Nine Magellanic penguins that had been rescued by malnutrition and high parasite load returned to the sea.
The birds, of a species considered in a situation of near threat by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), had been assisted by the Center for Rescue and Rehabilitation of the Mundo Marino Foundation.
It is a bird that nests and reproduces in the Argentine and Chilean Patagonia between the months of September and March. Contrary to what is popularly believed, the species does not live only in low-temperature zones: from April it migrates north towards the warmer waters of Uruguay and southeastern Brazil.
The nine penguins that returned to the sea were able to do so after recovering from malnutrition and high parasite loads. Situations that, unfortunately, are increasingly frequent in our coasts. A possible hypothesis that would explain these tables would be the difficulty of finding sufficient food during their migratory processes. Thus, in the absence of nutrients, their immune systems would weaken and become vulnerable to various pathologies.
It is important to note that since the Magellanic penguin lives in groups when an animal arrives at the Rescue Center, it remains there until a group is formed with other rescued penguins. Once a group is formed and after the rehabilitation process of all, they are returned to the sea.
This group, which joins the more than 2,150 penguins rehabilitated by Mundo Marino, was reintroduced before the eyes of experts in wildlife conservation throughout the Region, who traveled to San Clemente del Tuyú in the framework of the 25th annual congress of ALPZA, meeting in which strategies for the conservation of biodiversity, animal welfare and environmental education are discussed.
“The sea gives us messages when we find animals in these conditions, and all signs indicate that we are having more serious problems than those seen at first glance, especially those linked to oil or plastic pollution as well as overfishing.” , explained Karina Álvarez, biologist responsible for the conservation area of the Mundo Marino Foundation.
In addition, he added, “the task of reinserting marine animals and disseminating it is not only important, in this case, for the rescued penguins, but for the message that it helps us to transmit to the community: we have a problem and we must change behaviour to contain it”.
• What to do if a penguin is found on the coasts of the province of Buenos Aires?
Penguins do not usually go to these beaches if they do it means they need help. Faced with this situation: communicate urgently with qualified personnel, do not wet them, do not touch them, do not feed them and, with respect, keep the curious away. The telephone number of the Rescue Center of the Mundo Marino Foundation before emergencies is (02252) 43-0300.