Biodiversity / Food / Water

February 7, 2005


Japanese NGO to Support Humboldt Penguin Breeding in Chile

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity NGO / Citizen 

The number of penguins kept in zoos in Japan is about 2,500, more than in any other country. Japan has also accumulated a significant amount of expertise in breeding and raising these marine birds. The Penguin Conference Japan, a Japanese nongovernmental organization, and Chile's Santiago Zoo discussed in 2004 how they can make the best use of the Japanese expertise to help the endangered Humboldt penguins in Chile.

The Penguin Conference Japan, an organization of researchers and citizens, led by experts in penguin breeding at zoos and aquariums across Japan, works on the study and protection of penguins. They conduct investigations overseas and support local researchers to protect wild penguins.

Humboldt penguins have long been bred in Japanese zoos and comprise half of all the penguins kept in captivity across Japan. In contrast in Chile, home of wild Humboldt penguins, their population has dropped sharply to 30,000, according to a survey conducted last year. They are now in danger of extinction because of the deterioration of their habitat, destruction of their nesting sites and overfishing of the fish they normally feed on. Humboldt penguins, however, have not been bred continuously in the South American country due to the low level of public interest and poor quality of facilities and breeding technology in the zoos.

The Japanese NGO is now putting together a cooperation plan with partners in Chile. They hope to put the Humboldt-penguin breeding in the country on a steady path by inviting Chilean breeding experts to Japan for exchanges of information and technical cooperation and, as a result, to raise public concern about Humboldt penguins in Chile.

Posted: 2005/02/07 12:44:10 PM
Japanese version