Newsletter April-May+++Newsletter April-May+++Newsletter April-May+++

Landau, 6. June 2024




+++Symbolic Bird of the Humboldt Current+++
Just in time for World Penguin Day on April 25th, Sphenisco-Chile and RedAves, together with ACOREMA and GAP in Peru, started the signature campaign "Humboldt Penguin - Symbolic Bird of the Humboldt Current". The aim of the initiative is to motivate citizens, civil society groups and authorities to publicly advocate for the protection of the Humboldt penguin and to become active. Among other things, the campaign is intended to provide an impetus to bring the Chilean government's national plan for the preservation of the Humboldt Penguin to life. In Peru, the initiators hope, the campaign could lead to the development of a conservation plan. In a short time, 39 organizations signed the declaration, including the CEAZA (Scientific Association of Chile). Centre of the Universities of the Coquimbo Region) and 6 coastal municipalities (see also article of 26 April on this website). 


+++ Literary Competition - Submission deadline extended +++
At the beginning of April, Sphenisco Chile organized the literary competition "Humboldt Archipelago in 110 Words", together with Defensa Ambiental Region Coquimbo. At the end of May, the submission deadline was extended to June 16. The aim of the competition is, through the creation of stories, to promote knowledge about the archipelago, its biodiversity, its heritage and its ecosystem. The initiative is supported by the Ministry of Education of the Coquimbo Region, the Coquimbo Writers' Association, the National Heritage Service (SERPAT), the Gabriela Mistral Regional Library, the Municipal Administrations of Freirina and La Serena, the Cultural Association of Caleta Los Hornos, the newspaper El Mostrador, the "Birds Network", the "Green Elqui" Initiative and Alianza Humboldt Coquimbo-Atacama (see also article of 17 April).


Since the beginning of April, Sphenisco-Chile has been organizing the one-hour radio talk show "Sintonia Humboldt" on Radio Montecarlo every week together with the Nivel Ambiental Network. The project is funded by the Halle Mountain Zoo and Wildlands Adventure Zoo Emmen, Netherlands. The unusual radio program was well received by environmental organizations and committed environmentalists in the region. In the next few weeks, the ratings will be determined and analyzed in order to design future broadcasts accordingly.

+++Umweltbildung Humboldt Archipel+++
Sphenisco Chile is currently preparing the project "Humboldt Archipelago Teaching Material". The pedagogue, Hildaura Zulantay, plans to work with teachers, students and parents in the community of La Higuera to develop educational material about the globally important ecosystem. Five of the seven schools have already agreed to participate. It is very likely that the other two schools will also participate. The didactic material will be submitted to the Regional Secretariat of Education of the Coquimbo Region for approval not only for the schools of La Higuera, but also for schools at the national level. The aim is to disseminate knowledge about the importance of the Humboldt Archipelago as a globally recognized natural heritage for the conservation of biodiversity. On May 29th, the first of a series of workshops took place in Trapiche. The project is funded by the Krefeld Zoo. When Sphenisco-Chile has officially opened the project, we will report in detail here on the website.


+++Website Sphenisco Chile+++
Since the beginning of April, Sphenisco-Chile has its own website. Some browsers (e.g. Apple's Safari) offer a translation function. The page will then appear in German or English. The translation is sometimes a bit bumpy, but the content is overall easy to understand.

+++„Fundación Sphenisco Chile“ in Gründung+++
On May 20th, Nancy Duman applied to the municipality of La Higuera for the creation of the "Fundación Sphenisco Chile". After reviewing the documents including the statutes, the authority is expected to recognize the foundation in about 4 to 6 weeks. The establishment of a separate organization in Chile is intended to consolidate protection efforts and makes it possible for Chilean NGOs to get more involved and possibly also to sue against destructive projects and decisions.

P E R U 


+++Environmental education in southern Peru+++
In September 2022, Acorema started an environmental education project that will last until the end of August 2024. After an initial report last year, Señora Milagros Ormeño B. submitted another report in May, covering the period from June 2023 to March 2024 (see article "Spaces of Consciousness for ..." of 8 May 2024).

+++Renewed research project on the Ballestas Islands+++
At the request of ACOREMA, the board of directors of Sphenisco agreed in May to finance a study on the population and breeding success of the penguin colony on the Ballestas Islands. The aim is to re-examine the state of the colony after the 2021/22 survey and to compare it with the situation before bird flu and El Niño. The investigations will be carried out from June 2024 to May 2025 and are funded by Frankfurt Zoo and Marlow Bird Park.

+++Count of Humboldt Penguins at important locations in Peru+++
For more than 20 years, ACOREMA has been conducting censuses of Humboldt penguins at all important locations in Peru in cooperation with the Zoo of Saint Louis (Missouri, USA). The regular surveys are hardly known, as they are not published in a scientific journal. Sphenisco was also not aware of the results until now, despite the long and close cooperation with ACOREMA. With permission from ACOREMA, Sphenisco has now published the last available report from December 2022 (see report dated May 28, 2024).




+++World Penguin Day 2024+++
In Chile and Peru, our partners took the day as an opportunity to start the campaign "Humboldt Penguin, Symbolic Bird of the Humboldt Current" (see above). In Europe too, many zoological gardens have organized activities. Unlike in previous years, there are hardly any reports in the media and on the Internet about the campaigns for the Humboldt Penguin. Sphenisco received the following report from the Bochum Zoo: "In the days before, hope and fear: April did not show its friendly side. Wind, rain with torrential sleet showers, frost at night and maximum temperatures of 6° to 9°C during the day.  But heaven recognized our need. On Penguin Day it stayed dry, there was even some occasional sun. The employees had dressed as if for a polar expedition to look after the campaign stands. Numerous visitors, also dressed as if for a winter trip, came to the zoo and learned a lot about the popular little tailcoat-wearers.

Humboldt penguins were the topic at four campaign stands. At the information booth, children were able to learn a lot about the extraordinary birds with educational games, and glass figures and mosaics were sold for the benefit of Sphenisco. Two stalls invited the youngest visitors to paint and do handicrafts, penguins and fish were painted, and the proceeds were donated to Sphenisco. In total, the proud sum of 650 € was collected. At the second stand, pine cones were transformed into small penguin figures. The penguin course was particularly popular with the little ones, which pointed out in a child-friendly way the man-made dangers that penguins face in the sea and on coasts, such as habitat loss, oil spills, overfishing, plastic waste and climate change. A rally on the subject of penguins rounded off the program."

+++Penguin Wine+++
Since 2018, you can enjoy “penguin wine”, a delicious Pinot Blanc, and support the preservation of the habitat of the Humboldt penguins with pleasure. Since then, one euro per bottle sold has gone to Sphenisco. Now the Ramsel winery, Kirrweiler Pfalz has expanded its range and also offers a off-dry Pinot Gris, vintage 2023 as a “penguin wine”.

+++Donations, donations, donations+++

In April and May, Sphenisco received donations from the Rostock Zoo, Penguin Friends Cuxhaven, the Bochum Zoo, the Professional Association of Zoo Keepers (BdZ), Anke Kaufmann, Maria Kubista, Dr. Monika Kruse, Susanne Becker, Gabi Petersen, Shoko Trauth, Kathrin Ballenthin, Ben Constantin and Garry York. Thank you all!


translated from Erich Greiner

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