Anne van Kesteren

Patagonia: Penguins

Last month I was in the Argentinian part of Patagonia on vacation. While in Ushuaia Arjan and I partook in a one-day trip to see penguins. The penguins were living on a small island that is part of a larger set of land that was once given by the Argentina government to a British settler. The government did this because they were afraid that Chile would claim their part of Tierra del Fuego if it was uninhabited. And since the settler was planning on going home giving him lots of land that nobody was using anyway was presumably thought as an easy way to keep him around. (He and now his descendants cannot ever sell the land under the agreement.) At some point a large batch of penguins settled on this land and his descendants now earn a lot of tourist money with them. Given that their main source of income used to be cattle and that most of the cattle died in an extreme winter, I guess they are lucky!

[Two penguins; adult and young.]