Global Penguin Society
HQ: Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina and Seattle, WA USA
The Global Penguin Society (GPS) is the first and only coalition of its kind to take an international and independent approach to the conservation of penguins and their habitats. Our goal is to protect penguins, marine habitats, and engage local communities through our three main initiatives: science, management, and education.
Project Goals: $10,000
The Global Penguin Society (GPS) is an internationally recognized leader organization in the conservation of penguins and the oceans, aligning the expertise of penguin and marine conservation and research groups, with a relevant influence in decision making.
Through our three-pronged approach to conservation, science, management, and education, GPS aims to:
Foster the production of scientifically-sound information and transfer it to governments to assist in conservation and adequate management of penguins and marine environments at local, regional, and global scales.
Develop priorities for resource allocation for penguin research, management, and community education.
Support applied research that targets problems affecting the survival of penguin species
Promote the education and involvement from international to local communities in the conservation of penguins.
Help organize conferences for the dissemination of information on penguins, and to increase the integration of findings.
The Global Penguin Society is dedicated to the survival and protection of the world's penguin species, fostering integrated ocean conservation through science, management and community education.
▸ WHY PENGUINS?
Ocean conservation is crucial to life in the sea, on the land and to the quality of human life. We initiated an unprecedented age of alterations to marine systems. Penguins are particularly impacted by these phenomena, and the IUCN listed 60% of penguin species as vulnerable or endangered. Variations in ecosystem structure and processes caused mainly by climate change, pollution, and overfishing impoverish living systems. Penguins are sensitive to these changes and reflect the status of oceans. Penguins can also increase awareness of ocean health, making us reconsider our lifestyles and behaviors. As charismatic keystone species, penguins can foster public and political support to protect marine/coastal environments and other species.
Our goal is to promote the protection of the world’s penguin species, fostering integrated ocean conservation through science, management and education. Our action will improve penguin’s and people’s quality of life.
▸ Current Projects
KING PENGUINS / CHILE
Following a massive decline in the last century, King penguins have been trying to reestablish in southern Chile, but have faced numerous barriers including, in the past decade, illegal capture by Asian fishing boats for sale. Now King penguins have established a colony, the only continental colony of this species in the world. During the first years after the establishment, people have been harassing the penguins, causing chick mortality and likely causing the prospecting adults to refrain from breeding. We are gathering critical information needed for conservation in order to apply it directly in the management of the colony on land. We are also tracking penguins at sea to identify the marine areas where they eat, which will allow us to detect spatial overlaps with human activities. We are also working with the landowners to help them improve the management of visitors and reduce impact on penguins.
NEW MAGELLANIC PENGUIN COLONY EL PEDRAL PATAGONIA, ARGENTINA
In 2008, six penguin pairs founded this colony, but unregulated recreational activities have since taken place with fishermen and visitors leaving garbage, setting bushes on fire where penguins nest, and allowing their dogs to kill penguins. The fate and persistence of this colony depended on our ability to collect sound scientific data to improve their habitat and implement an adequate plan for the management of human activities. Thanks to our efforts the colony is now 1900 pairs. Our objectives for this colony are to continue monitoring its growth and provide recommendations to oversee human visitation to the colony. We are working with the government and landowners to secure the long term protection of this fragile coastal and marine sector.
FILL CRITICAL INFORMATION GAPS ON THE FIORDLAND PENGUIN FEEDING AREAS AND CORRIDORS IN THE OCEAN
New Zealand has emerged as a particular penguin hotspot. In addition, this country has increasing plans to carry out development in oil, mining, and fisheries. The Fiordland crested penguin is one of the least studied penguin species and also a sacred species for the indigenous Maori community. Our objective is to work with colleagues to conduct research to fill critical information gaps on feeding areas and corridors in the ocean; this is fundamental to detect spatial overlaps with human activities and support any future management action. The lack of information on feeding areas was identified as a critical gap that needs to be filled in order to encourage the creation of marine protected areas.
REACH KIDS AND COMMUNITIES WITH A CLEAR CONSERVATION MESSAGE ABOUT PENGUIN AND OCEAN CONSERVATION
We want to target local education efforts at schools near penguin colonies so that the next generation will value penguins more. Often there are fewer educational opportunities for people near the resource than for people that live far from the penguins.
The objectives of our education program include:
- Organize trips for school students to visit nearby natural areas with penguins in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Namibia and South Africa.
- Give talks to each class before the school trips to visit penguin colonies.
- Donate hundreds books about wildlife, the environment, and nature conservation, providing permanent access to this information in a nondigital format, which remains the main way science is taught in some countries where penguins occur.