Unverfrorene Freunde (Unabashed Friends)

The biologist Dr. Klemens Pütz, member of Sphenisco and Scientific Director of the Antarctic Research Trust, has published “Unverfrorene Freunde – My Life Among Penguins”. For over 30 years, Klemens Pütz has focused on penguins, traveled over and over to and lived in the Antarctic and the Subantarctic. “Unverfrorene Freunde” thus provides sound knowledge based on years-long research, personal first-hand experiences inspired by his enthusiasm for this beautiful bird in its dress suit.

Language: German


Translated by Erich Greiner

Unverfrorene Freunde

10 Years Sphenisco e.V. – Has the Work Been Worth It?

Hannover 10. July 2018.
For quite some time, a regular part of our plan for the year has been Sphenisco’s annual assembly on the last weekend in June.
How did it come to that? After returning from a trip to Antarctica and sensitized to penguins, we discovered a flyer from Sphenisco e.V. at the Penguin Museum in Cuxhaven. After we read through Sphenisco’s website, we requested admittance to the organization. Although we didn’t see any Humboldt Penguins in Antarctica, we figured this is about the entire species, is it not?
What drives us to drive to the Pfalz once a year, during the best summer weather, to sit at the school at the Landau Zoo and hear what was can be done for the Humboldt Penguin, so that they do not lose their habitat?


Acorema 2018

Landau 6th July 2018.


Sphenisco has been working together with the Peruvian NGO, Acorema since 2010. Since then, Acorema has regularly conducted educational campaigns on behalf of Sphenisco under the motto, “Queremos vivir – We Want to Live”. Initially, the work was limited to the Pisco/Paracas Region, but has expanded in the last few years to include the Chincha Region, and more recently, the Nazca Region. From the very beginning, the hallmark of the work was the intense cooperation with schools and pre-schools, with activities in public places, conversations with small-scale fishermen on location, vacation workshops and high-quality media, such as flyers, the mascot named Pisko, puppet theaters, etc. These media are not only informative and appealing, but also perfectly modulated for each target group. The basis of the work was and is the intense networking with schools, communities, the Paracas National Park and small-scale fishing organizations.

Acorema has again increased its scope in the last year and is now also active in the Nazca Region, in order to sensitize people for the protection of the “Reserva Nacional San Fernando”, an area with a high degree of biodiversity and a considerable breeding colony of Humboldt Penguins. 871 students and 37 teachers at eight schools were reached. Media such as flyers, a mascot (Fernando was used instead of Pisko) and a textbook for teachers were adapted to fit current conditions.

In the Pisco/Paracas and Chincha regions, the primary emphasis of the work was on the subject of garbage, and in particular plastic garbage. With the help of seven schools, beaches were cleaned and in highly creative of ways, the garbage was used to form useful objects such as toys and hanging baskets. Through the productive teamwork of disposal companies, Acorema now advertises on garbage trucks for waste reduction and warns of the dangers of plastic litter.

Overall, Acorema was able to sensitize 6,800 people on environmental issues. The small series of pictures illustrates quite well the work of this Peruvian NGO.


Translated by Erich Greiner

Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema Acorema


Consejo Consultivo

Landau 5. February 2018.

Consejo Consultivo Conjunto de Reserva Nacional Pingûino de Humboldt y Reserva Marina Choros-Damas is the advisory body of the Humboldt Penguin National Protection Area and the small protection zone of the Humboldt Penguin in the „La Higuera-Chañaral Island” region. Government institutions such as CONAF and Sernapesca, scientists from the universities of La Serena and Coquimbo, small fishing, farming, and tourist associations, as well as NGOs are all members. This advisory body is led by Rosa Rojas.

Consejo Consultivo’s Mission
Consejo Consultivo‘s mission is to have citizens – also in the form of its organizations – as well as scientists, participate in activities that contribute toward the preservation of protected species and their living conditions. Through civic activism, problems in the protection area and protection zone are to be solved. Information is regularly disseminated about the importance of the marine region La Higuera/Isla Chañaral.

Through participation of citizens in the past years, it has been possible for Consejo Consultivo to reduce tourist activities in the National Protection Area, and have measures instituted that enabled the tourism to be organized in a more sustainable fashion. The advisory body also supported measures for the protection of Choros Island; these measures resulted in the previously-introduced invasive species of European rabbit being purged from the island. As a result, the vegetation on the island was able to recover such that the breeding situation for the Humboldt Penguins and the Peruvian Diving Petrel improved (s.a. Breeding Situation on the Island of Choros Improved, La Serena, 1. February 2014).

In 2009, Consejo Consultivo had already taken the initiative for the creation of a marine area with limited use (Área Marina y Costera Protegida de Múltiples Usos- MACP-MU), and worked with the NGO Oceana, to submit an application with the regional environmental ministry for the approval of a marine protection area. Progress moves like a snail, such that the Coquimbo Regional Government first applied with the Chilean Federal Government this January for the creation of this marine protection area. It is possible that the Rosa Rojas parting government of President Bachelet will pass a law creating this area of protection.

Rosa Rojas (long-standing President of Movimiento en Defensa del Medio Ambiente-MODEMA)


  • regional governmental institutions:
    CONAF (Environmental Protection Agency), Sernapesca (Fischery Agency), Gobernación Maritima (Naval Agency), Secretaria Regional Ministerio de Medio Ambiente (Regional Environmental Ministry), Bienes Nacionales (Ministry of Governmental Property), Municipalidad (The Community of La Higuera), Sernatur- Secretaria Regional de Turismo (Regional Tourism Agency), Dirección de Obras Portuarias (Port Building Authority)      
  • scientists from the University of La Serena and the Catholic University of Northern Coquimbo as well as Ceaza (Center for Scientific Pioneering Studies in Desert Regions), also in Coquimbo
  • organizations from civil society,
    - small fishing councils from Los Choros and Punta de Choros,
    - small fishing cooperatives,
    - Federación de Pescadores de La Higuera (Federation of Fishers from La Higuera),
    - Organisación de desarrollo y fomento del turismo-ODEFOT (Organization for Development and Promotion of Tourism),
    - Committee for Drinking Water in Los Choros and Punta de Choros,
    - Social and Environmental Protection Organizations,
    - Olive Farmers of Los Choros,                                                                                         
    - Bomberos de Punta de Choros (Fire Department from Punta de Choros),
  • NGOs

translated by Erich Greiner

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

Bernburg Bernburg Bernburg Bernburg Bernburg

no English translation available

no English translation available