Punta Tombo is a peninsula into the Atlantic Ocean 110 km (68 mi) south of Trelew in Chubut Province, Argentina, where there is an important colony of Magellanic Penguins. It is found a short distance north of Camarones.
The 3 km (1.9 mi) long, 600 m (1,969 ft) wide peninsula is covered with sand, clay and gravel. Between September and April, a large number of Magellanic penguins come to this site to incubate their eggs,1 and prepare their offspring for migration - the largest such colony in South America. Couples stand in front of their nests, protecting the eggs from birds and other predators, and occasionally one adult goes to the sea for food. Other wildlife encountered in the area including sea birds (mainly seagulls, chimangos and cormorants), rheas and guanacos.
The 2.1 km2 (0.8 sq mi) Punta Tombo Provincial Reserve has been protected since 1979, according to provincial decree, and it is one of the main tourist attractions in Chubut.
In late September, with the arrival of spring, Magellanic penguins migrate from Southern Brazil to Patagonia, congregating by the thousands to nest in Punta Tombo.2
Other important nearby colonies are Bahía Camarones and Cabo Dos Bahías.
Punta Tombo is part of the new marine National Park Golfo San Jorge.
- C. Michael Hogan (2008) Magellanic Penguin, GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg
- (Spanish) http://www.clarin.com/diario/2007/09/21/sociedad/s-04001.htm Clarin newspaper - Punta Tombo penguin trek
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