Days of action

World Penguin Day 2018

Landau, 5. February 2018

Sphenisco again calls for campaigns for the threatened Humboldt Penguin and its habitat, on the occasion of World Penguin Day on April 25th, as the most important breeding areas in northern Chile continue to be severely endangered.

The protests in the past years have resulted in noticeable successes. The regional government in Coquimbo and later the Bachelet government rejected the mining and port project from the company Andes Iron. The President of the Coquimbo Regional Government, Claudio Ibáñez, arranged to have the breeding islands Pajeros 1 and 2, Tilgo, Chungungo, Totoarillio declared governmental property. As a result of this, CONAF (the responsible Chilean Environmental Protection Agency) was able to apply to have this “new” property put under protection and have it integrated into the National Protection Area for the Humboldt Penguin. In January of this year, the Coquimbo Regional Government applied for the creation of a marine protection area with the Chilean Central Government. It is possible that the outgoing government of President Bachelet will still be able to pass a law creating this marine protection area.

Unfortunately, the new government under Sebastián Piñera (inauguration 11. March) has pronounced its support for the mining and port projects in the Coquimbo Region, and so puts the existence of a marine region of global importance again in question.

Sphenisco therefore calls for the campaigns “Gracias Consejo Consultivo” (starts 31. March) as well as the campaigns around World Penguin Day on 25. April (see attachments). Sphenisco asks all nature and environmental protectionists to support the battle for the habitat of the Humboldt Penguin with a personal thank you to Consejo Consultivo (the advisory body of the national protection area). Over the last 20 years, the advisory body has exemplarily and incorruptiblely advocated for the habitat of the Humboldt Penguin in northern Chile (see also article, Consejo Consultivo). With the campaign “Gracias Consejo Consultivo”, the dedicated activists in northern Chile should be thanked and further support pledged. Every “thank you” on Sphenico's homepage counts.


translated by Erich Greiner


Invitation to World Penguin Day 2018 in .pdf format
Background and Meaning of the Ecosystem “La Higuera-Chañaral Island” in .pdf format


Donations, Donations, Donations

Landau 1. January 2018.

At the year’s end, Sphenisco was again supported through extraordinarily from many people and institutions. The managing committee was tremendously happy.The donations were received from:

- Berufsverband der Zootierpfleger (BdZ) [Professional Association of Zookeepers]
- The Dresden Zoo,
- Christian Davril,
- Beate and Jürgen Elling,
- Meike Kagel,
- Nils Lübnitz,
- Ulrike Müller-Herancourt,
- Paultons Park, England,
- Penguin-Museum Cuxhaven
- Katrin Plendl-Jeß,
- Claudia Stehling,
- Luca Steinke,
- Munich Hellabrunn Animal Park,
- Marlow Bird Park,
- Woburn Safari Park in England,
- Berlin Zoo,
- Bremerhaven Zoo on the Sea,
- Dublin Zoo,
- Halle Zoo,
- Hoyerswerda Zoo,
- Krefeld Zoo.

The managing committee was continually astonished, they felt very much supported, and their happiness positively radiated from them! These donations provide Sphenisco the opportunity not only to continue to work to protect the Humboldt Penguin’s habitat, but to also to expand its current mission. Thank you very much!

translated by Erich Greiner

Penguin Keepers Workshop in Bernburg

Landau 4. December 2017.

BernburgThe Professional Association of Zookeepers [Berufsverband der Zootierpfleger (BdZ)] collectively organized a penguin workshop with Sphenisco between November 10th and the 13th in Bernburg. The goal of this additional training was to discuss husbandry conditions and possible improvements. The 62 participants all agreed that this workshop was long overdue. According to Jeannine Schützendübe, a 15-year-old dream was finally being realized. In these three days, topics such as breeding, medical treatment, feeding, the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), as well as incidents with bufotoxins were elaborated on and extensively discussed. On the last day the participants visited the Bernburg and Halle Zoological Gardens.

The technical program was rounded out with a traditional auction. Varied species of stuffed animals, homemade advent calendars, posters, penguin figurines and illustrations were auctioned off by Thomas Suckow, which brought in an incredible amount of 743.50€. This impressive amount was rounded out to 1,000€ by the BdZ. The participants decided to donate the entire amount to Sphenisco.   

In the name of the Chilean and Peruvian Humboldt Penguins, Sphenisco would like the send a big thanks to the BdZ, the Zoological Park Bernburg, and Jeannine Schützendübe. 


translated by Erich Greiner

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