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

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no English translation available