more about Chilean penguins

christine.schoenberg christine.schoenberg at
Sun Nov 18 09:26:05 EST 2001

Dear fiends,

I wrote to you about the penguin colony at the Seno Otway in Chile and the
Fondation Otway, who tried to avert hotels being built on that land and
sued. The story goes on:

They won the lawsuit. However, it was ruled that for a period of time
nobody was supposed to be on the land, not the owners, not the Foundation,
not a single tourist. During that period a new Tourist Agency appeared out
of nowhere, 'Turis Otway', and ignored the ruling. They started and
continue to bring large numbers of tourists through the empty facilities
established by and barred to the Foundation. In Chile laws may be
restricting to one party and nonexistent to another, the police turns away
for 'Turis Otway', so the Foundation cannot do anything against it. The
locals feel that they now get part of the pie - only what they deserve -
and that the gringos - mainly environmentalist Germans - will finally be
forced back to where they came from. I can sympathise with that, except
that the locals handle the management quite different than the Foundation,
who wants this land to be "Santuario de la Naturaleza", self-preserving,
but not commercially exploited. Since the lawsuit started, the Foundation
could not protect the penguins, which had losses in breeding this year, and
they had no income through the tourists they educated every year. This
means that now they cannot pay the managers and scientist anymore. Some
people already had to return to their home countries.

Sorry that I drag penguins on the coral and sponge lists, but the Fondacion
Otway is not restricted to penguins only, and I think we should be
concerned about vertebrates, just as we are about invertebrates. Anyone who
is interested or has ideas how to help can contact the present director of
the colony:
Dr. Kai George  senotway at  , who will probably stay until end
of the year and then leave as well.

Thanks for your patience, Christine

Dr. Christine Schönberg, PhD
Dept. of Zoosystematics & Morphology
FB 7 - Biology, Geo- & Environmental Sciences
Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
ph +49-441-7983373
fax +49-441-7983162
email christine.schoenberg at
when travelling: christineaway at

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