Penguins and their contribution to the ecosystem. By Dr. Roberto Rojas Academic Institute of Natural Sciences UDLA, Viña del Mar Headquarters – G5noticias

Penguins and their contribution to the ecosystem. By Dr. Roberto Rojas Academic Institute of Natural Sciences UDLA, Viña del Mar Headquarters – G5noticias
Penguins and their contribution to the ecosystem. By Dr. Roberto Rojas Academic Institute of Natural Sciences UDLA, Viña del Mar Headquarters – G5noticias

Chile has a diverse geography, housing a variety of species adapted to different environmental conditions. Emblematic specimens are the penguins, especially accustomed to life in the sea and on ice, such as the Humboldt penguins present in the Coquimbo Region, the Magellanic and King penguins located mainly in the Patagonian and Antarctic areas.

The observation of penguins in areas such as Isla Damas in Coquimbo, Isla Grande de Chiloé, Isla Magdalena outside Punta Arenas or Porvenir, offer visitors the opportunity to watch and learn about the life of these birds in their natural habitat, contributing to the conservation of these species and promoting environmental awareness.

Apart from the tourist attraction they represent, in the different areas where they live they play a transcendental role in the ecosystem, providing nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that enrich the soil and act as natural fertilizers. They also regulate the diversity and volume of species in sensitive environments such as the Magellanic zone.

In this geographical area, penguins have multiple adaptations for cold climates, such as dense, water-resistant plumage, forming a barrier to the low temperatures of the Antarctic sea and Patagonian wind. Their feathers also have an oily coating that acts as a thermal insulator. Inside they have peptides and/or proteins adapted to inhibit the formation of ice.

Although the care and protection of the different species present in the country and the preservation of their habitats is led by both the Ministry of the Environment, the Agricultural and Livestock Service, the Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Chilean Antarctic Institute, As citizens we also have the duty to understand and value these noble species for their contribution to the marine ecosystem.


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