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Punta San Juan (PSJ) is a 54 hectare peninsula located on the southern coast of Peru, it is protected by a 1.2 kilometer concrete wall. PSJ is one of the 33 sites a network of sites called: “Reserva Nacional Sistema de Islas, Islotes y Puntas Guaneras” that protects marine biodiversity and stands on the shoulders of the 150+ year old management system of seabird guano promoted by the Peruvian government.
Punta San Juan (PSJ) supports important populations of emblematic seabirds of the Humboldt Current, such as Humboldt Penguins, Guanay Cormorants, Inca Terns, Peruvian Boobies and Peruvian Pelicans. As well as pinnipeds, such as South American fur seal and South American sea lion. All these species breed and rear their chicks and pups in PSJ, and feed in areas close to the reserve that have nutrient-rich waters due to the upwelling ecosystem of the Humboldt Current System. These species are biological indicators and help us understand the variation of ecological factors over time. The population, behavior and reproduction of these species reflect what is happening in the marine ecosystem.
PSJ is home to Peru’s largest colony of Humboldt penguins, reaching over 7,000 birds in the past 10 years. Here Humboldt penguins nest on the guano layer that has not been harvested since 1987. This substrate is ideal for Humboldt penguins providing important properties that enhance breeding success (thermal regulation, independence in burrow, protection from predators, amongst others). The proximate location of this protected area means cold and nutrient rich waters where penguins feed. This provide's a suite of conditions that are preferred by Humboldt penguin populations.
The Punta San Juan Program (PPSJ) is a long term field research program. For more than 30 years, the PPSJ has carried out research and monitoring of the resident populations in PSJ. They operate on site year round and do monitoring, research, environmental education, capacity building and community engagement.
Punta San Juan Program operates thanks to the support of zoological societies from around the globe that want to contribute to conservation in the wild. Since 2000, the sponsorship from zoos and aquariums are the driving force behind the conservation efforts at Punta San Juan Program. Partner institutions participate in planning and support the core operations of Punta San Juan Research Station. Their funding covers the annual budget and employs the PSJ Program staff, a qualified team of Peruvians who are committed to conservation of the wildlife at this amazing protected area.
Bournemouth Oceanarium is fundraising to be a partner institution in 2022! This is essential to the PSJ Program operations. Due to the economic impact of Covid-19 our budget for our basic operational funding was reduced and they no longer have a paid position for a Field Assistant, for example. They hope that with more partner institutions like Bournemouth Oceanarium, they will be able to recover funding to be able to recover this very important position.
If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause, please CLICK HERE to head to our GoFundMe Page. We thank you to everyone's contributions!
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