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Penguin Project Diary – Entry 1

Sep 12 2012
by NEW Zoo Education Dept

So Dawn and I made it to the Punta San Juan Reserve, via the night bus, early, early Monday morning!! Right away, the whole group went out into the desert for training on the reserve, to learn all of the north and south beaches, how to do animal counts and checks, and how to not fall off the top of the cliff edge!! It took most of the day to hit all of the beaches and get back to the field house. We had some meetings in the evening for more orientation.

Then, Tuesday, September 11, we got up early so our groups could head off into the desert to perform our various tasks. I am assigned to Group Guano 2, so I headed out with the miners to observe the animals for disturbances and keep an eye on the miners.

The sun comes up over the desert and makes its way toward the cliff edge, where the Peruvian Boobies cling to the cliffs. The Humboldt penguins that are at the top edge waddle out to sun themselves. The fur seals and sea lions wait on the beach below for the sun to reach them. What a great way to start the day!!!

Once our shift was done, we headed back to the field station for breakfast. In the afternoon, my group headed out again to the South Beach 3, to do tag checks. We sat above and observed the fur seals, looking for ones that had been “flipper tagged” previously. Then, we try to see what number is on the tag, and record “who” the seals are and what they are doing, like if they are nursing young. After several hours, we headed to the field station again for some food and meetings.

Now I am at the house, the only place with internet access and electricity, to shower. At the field house, we only get power a few hours a day.

It’s my turn to shower, so I will write more the next time I am at the g house to let you all know more about the process!

It’s beautiful here!!

Zookeeper Jessica

Beach full of Fur Seals


View from the Research Station


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