Monday, December 21, 2015

Humboldt Penguin Conservation in Chile

Humboldt penguin Conservation in Chile

Posted by Luciano Hiriart-Bertrand ·  20 December, 2015

The intensity of human activities on marine resources has resulted on a significant number of marine organisms are rapidly declining. Habitat damage and loss of species are attributable to unregulated or poor management actions. Novel approaches or options are needed to restore damage and ensure the stability in marine ecosystems.

In order to minimize the burgeoning influence of human-use on marine ecosystems, the creation and identification of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) has been proposed as management tool to secure long-term sustainability of marine ecosystems. Identify mechanism, which may provide a better understanding of how to measure and implement protected areas is required. In consequence, using penguins as flagship species in order to recognize key areas to ensure the stability of marine ecosystems has been recently applied.

Considering that penguins are widely dispersed organisms that often feed on high mobile prey and potentially cover vast areas at sea, the recognition and delineation of protected boundaries must be based on ecological and biological approaches. Humboldt penguins occurs along the Humboldt Current System (HCS). Considering that the HCS has been described as one of the most productive oceanographic systems in the globe, many species such as penguin depend indirectly on sustainable management of natural resources.

Large and small-scale fisheries occasionally interact incidentally with threatened Humboldt penguins in the target area. The lack of information about the population status and their behavior at sea appears a critical threats for the conservation of threatened Humboldt penguins in Cachagua islet.

Traditional threats for penguins are related with coastal fishing gear, pollution, habitat damage, overfishing and climate change. In addition, potential activities are planned to begin such as tourism.

Due to Humboldt penguins are popular tourist destination in Chile, the effects of tourism disturbance would significantly affect the penguins, in particular, because Humboldt penguins are more sensitive to human presence than other sympatric species such the Magellanic penguins.

The relevance of this project focuses on obtaining a novel comprehensive status of threatened Humboldt penguins in the area basically to promote the establishment of efficient conservation measures to ensure the recovery of local Humboldt penguin population and their habitat.


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