Birding travel can be big business, but one resort in Chile claims that birds are a disruption and ordered workers to kill penguin chicks. According to I Love Chile, resort workers were instructed to break Humboldt penguin eggs because of the foul smell the nests could generate. The case is being investigated and while charges have not yet been filed, the complaint is being taken very seriously. Even more condemning is the fact that this crime took place within one of the country's nature reserves, where the birds should enjoy much better protection, though the reserve itself does practice conservation measures.
If you travel for birding, do you let local hotels and business owners know why you are there? Doing so can help raise awareness of the importance of avitourism and how protecting local birds can have a positive economic impact.
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Baby Humboldt Penguin
Photo © Harald Hoyer