Punta San Juan serves as one of the largest breeding colonies for the Humboldt Penguin. Each January, this species congregates to molt, breed, and care for their young. During this time, populations are monitored not only at Punta San Juan, but throughout the country’s coast. Because of human encroachment, competition for food and El Niño weather conditions, the Humboldt penguin populations have plummeted over the last century and there was worry that continued declines would push the species towards extinction. The Humboldt penguin consortium helps to not only keep this population of birds safe at the Punta San Juan location, but also helps to monitor the populations from year to year.
In January 2016, four Kansas City Zoo staff members traveled to Peru to participate in the census as well as scouting potential educational partners in the country. Video and photos were taken to help document the work being accomplished and future conservation opportunities. These experiences will be put to plan as we continue to build a partnership where the Kansas City Zoo can continue to make an impact in Peru.