Projects in Peru

Census of Humboldt penguins at key locations in Peru in 2022

Landau, 20th May 2024


Preliminary note


For over 20 years, ACOREMA, in cooperation with the Saint Louis Zoo (Missouri, USA), has been conducting Humboldt Penguin counts at key sites for the National Service of Federally Protected Natural Areas (SERNANP) and the National Reserve System of Guano Islands, Islets and Rocky Headlands (RNSIIPG). The regular surveys are hardly known as they are not published in any specialist journals. Sphenisco was also unaware of the results until now, despite its long and close collaboration with ACOREMA.

Creating and strengthening awareness for the conservation of the Humboldt penguin in Peru.

Pisco, Peru, Landau May 1st 2024. In September 2022, Acorema began the environmental education project, which will last until the end of August 2024. In May 2023, Señora Milagros Ormeño Benavidess wrote a report on the period September 2022 to May 2023 (see article “Consciousness spaces for ...” from May 31, 2023). It has now sent another report for the period from June 2023 to March 2024 entitled “Creating and strengthening spaces for the conservation of the Humboldt penguin on the central coast of Peru”:

Environmental education at Colegio José de la Torre Ugarte, Peru

Paracas, Pisco December 16, 2023

On December 14, Nancy Duman and Werner Knauf visited the Colegio José de la Torre in Pisco. The elementary school teaches about 600 pupils in two shifts – in the mornings and afternoons - and is one of Acorema's oldest cooperation partners. For over 20 years the school’s teachers have been committed to environmental education.

Breeding success on the Ballestas Islands in Peru

Pisco, Landau, 26 July 2023.

For the first time, there is reliable data on the breeding success of the Humboldt penguin colony on the Ballestas Islands in southern Peru. On behalf of Sphenisco, the NGO Acorema collected data in two breeding periods. Originally, the research was to be carried out from July 2021 to June 2022. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, delays in permits, political and social protests, including road blockades and curfews, the study could not be conducted as planned and was not completed until the end of February 2023.

Creating and Strengthening Awareness Spaces for the Conservation of the Humboldt Penguin on the Central Coast of Peru.

Pisco, Peru, Landau May 30, 2023
In September last year, Acorema began the project named "Creating and Strengthening Swareness Spaces for the Conservation of the Humboldt Penguin on the Central Coast of Peru“. The environmental education program lasts until the end of August 2024. Because of weeks of unrest with curfews, the educaional work took place under especially difficult conditions. In May 2023, Señora Milagros Ormeño Benavidess of ACOREMA (Áreas Costeras y Recursos Marinos), Pisco, Peru, wrote the following report including photos and small videos for Sphenisco.

Short interim report "Breeding success on the Ballestas?

Pisco, Peru, Landau April 20, 2022

In November 2021, Acorema started the project "Breeding success on the Ballestas?" and provided first pictures. The population of the Humboldt penguin on the central Ballestas island (one of three islands) has never been studied before. Because access is difficult and strict protection regulations have to be observed, the surveys are conducted with the help of a drone. A minimum distance of 30 meters from the animals is maintained so that their natural behaviour is not disturbed. The high-resolution images and videos obtained this way are used to document characteristics of the colony such as nesting sites, incubation period, development of the chicks, number of young respectively fledged young birds. The aim is to understand the behaviour of the penguins and the reproductive success of the colony. 

Environmental Education in Peru 2021

Pisco, Peru, Landau, Germany February 19, 2022

Since 2010, the NGO Acorema has been organizing and designing environmental education in the region of Ica, southern Peru, under the motto "Queremos vivir" (We want to live) on behalf of SPHENISCO. At the end of January, project manager Señora Milagros reported on measures and activities from December 2020 to December 2021.

First pictures of the project "Breeding success on the Ballestas?"

 Landau, November 26, 2021

In July 2021, the research project "Breeding success on the Ballestas?" began, or to be more precise, should have begun. Though ACOREMA had provided all the equipment to get started, it first had to go through a bureaucratic hurdle race to obtain the necessary licences and permits. To be allowed to use a drone, it was necessary to apply for a licence. To get one, a course had to be completed first and an exam had to be taken. Usually, fifteen working days after the test, the Ministry of Transport and Communications then issues the licence. However, the Ministry needed more than 45 days. Only with this licence could a permit for research work in the "National Protected Area of Islands, Islets and Puntas Guaneras" be applied for. After the application was submitted, it was again a case of waiting, waiting, waiting.

Breeding Success on the Ballestas Islands?

Landau May 28, 2021.

For many years, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has classified the Humboldt Penguin as vulnerable, i.e., endangered. Nevertheless, an astonishing number of questions remain unanswered that are relevant to the survival of this penguin species (see article, Research for Survival). In 2019, the Conservation Planning Specialist Group (CPSG) of the IUCN clearly pointed out this deficiency and appealed to researchers to clarify essential questions.


All images are the property of Sphenisco e.V. or the photographers named.

Use is only permitted after consultation and approval.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.