Investigation of Migration

Landau, 27th October 2022

In 2022, teams led by Chilean researchers Dr Alejandro Simeone and Dr Guillermo Luna and New Zealand researcher Dr Thomas Mattern were commissioned by SPHENISCO to study diving and feeding ecology of Humboldt penguins during the breeding season on Choros Island in northern Chile. The research project has been and will continue to be funded by Dresden Zoo, the Friends of Hagenbeck Zoo, Hamburg and the Species Protection Foundation Karlsruhe Zoo.

Newsletter +++ August September 2022 +++

Landau, 7 October 2022

 C H I L E

+++Appeal to experts and specialists+++

On 11 August, the Consejo consultivo (Advisory Council) of the Humboldt Penguin National Protected Area (RNPH) and the Choros-Damas Marine Reserve (Reserva Marina Choros-Damas) met (1). At the meeting, Rodrigo Flores, chair of the panel, read out an open letter written by Alianza Humboldt Coquimbo-Atacama (1). In it, the Alliance appeals to all evaluators and experts involved in the evaluation process to work towards a proper and professional evaluation of the mining and port projects. The open letter once again lists the technical errors, contradictions and inconsistencies and names the political pressure on institutions such as Sernapesca, Subpesca and the Ministry of the Environment in favour of the owners.

The Court for Environmental Issues approves the action for annulment of the positive assessment of the Dominga Project

The article "Tribunal Ambiental admite acción que busca anular calificación favorable del proyecto Dominga" – was published in the Chilean monthly El Ciudadano, based in Recoleta, Santiago.

Santiago, October 2022

The First Court for Environmental Issues of Antofagasta, Northern Chile, has allowed an action for annulment, the aim of which is to invalidate the decision by which the SEA (Environmental Impact Assessment Service) classified the controversial Dominga Mining and Port Project as environmentally-friendly. The citizen was entitled to file a lawsuit, because she had submitted comments during the environmental impact assessment procedure. She wants to prove that the procedure of the Regional Evaluation Commission (COEVA) is ineffective or illegal.

Newsletter +++ June July 2022 +++

Landau, 4 August 2022


+++Research for Survival+++

After the fact-finding study into the population and breeding success of the Humboldt penguins, research on their search for food on the island of Choros was also carried out in June (see research impressions 1st and 2nd part on this page).

Newsletter +++ April May 2022 +++

Landau, June 3, 2022


+++Meeting with the Minister of Environment+++

In the middle of April Nancy Duman and Karen Quezada met the new Minister of Environment of the Coquimbo Region Leonardo Gros Pérez to talk about the marine protected area (AMCP-MU) and other current projects. The Ministry is presently waiting for the Atacama region to prepare all the documents for a joint application as "biregional marine protected area". After completion of the preparations, a joint effort will be made to enforce the protection zone. Señor Leonardo Gros Pérez. agreed to organize and execute the scientific meeting on the situation of the Humboldt Archipelago, which is scheduled for October together with SPHENISCO. Moreover, the proposed environmental education in the schools of the municipality of La Higuera will also be supported by the Ministry, possibly through certification. The Humboldt penguin is an emblematic species for Chile, but specifically for the Coquimbo region and should be given more priority. It was considered to create a day of the Humboldt Penguin and to organize it accordingly. 

Newsletter +++ February March 2022 +++

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).

Newsletter+++World Penguin Day+++

Humboldt penguins need protection – NOW!

It looks like more actions and contacts will be possible again this year on World Penguin Day. Sphenisco therefore asks all penguin friends and its members to make the protection of the Humboldt penguins a topic around 25 April and to organise actions to raise awareness.

Currently, the main breeding areas in northern Chile continue to be contested politically and legally. Conservationists, scientists, citizens of coastal villages and environmental groups are now well organised and also very effective. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the urgently needed marine protection zone can finally be enforced (see also

Newsletter +++ December January 2021 2022 +++


+++"Penguins" Take Sides+++

On December 10th, Defensa Ambiental IV Region organized a rally with the motto "Los Pingüinos del Archipiélago de Humboldt estamos con Boric" ("The penguins of the Humboldt Archipelago back Boric"). The event was well attended and very well received. The background was that the candidate Gabriel Boric, in contrast to José Antonio Kast, had clearly spoken out in favor of protecting the environment. 

Newsletter +++ October November 2021 +++


+++In October, Nancy Duman began organizing citizen participation in the development and design of the Archipel Humboldt Marine Protected Area. (see article "Education and outreach activities are being expanded". For this purpose, she met with fishermen from Chungungo and Pt. de Choros on October 15 and 23. The aim was to clarify the meaning and perspectives of citizen participation. On the same topic, she organised a workshop in Los Choros on 30 October, which was attended by representatives of the fishermen from Los Choros, Pt. de Choros and Chungungo as well as the citizens' initiative MODEMA. The initiative was welcomed by the participants and considered important. They will now discuss the topic of "citizen participation" in their organisations.


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