Chile has halted plans for a $2.5 billion mining project because of the expected disruption to sea life, including to the nesting areas of the endangered Humboldt penguins. Through the Dominga project, a Chilean company was expected to produce 12 million tons of iron ore and 150,000 tons of copper annually. The area is home to several endangered species including the Humboldt penguin. Chile is a leading global exporter of metals and the cancellation of this project comes with negative financial implications.
The Humboldt Penguin Reserve is located near Coquimbo. The reserve consists of over 2,000 acres spread amongst three islands. Punta de Choros the local fishing village is a major tourist draw for enjoy the flora and fauna
Many different types of penguins call Chile home but the country is home to nearly 80 percent to the world’s Humboldt penguin population.
Once numbered in the thousands, these majestic animals only nest in parts of Chile and Peru. And one of their greatest enemy’s is climate change and the increasingly warm ocean waters they live in. Increased temperatures increase ocean levels which in turns diminishes penguin food sources. Annually thousands of these birds would come to the coast of Chile and now they number in the hundreds. Chile and Peru has categorized the Humboldt penguin as “endangered” and global environmentalist lists them as “vulnerable”.
The Chilean government is being hailed as environment heroes and rightfully so! It has become increasingly difficult to mine metals in this metals rich country in Latin America.
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