Activities in Europe

Species Protection Euro for Humboldt Penguins

Landau 27 January 2021.

On 1 March, the Frankfurt Zoo will also introduce the Nature Conservation Euro. Like a growing number of German zoos (note 1), the Frankfurt Zoo is promoting the fact that visitors can contribute to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats with a small donation. Under the motto "Make your visit to the zoo more valuable", many small donations are to be bundled into a greater financial support for the protection of species. "You can become part of a big whole with little effort," Christof Schenck, Managing Director of the Frankfurt Zoological Society (ZGF), said, praising the initiative. 

The Frankfurt Zoo concentrates its funding on four global and two regional projects:  regionally on "Honey Bees and Insects", of the Bee Embassy, and "Natural Forest Development in the Wispertaunus Area”, of the Zoological Society Frankfurt (ZGF); globally on the"Manu National Park in Peru", the "Protection of the Serengeti in Tanzania", and the "Bukit-Tigapuluh Protection Program on the Island of Sumatra, Indonesia", 3 other projects of the ZGF; and the fourth being SPHENISCO. SPHENISCO had to gulp at first, as the association felt the recognition of its work, and is highly honored, and remembers what a charming bird the Humboldt penguin is.

The Nature or Species Conservation Euro represents a qualitative leap in the effort to protect the Humboldt penguins and their habitat. Since the founding of SPHENISCO, many German and European zoos have supported the work of the association not only through joint actions and campaigns, but also through their membership as well as large and small donations. The Species Protection Euro makes it possible to acquire a significantly higher donation volume and to secure projects in the medium term. The Zoo Karlsruhe Zoo, the Marlow Bird Park, the Landau Zoo, the Dresden Zoo and now the Frankfurt Zoo have decided to promote the work of SPHENISCO additionally via the Species Conservation Euro (Note 2). These aids are supplemented by donations from zoo sponsors such as "The Friends of the Hagenbeck Zoo" and the "Circle of Friends, Zoo Landau".
Sphenisco’s Board therefore began discussions and negotiations last year, regarding new projects. With the researchers Alejandro Simeone, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile; Guillermo Luna-Jorquera, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Coquimbo, Chile; and Thomas Mattern, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, multi-year research can be carried out to

  1. determine the breeding population on the main breeding islands of Chile with systematic counts,
  2. determine the breeding success in 2 large breeding colonies, and                                                
  3. investigate the foraging behavior in the vicinity of the main breeding areas. It is planned to start research at the end of the year (Southern Summer).

Nancy Duman (SPHENISCO, Chile) is preparing a one-year project for environmental education with and in the schools of the coastal villages (Commune of La Higuera, near the main breeding areas). The concept was developed last year, but could not be realized due to the pandemic. Currently, the concept has been expanded to include digital media and possibilities of an IT-supported way of working in order to make the project more crisis-resistant. 

The next World Penguin Conference will take place at the end of August, 2022 (time window 22-31 August) in Viña del Mar,Chile. Dr. Alejandro Simeone (above) lives and works in the region and is significantly involved in the organization of the conference. We are in discussion with him about how SPHENISCO can participate and support the event.

All projects in Chile contribute in very different ways to the protection of the Humboldt Archipelago (main breeding areas). At the request of the association, our Peruvian partner, Acorema, is currently examining whether it is possible to effectively expand the protection efforts in Peru.  


(1) The zoos in Leipzig, Dresden, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Augsburg, Marlow, Heidelberg, Rostock and Landau have already established the species protection euro.

(2) Zoological gardens supporting the protection of the Humboldt penguin with the help of the Species Protection Euro:

- Species Conservation Foundation Zoo Karlsruhe

- Marlow Http:// Bird Park

- Dresden Zoo

- Landau Zoo

- Frankfurt Zoo


translated by Erich Greiner

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