Toulon, southern France. The workshop was supposed to take place in 2021 but had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

Objectives of the seminar:

1. Train first aid divers. Divers learn to prevent diving accidents and deal with them when they occur. Correct procedures in the event of accidents are also practiced.

2. Training in dealing with injured persons and their quick transfer to a hyperbaric chamber.

The training was made possible by Philipp Robert from France, an IUCN specialist for marine protection zones. He spoke at the scientific conference “Marine Protection Zone two years after the World Congress Impac IV", which SPHENISCO held in October 2019 in La Serena. SPHENISCO cooperates in the training with institutions such as the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine at the Hospital in Coquimbo, the Regional Maritime Government (Gobernación Marítima, Coquimbo) and the Regional Fisheries Authority (Sernapesca Coquimbo).

The seminar was prepared and organized by Nancy Duman and Karen Quezada. The French experts work on a voluntary basis, even bearing their own travel expenses. SPHENISCO finances two translators, the transfer from airport to the teaching location, and parts of the food. The workshop is sponsored by Frankfurt Zoo.

+++Good Morning America+++

At the end of July, producers of "Good Morning America" contacted SPHENISCO and asked to recommend Chilean penguin experts. The well-known news program (breakfast television) is preparing a special program about Chile. We have proposed our collaborator Nancy Duman Brito In La Serena, Dr. Carlos Gaymer García, marine biologist from the University of Catolica del Norte in Coquimbo and Dr. Alejandro Simeone from the University Andrés Bello (Department of Ecology and Biodiversity) in Santiago. The first contacts have already taken place. We are very excited and hopeful about this PR.



+++Educational Project "We Want to Live"+++

Currently, ACOREMA has presented a new concept and program for environmental education:  "We Want to Live". It covers the period from August 2022 to July 2024, and contains the proven and tested activities. Two things are new: 1. Team Milagros plans to invest a lot of work and time in the training of teachers. 2. Our Peruvian partners have set themselves the ambitious goal of providing information even in completely remote coastal villages! The Executive Board is currently reviewing the proposal and will decide make a decision soon.

+++Research project "Breeding Success on the Ballestas? +++

The first year of the research project "Breeding success on the Ballestas" ends in October.  In order to ensure continuity, ACOREMA intends to present a report and considerations for continuation of the project in the next few days. Consideration is also being given to extend the work to the Chincha Islands.



+++Action Day Zoo Halle+++

On July 9, on the initiative of Conny Spretke and Kathrin Ballenthin, the Friends of the Zoo in Halle organized a Penguin Action Day (see news on this website).

+++Zoo Osnabbrück – The FÖJler Campaign+++

At the Osnabrück Zoo, the "World Penguin Day" had to be cancelled due to bad weather. According to the motto "Failure is not an Option", FÖJ members (Voluntary Ecological Year) in Osnabrück, Germany organized a promotion stand for the penguins. Two FÖJers from Spiekeroog were also present and informed the visitors very well as experts on the subject of the sea, so to speak. For a small donation, children were allowed to "bowl penguins" and win great prizes. The cones had been painted by the volunteers themselves as penguins. Next time, the Osnabrückers want to try out ring throwing on penguin figures. With the campaign and the collected donations, the FÖJler expressly thank you for the great work of SPHENISCO. We say, “You’re Welcome and thank YOU!” (Video Zoo Osnabrück 2022, Music Farewell, Ilya Truhanov)

+++Talk at the Penguin Enclosure+++

"They are likeable, a little clumsy on land but equipped with real superpowers underwater – penguins! While the animals in the zoo lead a sheltered life, their compatriot Humboldt penguins in Chile and Peru are struggling to survive. Fortunately, there are many dedicated people who help the Humboldt penguins. For example, the association Sphenisco – Schutz des Humboldt-Penguins e.V."

The Frankfurt Zoo announced an evening lecture by Dr. Christina Schubert, the second chairwoman of SPHENISCO, for August 2nd. The evening event took place directly at the zoo's penguin enclosure, which was newly built in 2019, under the open sky by wonderful weather and the penguin enclosure as a backdrop. The lecture was designed as an interview. Dr. Stefan Stadler, bird curator and deputy director of the Frankfurt Zoo, led the evening’s entertainment with questions about the Humboldt penguin, the threats to its existence, the goals and current projects of the association. The Frankfurt Zoo has been an active supporter of Sphenisco's work for many years, both through financial support and public relations. The evening was rounded off with a penguin wine tasting. The winegrower couple Andrea and Karl Ramsel from Kirrweiler, served their penguin wine (a white burgundy), vintage 2019, with its special artistic label, and also found great resonance.

+++"Creating Space with Heart!" +++

The campaign "Making Space with Heart!" is a non-profit initiative that supports social projects around the world by reselling used clothing. The first voting round in 2022 ended at the beginning of August and SPHENISCO landed in 7th place. The result is a small sensation and far exceeds our expectations. Our member Claudia Wirth initiated and supervised the participation of SPHENISCO and hoped to be among the first 100 proposed institutions. Now we are seventh and the association received a donation of 500 €. Claudia and SPHENISCO are happy about the fantastic success and about the fact that so many hearts beat for the penguins. To all donors, a big thank you from the Humboldt Penguins (see reports under News and Activities in Europe).


translated by Erich Greiner


(1) GEF Project: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is an environmental finance organization of the international community that provides grants for projects in the fields of biodiversity, climate change, international waters, soil depletion, ozone layer, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), mercury, sustainable forest management, food security and sustainable cities.

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