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Punta de Choros: Species at Risk

Humboldt Penguin

Humboldt penguins, which are similar in size to Magellanic penguins, are found along the Pacific coast of South America in Peru and Chile. The Choros-Damas and Isla Chañaral marine reserves near Punta de Choros host 80 percent of the world’s remaining Humboldt penguins.

Listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Vulnerable, the total world population of Humboldt penguins currently stands at around 12,000 breeding pairs -- and it’s in decline.

The proposed power plants in the Punta de Choros region further threaten this already vulnerable species, which could go extinct within a few decades without further conservation measures.

 

Marine Otter

Marine otters, or “chungungo” as they are sometimes known locally, are rare marine mammals found exclusively off the Pacific coast of South America, from northern Peru to the southern tip of Chile. Unlike its closest relatives, the marine otter spends almost all its time in the ocean.

The marine otter is classified as endangered by the IUCN and is listed in CITES in Appendix I. The current remaining population is estimated to be less than 1000 individuals.

As a result of these threats, the IUCN predicts that the marine otter will continue to decline by around 50% over the next 10 years. The proposed power plants in Punta de Choros add one more threat to the already troubled species.