Blog: Punta San Juan (Peru)

Meet the Team

The Punta San Juan Program’s mission is to deepen the knowledge of the marine-costal ecosystem of the Humboldt Current in Peru and to promote the conservation of biodiversity as a value of local and worldwide importance.  The goal of the program is to produce sound scientific knowledge that aids in the conservation and management of an ecologically viable marine protected area.  Protecting this area is no small task and it isn’t undertaken by just one organization.

Partnerships have been created around the world bringing the best minds together to preserve the habitat and its inhabitants along with informing local residents about the importance of the reserve and bringing them in to view the beauty of biodiversity first hand. 

Since 2000 a cooperative partnership between zoos in the United States has been a driving force behind the conservation efforts at Punta San Juan. Chicago Zoological Society, Saint Louis Zoo, and Kansas City Zoo are the managing partners of this consortium in collaboration with Centro para la Sostenibilidad Ambiental Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (CSA-UPCH). Additional generous support is received from the Oregon Zoo, Penguin Taxon Advisory Group, Sedgwick County Zoo, Oceans of Fun, Disney Conservation Fund, Clochester Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, National Marine Mammal Foundation, Agro Rural, Servicio Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegadas por el Estado, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The consortium also relies on many highly skilled professionals and volunteers monitoring the ecosystem and conducting outreach programs aimed at local communities.

This unprecedented support allows scientists to monitor population dynamics amongst seals, sea lions, Humboldt penguins, and guano birds.  Public outreach educates indigenous populations on sustainable harvesting of guano (bird poop) for fuel. Studying and protecting the marine invertebrates ensures a healthy ocean habitat for life surrounding the preserve, including people. And while protecting the environment is critical to the program, bringing local adults and children into the preserve to educate them about the preserves importance and beauty is critical to the programs survival.  Working with the community helps protect the natural landscape and seamlessly connects the community to the land and animals.

Protecting Punta San Juan’s ecosystem is no small task.  It takes an army of like-minded people and organizations working tirelessly with local support to ensure a protected area healthy and safe for the environment, animals, and people alike.

Jamie Zite-Stumbris
Interpretive Programs Coordinator & Writer

Posted: 2/21/2017 10:18:04 AM by

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