Volume 48, No. 2

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Foraging ranges of Humboldt Penguins Spheniscus humboldti from Tilgo Island: the critical need for protecting a unique marine habitat.


1Departamento Biología Marina, Facultad Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica del Norte, Larrondo 1281, Coquimbo, Chile *(
2Research and Technology Center (FTZ), University of Kiel, Hafentörn 1, 25761 Büsum, Germany
3Millennium Nucleus for Ecology and Sustainable Management of Oceanic Islands ESMOI, Larrondo 1281, Coquimbo, Chile


QUISPE, R., LERMA, M., LUNA, N., PORTFLITT-TORO, M., SERRATOSA, J. & LUNA-JORQUERA, G. 2020. Foraging ranges of Humboldt Penguins Spheniscus humboldti from Tilgo Island: the critical need for protecting a unique marine habitat.. Marine Ornithology 48: 205 - 208

Received 07 February 2020, accepted 01 July 2020

Date Published: 2020/10/15
Date Online: 2020/07/26
Key words: habitat degradation, breeding colony, penguin conservation, anthropogenic impact, parental care, coastal development


The largest population of Humboldt Penguins resides in a fertile archipelago of the north-central coast of Chile, formed by eight islands in proximity to upwelling centers of the Humboldt Current System. However, five of these islands lack legal protection. Here, we report the results of breeding Humboldt Penguins tracked while foraging from Tilgo Island. The average and maximum foraging radii around the colony were 22 km and 43 km, respectively. Our data indicate that trip ranges overlap areas proposed for industrial projects. Because Humboldt Penguins are sentinels of local ecosystem health, this underscores the value of expanding conservation zones in this unique marine location.


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