The Chilean island where the presence of cruise passengers is helping penguins breed

A pair of Magellanic penguins
Magdalena Island is one of Chile’s most important Magellanic penguin colonies Credit: Australis

It seems all news of our natural world is that it is perilously under threat. So now for some good news.

Penguins on Magdalena Island, in the Strait of Magellan, breed more successfully next to paths where cruise passengers visit than on other parts of the island because the presence of humans scares off predators.

Scientist Mike Bingham, who has been studying Magellanic penguins across South America for more than 20 years, visits the island every two weeks during the breeding season to record the penguin numbers and eggs that are laid.

“Magdalena Island is one of Chile’s most important Magellanic penguin colonies and the best rookery in Patagonia for tourists to get close to the birds," said...

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