Target: Chilean Environment Minister Pablo Badenier
Goal: Halt construction efforts that threaten the vulnerable Humboldt penguin.
A vulnerable species of South American penguin faces a serious loss of habitat after the recent approval of new construction projects. Around 13,000 breeding pairs of Humboldt penguins could see their habitat destroyed after the Chilean government decided to allow a mining company to build two ports in areas upon which these animals rely. Approval for the second port is still pending, meaning there is still time to save these vulnerable creatures.
The areas surrounding the Chilean island of Chañaral contain several endangered and protected species. Eight species of whale, along with nine types of dolphin rely on the island’s cold waters for food and shelter. Included among these species is the Humboldt penguin, also known as the Chilean penguin. The Humboldt penguin is a medium-sized bird that lives on islands and coasts, meaning Chañaral is an important habitat for these animals. The species is listed as “vulnerable.”
That could change, however, given Chile’s approval of several developments. The first port of the Cruz Grande Compañía Minera del Pacífico mining company in Chungungo has been given the green light. This announcement comes despite the voicing of serious concerns from environmentalists who claim that the construction would have disastrous environmental effects. The port would be constructed near several fisheries and protected areas, and some officials fear this could lead to contamination and pollution. In fact, local fisherman have already sued in an attempt to reverse the decision.
The Chilean reserve Reserva Nacional de Humboldt Pingüino serves as a habitat to approximately 80 percent of the Humboldt penguin’s wild population. If these birds or their habitat were to be harmed by the new ports, the species could face extinction. This is simply not a risk worth taking. Sign the petition below to urge Chile’s Environmental Minister to take action and stop these new ports from being constructed.
Dear Minister Badenier,
The recent approval of the construction projects by the Cruz Grande Compañía Minera del Pacífico mining company in Chungungo is a dangerously irresponsible decision that must be reversed. The areas surrounding Chañaral contain several endangered and protected species, including eight species of whale and nine types of dolphin who rely on the island’s cold waters for food and shelter. Also living in the area is the Humboldt penguin. Approximately 80 percent of the penguin’s wild population lives in an area that would be directly impacted by these new developments, and the risk of wiping out this population is simply too high.
The announcement has already been harshly criticized, as environmentalists have claimed that the construction would have disastrous environmental effects. The port would be built near several fisheries and protected areas, leading to serious concerns about contamination and pollution. Local fisherman have already sued in an attempt to reverse the decision, and international opposition to these projects is already growing. I urge you to please intervene and save this vulnerable species before it is too late.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Adam Kumiszcza