How a Single Penguin Started a Whole New Colony

During a BBC Earth interview Pablo Garcia Borboroglu of The Global Penguin Society shared his absolute joy in witnessing the first Magellanic penguin named Clarita giving birth to the very first chick born in a new location where the native birds could thrive. The chick’s birth has since led to massive colony growth.

Clarita is a Magellanic penguin, she brought light to that colony because she contributed with the first chick that hatched there and I think she’s a symbol of hope. Maybe they could have abandoned the area that they kept on coming back and more and so the country went from six to forty-five, seventy, one hundred and eighty until now that we are almost close to three thousand pairs and it keeps on growing.

The colony was established in 2009 after Borgorglu discovered six pairs of penguins living on a beach that was littered with plastic bottles, car parts, fire rubble, and other rubbish that made the area unsafe for the birds. It was then that he knew that the penguins needed to be rehomed.

Normally when you go to a wildlife place, you expect to see you know wildlife, everything cleared neat and tidy, but there were lots of plastics and broken bottles and pieces of cars and filters of the engines of the cars. You could see the places where they were making barbecues with the fires. I mean, that was not a place for penguins, that was not a place, that is not the pristine image that you normally have or expect to have when you go to these places. So that’s where we decided we need to protect this colony.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.