Category Archives: Penguins

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus)

Magellanic Penguins
Magellanic Penguins

Conservation Actions Underway

Many non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and individuals’ work on the conservation of Magellanic Penguins, and data from many studies have advanced conservation. Tanker lanes were moved 40 kilometers farther offshore along the coast of Chubut in 1997. This added to improvements at port loading facilities, which greatly reduced the number of oiled penguins in that area (Boersma 2008). The Management Plan for Punta Tombo is in place but has not yet been effectively implemented by Chubut Province authorities. The Argentine government has created new marine protected parks along the coast that include some penguin breeding areas and fragments of foraging areas (Patagonia Austral, Isla Pinguino, Makenke and Monte Leon). Specifically, a new UNESCO Biosphere Reserve will help give protection to 20 colonies (Garcia-Borboroglu et al. 2015) and a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) for the largest colony has been designated in Argentina (Boersma et al. 2015, Garcia-Borboroglu et al. 2015). Unfortunately, many of the parks lack effective planning and/or implementation. As MPAs are in general ineffective for the protection of highly mobile species such as penguins (Boersma and Parrish 1999), protection of penguin populations requires new conservation tools (Boersma et al. 2002, 2007, Garcia-Borboroglu et al. 2008; Yorio 2009, Stokes et al. 2014, Boersma et al. 2015). CADIC-CONICET is working together with the Tierra del Fuego government on the management plan for the Staten Island reserve and the intention is to include marine protected regions based on the tracking studies (Rosciano et al. 2016).

Tracking studies are underway in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) to identify areas of conflict between penguins and the developing hydrocarbon industry (

Range of Magellinic Penguins
Range of Magellinic Penguins

ch/the-gap-project). Also, tracking studies and interaction with fisheries are under development around Staten Island.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Conduct population censuses and determine the ratios of juveniles to adults in Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Monitor effects of fisheries in breeding and wintering areas. Reduce bycatch and oiling incidents. Place or improve design of marine protected areas in wintering and breeding areas. Eradicate introduced predators from islands with colonies. Reduce impact of tourism at breeding colonies, for example by controlling unrestricted visits and defining appropriate visiting hours. Prepare contingency plans for emerging diseases, or fires.

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