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Marine Birds

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What are the characteristics of this group?

  • Marine birds are species with specific adaptations that permit life associated with a marine environment.

  • In Peru, there are more than 150 species reported that depend on the ocean to eat and reproduce. This species diversity is due mainly to the presence of the cold waters of the Peruvian Current (or Humboldt Current) and the upwelling system, which generate a great amount of nutrients that are food source.

  • Seabirds stand out more for the abundance of their populations than for their richness of species and among them are endemic species of this current.

Where do we study sea birds?
The study occurs along the central coast of Peru inside the area affected by the PERU LNG marine terminal at ELU 15. This area forms part of the Humboldt Current Ecosystem, one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. 

What questions do we want to answer with this study?

  • How does the diversity and abundance of bird species and communities within the area of the maritime terminal vary spatially and temporally?

  • What are the reproductive seasons for the most common species in the area?

  • Is there a differential use by birds of the facilities and areas of the maritime terminal?


What results have we obtained thus far?

  • The avifauna present in the maritime terminal of PERU LNG consists of 27 species, the most numerous being the Tern gull (Larosterna Inca).

  • The Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) is an important species that has established a colony in the breakwater. This population has increased due to immigration and reproduction since 2009, reaching 518 individuals and representing 3.5% of the entire penguin population along the Peruvian by May 2016.

  • Nine migratory bird species are present in the beaches.

  • Distribution and spatial segregated of bird species occurs according to specific characteristics (eg. diet and habits) and preferences similar to those observed in their natural environments.

  • Bird reproduction occurs on the beach (American oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus), the wharf (Patagonian seagull and Peruvian seagull - Larus belcheri), and the breakwater (Patagonian seagull, Peruvian pike (Sula variegata), and Humboldt penguin.

Why is it important to conserve these species? 

  • Several marine species have suffered drastic reductions of their populations during the time of greater extraction of guano of the past.

  • Of the species registered in the marine terminal, eight are in either national or international conservation. The Supreme Decree D.S. N ° 004-2014-MINAGRI considers the Humboldt penguin, the Peruvian piquero, and the Peruvian pelican IN DANGER.

  • The populations of the Peruvian pelican (Pelecanus thagus) has suffered drastic reductions and protection of the areas they occupy is a priority.

  • At least six of the registered seabird species are endemic to the Humboldt Current Ecosystem.

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