Chicago Zoological Society: Assessment of Fur Seals and Sea Lions
The Chicago Zoological Society will develop new community engagement initiatives centered around the Punta San Juan marine reserve in Peru, home to endangered Peruvian South American fur seals, South American sea lions, and Humboldt penguins. Activities including monthly family reserve tours, a guide training program for local teens, and community events will foster the development of local conservation leaders while relating the importance of wildlife and ecosystem conservation worldwide.
The main goal of our community education project is to engage local San Juan de Marcona residents with the Punta San Juan (PSJ) reserve and its wildlife, generating advocates for nature and the environment. For the past two years, CZS has coordinated a project with local schoolteachers and young children (ages 3-5) to connect them with nature at an early age and allow them to identify and care for local wildlife in Marcona. Through this initiative, children and teachers visited the reserve and teachers were encouraged to use PSJ as a living tool to teach students about taking care of their local environment.