Newsletter +++ February March 2022 +++

+++Newsletter February-March+++Newsletter February-March+++Newsletter February-March+++

Landau, 4. April 2022


+++Establishment of a "Bi-Regional Marine Protection Zone Committee"+++
After a series of consultations, on February 3rd, the regional government agencies Atacama and Coquimbo founded a "Bi-Regional Marine Protection Zone Committee", together with relevant civil society groups (including scientists, fishermen's organizations, tourism, and environmental groups). Although Krist Naranjo (Coquimbo Governor) was advised by many sides against convening a short-term founding meeting, she nevertheless invited all on extremely short notice. Thus, the committee was (unfortunately) approved only by the representatives of the two regions and a few representatives of civil society, including Nancy Duman and Karen Quezada. This is a serious birth defect that will harm the project "bi-regional marine protection zone". Krist Naranjo, Miguel Vargas (Governor, Atacama Region) and civil society groups have rightly opposed the central government's backroom policies (see Governors call fragmented marine protected zones "inappropriate"). With the quick shot of 3 February, however, the two governors are endangering their credibility and doing a disservice to citizen participation.

+++Supreme Court+++
On March 16th, the proceedings before the Corte Suprema (Supreme Court) in the "Dominga" case continued. The aim of these hearings was to reach a settlement. The appointment led to numerous protests. Alianza Humboldt published critical interviews with well-known personalities, scientists, and those working in the cultural sector, from the municipality of La Serena. On March 12th, a large protest event "Caravan for Life - No to The Settlement with Dominga" took place (see "...  the "Caravan of Life" moves on", on this website).

+++World Penguin Day 2022 in Chile+++
SPHENISCO employees Karen Quezada and Nancy Duman, have worked with regional environmental groups to develop ideas for World Penguin Day. A photo exhibition in La Serena, paintings on the floor or on walls in public space are under discussion. Currently, it is unclear which action will be realized. A flyer for World Penguin Day 2022 is already ready, developed and designed by Karen Quezada (see pictures).

+++Change of Government+++
On March 11th, Gabriel Boric took office as president and appointed a new government. Chile is organized centrally. Thus, the change in the office of the president also leads to the change of executives in administrations and state institutions throughout the country. Currently, our employees, together with friendly environmental groups and organizations, are trying to convey the problems and conflicts regarding the Humboldt Archipelago to the new leaders and to urge them to find constructive solutions. Several meetings with parliamentarians, the President's Representative and the Consejo Regional (advisory body to the regional government) are planned for early April. At the meetings, the development of mining and port projects, the associated endless manipulations, violations of the law and errors as well as the irreversible effects of these projects will be presented again. Ways to establish the urgently needed marine protection zone will also again be sought.  
In addition, a meeting with President Boric is currently being requested. The aim is to inform him personally, to give him signatures of past and current petitions and, last but not least, to give him a bottle of penguin wine. The present was actually intended for his predecessor, Sebastián Piñera. However, its environmental policy and its involvement in the Dominga project did not allow such attention from SPHENISCO.

+++San Antonio Animal Rescue Station and Sanctuary+++
Since its founding, SPHENISCO has sporadically supported the rescue station at the Natural History Museum in San Antonio with medicines and materials for care. José Brito and his team have cared for sick and injured animals for many years with great dedication and reintroduced them whenever possible, back into the wild. Sernapesca (National Fisheries Authority) has permanently prohibited the museum from keeping or caring for marine animals. We do not know the reasons for this step. Cooperation is therefore no longer possible. SPHENISCO will endeavour to find other partners in the field of animal rescue and care and, if necessary, to cooperate with them. It is planned to contact the veterinary departments at the Universities of Viña del Mar and Coquimbo and to explore whether cooperation is possible and useful.


+++Environmental education in Peru+++
At the end of February, SPHENISCO received good news that Señora Milagros Ormeno and her family have fully recovered from their Covid-19 infections. Despite illness, at the end of January Mrs. Ormeno had sent a report on the measures for environmental education from December 2020 to December 2021 (see "Environmental protection in Peru 2021" on this page). Now the NGO Acorema is asking to be allowed to extend the current project until March 31st, in order to be able to make up for missed work due to illness or the pandemic. In the correspondence, Señora Milagros Ormeno also thanked SPHENISCO for its appreciation of the work and its reliable support.

Acorema and SPHENISCO agree that environmental education measures in southern Peru should be continued and extended to new areas.

+++Research "Breeding Success on the Ballestas, Peru?"+++
SPHENISCO would also have liked to report on the progress of the research project in Peru. Unfortunately, we have not received any information by the time of going to press. We will report as soon as possible.


+++Annual General Meeting of the  BdZ+++
The annual general meeting of the BdZ (“Berufsverband der Zootierpfleger” - Professional Association of Zoo Animal Keepers) took place online for the first time on February 12th, due to the pandemic. Traditionally, cooperating partners such as the Association of Zoological Gardens (VdZ), the International Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ), but also numerous species protection organizations (e.g., ZGAP – Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations, and the Save the Drill Association) participate as well.  SPHENISCO – represented by Werner Knauf – thanked the BdZ in a greeting for the many years of continuous cooperation and support. With two or three sentences, he presented the current initiatives of the association and appealed others to support the petition against the megaprojects in northern Chile.

+++The "30,000 € Job"+++
SPHENISCO is small, but – thank God – has active and creative members.  
To further develop a website visually and technically costs 30,000 €. At SPHENISCO, founding member Volker Eggert took over this "job" on a voluntary basis and created a new design. To do this, he worked through different programs, developed creative ideas and took on a lot of annoying clicking.

The new design is based on a modern, dynamic and responsive template. The "Sphenisco page" is now compatible with current techniques, e.g., with animations, adapts to different screen resolutions, and also works on tablets and smartphones. A contact form was integrated and the possibility was created to share the entire page as well as individual posts in social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. via "Social Share Buttons". The modernization was used to reduce the menu structure, to partially restructure it and to bring articles up to date. In view of this masterpiece, the board is somewhat speechless and perplexed and is considering introducing a "Penguin Cross of Merit on the Black and White Ribbon". The first prize winner would then be Volker Eggert. But there are also other candidates.  

+++Lasting Commitment+++
The brilliant fireworks are one thing, the long haul the other. When working for species conservation, endurance and continuity are essential. This applies to the activities on site, but this also applies to publications, e.g., on the website. For many years, Volker Eggert and Stefan Görlitz have run this not exactly tingling marathon. When Volker was no longer able to work on the screen due to illness, Stefan continued to maintain the website on his own. In 2019 – thank God – Peter Radke joined the team. In recent months, SPHENISCO has tried to attract additional editors to the website in order to distribute the work over several shoulders. Thankfully, Meike Kagel and Erich Greiner have agreed to participate and are already in the process of familiarizing themselves.

+++Proud Balance Sheet+++
Another candidate for the "Penguin Cross of Merit on the Black and White Ribbon" would be Jochem Schatz. He, also a member of the foundation, has read animal stories in schools for many years. With his books "Is the Sloth Really Lazy?" (2015), as well as "Armadillo and Sloth Claw" (2017), he brought and brings animals closer to people, makes SPHENISCO known to the public, and also promotes the work of the association financially. Over the years, Jochem Schatz has read at 109 different schools in 92 locations. The exact number of readings is not known, as Jochem visited many schools several times.

+++ World Penguin Day in Europe+++
April 25th is World Penguin Day (see  Newsletter "World Penguin Day", on this website). In the newsletter, SPHENISCO calls on members, friendly organizations and penguin friends to take action and asks that the petition "Humboldt Penguins Finally Need Protection!” be supported. Some members or partners have already announced campaigns:

- Zoo Osnabrück

- Zoo Bochum

- Zoo Zie-ZOO (Volkel, Netherlands)

All three zoos have announced activities, but so far have left open what exactly they are planning.

- Landau Zoo School

From 19 to 24 April, the zoo school will hold a children's workshop "Working for the Protection of Humboldt Penguins".  

- Zoom Adventure Park, Gelsenkirchen

On April 30th, the adventure park will focus on the small tailcoats, especially its Jackass Penguins, and on this day will offer a varied program with feedings, activities, information stands and games to join in. Animal keepers and zoo guides will inform about penguins. Donations will also collected for SPHENISCO.

- Landau Zoo
Members of SPHENISCO will organize an information booth at the penguin enclosure on April 24th, and promote the petition "Humboldt Penguins Finally Need Protection! ".  

- Halle Zoo

The zoo is pleased to finally be able to hold a penguin day again on April 23rd. On this day, among other things, signatures will be  collected to support the petition. Kathrin Ballenthin from SPHENISCO will support the campaign day.

- Park Merveilleux, Luxembourg

The park will make the Humboldt Penguin its animal of the month on social media. As part of this action, in April the park will provide information on Facebook and Instagram, and will post several messages to protect the penguins.

+++Zoo Berlin Promotes Environmental Education in Peru+++
Since 2010, the NGO Acorema has been carrying out educational measures - "Queremos vivir" ("We Want to Live") - on behalf of SPHENISCO in the province of Ica, southern Peru. Currently, the club concluded a new contract with a term of one year. Zoo Berlin is promoting this measure and concluded a corresponding agreement with SPHENISCO in March.

In recent years, Paultons Park has once again supported the work of SPHENISCO with a generous donation. The park is the “number 1” family theme park in the UK. It is located in a beautiful parkland on the edge of the New Forest National Park in Hampshire.

Also traditionally, a considerable donation from the Zoo am Meer, Bremerhaven arrived at the end of February.

Osnabrück Zoo collected donations for the Humboldt Penguins on World Species Protection Day (March 3rd).

A heartfelt thank you to all donors!



Translated by Erich Greiner

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