In 2003 we initiated our Seabird Program. The main goals of this program are to fill an existing data gap along the Pacific coast of South America by quantifying seabird bycatch rates and identifying at-risk species. In 2005, Pro Delphinus received a Conservation Leadership Program (CLP) bronze medal award for our project “Assessment of seabird by catch in Peruvian artisanal fisheries” and in 2007 received a project follow-up award. These projects served to strengthen our seabird program which has continued to grow and develop through the initiatives described below.
South America Seabird Fact Sheets
Through our seabird work we noted that there was a lack of Spanish language education materials dealing with seabirds. Because of this, in 2009, we partnered with the New Zealand organization Southern Seabird Solutions to design a series of 9 Spanish language fact sheets summarizing information on the basic biology and conservation of seabirds - particularly those found in South America. The fact sheets can be used in schools, coastal communities and with fishermen from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.
You can download the factsheets in this link.
The critically endangered waved albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) is found only in Ecuador and Peru – the species breeds almost exclusively in the Galapagos Islands and forages primarily off the Peru coast. Since 2003 we have been working to understand how this species interacts with Peruvian fisheries. Our work includes monitoring incidental and targeted take of waved albatrosses by Peruvian fishing vessels. We also have been working to monitor waved albatross behavior around the fishing vessels and to monitor their abundance and distribution at sea.
The pink-footed shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) nests exclusively on several small islands off the coast of Chile. The species undertakes annual migrations along the Pacific coast of the Americas to reach its primary foraging grounds off the west coast of Canada and the US. This grand migration puts the species at risk of interacting with many fisheries along the way, with some birds getting caught and getting injured or drowning. Pro Delphinus is working with partners in the region to find out which fisheries pose the greatest risk to the pink-footed shearwater and is working to identify solutions to seabird bycatch.
The Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is found along the coasts of Peru and Chile where it nests on islands and rocky stretches of coastline. Pro Delphinus has been monitoring Humboldt penguin populations at two of these nesting sites - Punta Coles in southern Peru and Isla Santa Rosa located in the Paracas National Reserve.
Peruvian diving petrel
Pro Delphinus has been working on two islands within the Paracas National Reserve where the endangered Peruvian diving-petrel (Pelecanoides garnotti) nests. The objectives of this study are to understand Peruvian diving-petrel population tendencies, their distribution on each island and to better understand their at-sea foraging behavior. A new agreement with SERNANP will facilitate the work of both institutions toward increasing research and conservation efforts at the guano islands (guaneras) where Pro Delphinus has been working.