Patagoinia's Penquins at risk from proposed coal mine
  • Petitioned Chile's Government

This petition was delivered to:

Oceana
Chile's Government

Patagoinia's Penquins at risk from proposed coal mine

    1. Tammie Williams
    2. Petition by

      Tammie Williams

      Snellville, GA

There are threats facing mammals and birds in the region, including the area’s most emblematic seabird, the Magellanic penguin. The threats from the mine include heavy metal pollution (such as mercury), oil spills, and boat collisions with marine mammals.

Riesco Island is part of Chile’s Alacalufes National Reserve, which is home to an important colony of Magellanic penguins – around 10 thousand of the seabirds live around the island. The island and its surroundings are also home to at least 27 species of bird and 7 marine mammal species, including humpback whales. One of the region’s waterways, Otway sound, is one of the only places on the Chilean coast where the Chilean dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and southern dolphin can all be found.

The heavy metals released by coal mining would affect seabirds’ reproduction, especially the penguins. Oil spills can contaminate the eggs, cause death by inhalation and ingestion, and loss of feather waterproofing, which can lead to hypothermia.

Plus, Chile does not have a contingency plan to treat animals affected by oil spills. According to our report, of 76 penguins treated for oil contamination in 2006 in Patagonia’s Madalena Island, 22 died. And in 2004, an oil spill in Chile’s Tierra del Fuego led to the loss of 88% of the adults in a colony of rock cormorants.

In addition, mining would increase the large vessel traffic in the Francisco Coloane marine protected area, which is habitat for at least nine marine mammal species, such as humpback whales, sei whales and minke whales. The large vessels must navigate through Patagonia’s narrow canals, putting the whales at a higher risk of collision.

Chile’s environmental ministry was recently asked  by Oceana to measure the mercury levels of the coal of Isla Riesco, which would help determine the mercury pollution that would result in the places in the country where the coal is used in thermoelectric power plants. A preliminary report indicated the presence of several dangerous chemicals including arsenic, mercury and manganese in higher than acceptable levels.

Oceana's colleagues in Chile are working hard to promote renewable energy; Oceana will be sure to keep you posted as this story evolves.

If you want to help, please sign the petition to help us stop the coal mine and protect penguins in Riesco Island.

 

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    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. This will help us save the animals in our world

      Tammie Williams
      Petition Organizer

      need to get as many signatures as we can, please be sure to share this with your friends and family

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • laurie craig MERRYVILLE, LA
      • about 3 years ago

      Greetings to you Mr. President Sebastián Piñera,

      I hope my message finds you well in both spirit and health. I am writing on behalf of your country’s national parks, protected reserves, and the precious wild life within. I realize you are a very busy person, and have little time to address so many issues. However, if you could please keep the national parks and protected reserves in mind, as it is a part of the ecosystem, and financial revenue in Chilean Patagonia. I know you have strong emotions for Chilean Patagonia, and so I am truly confident in my heart that you will make the right decision. Here is what I have to say about it that may help for a persuasive argument:

      Today, more than ever, there are scandalous and maladaptive thinking people who seek to destroy what is good on our earth for some

      benefit on their own behalf – usually financial gains. Even with all the computerized technology, latest remote sensing satellite data for digital terrain analysis, and the educated expertise that evaluate and decide the best course of action; how then can the best choice be to build an enormous dam that will damage 14 national parks and reserves? Everyone in this decision knows that it will be putting your country's parks in jeopardy. The international corporations involved are perfectly aware of the consequences and damages that will be

      done to the park's resources (monetary and ecosystem), and the devastating affects it will have on the wildlife habitat that reside and

      depend upon it. Yet, they take none of this into consideration. Please do not allow selfish and careless planning ruin a lifetimes worth of perseverance. This scenario reminds me of the U.S.A. Act of Dedication signed by their 13th president, Ulysses S. Grant, on March 1, 1872. It was a special law that created and helped to preserve the famous Yellowstone National Park. Had Grant not signed this particular Act, Yellowstone Park would not be. Grant concluded that if the bill did not go through, in a single season, violators seeking free/cheap fortune could enter and wreck beyond rescue the outstanding marvels, which have taken all but thousands of years to collect. That is all it takes to destroy parks, resources, wildlife, and valuable land. Allowing this dam to be built seems so innocuous to many, but

      to the rogue’s eye, it will only lead to opportunities for future and further destruction. Then it will be too late to recover what was lost.

      Thank You for reading.

      Sincerely,

      Laurie C.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • DIANE KASTEL WHEATON, IL
      • about 3 years ago

      The heavy metals released by coal mining would affect seabirds’ reproduction, especially the penguins. Oil spills can contaminate the eggs, cause death by inhalation and ingestion, and loss of feather waterproofing, which can lead to hypothermia.

      Plus, Chile does not have a contingency plan to treat animals affected by oil spills. According to our report, of 76 penguins treated for oil contamination in 2006 in Patagonia’s Madalena Island, 22 died. And in 2004, an oil spill in Chile’s Tierra del Fuego led to the loss of 88% of the adults in a colony of rock cormorants.

      In addition, mining would increase the large vessel traffic in the Francisco Coloane marine protected area, which is habitat for at least nine marine mammal species, such as humpback whales, sei whales and minke whales. The large vessels must navigate through Patagonia’s narrow canals, putting the whales at a higher risk of collision.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kennedy Coyne ALBANY, NY
      • about 3 years ago

      The penguins have no say in whether or not their lives are put at risk. If we can make a difference in Chile, then it will make us one step closer to helping other sea creatures around the globe. Every step counts and I believe with persistence, we can save those who cannot save themselves!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Theresa Kardos CORTLANDT MANOR, NY
      • about 3 years ago

      Patagonia is a special wilderness area, a haven for many species of animals, including penguins and marine mammals. Already these animals and entire ecosystems are under stress from climate change. We should be doing all that is possible to protect the wildlife, not threaten it further. We do not have enough knowledge about the food web to understand how damage to just one part may unravel the whole system. And on top of that, Chile does not even have a contingency plan to deal with oil spills. This is madness. Ecotourism over the long run would be more financially beneficial than oil and mineral dollars in the short run with a legacy of pollution and probable extinction forever.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Angela Brooks ATLANTA, GA
      • about 3 years ago

      Love all animals.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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