Whalebone and Love Islands

June 2017

Conservation benefit: Protection of 1,235 acres of mangroves for 15 years and reforestation of five acres of mangroves

Community benefit: Interpretive center in Puerto Pizarro, trash collection, interpretive trail on Love Island

The Tumbes River delta, just 200 miles below the equator, is thick with mangroves. More than 200 species of birds (19 of them endemic to the region) and more than 100 species of fish are found there. Olive ridley and green sea turtles ply the waters, trying to avoid the American crocodiles that also call the region home. There are unusual mammals, such as the silky anteater and the crab-eating raccoon. Prawns, crabs, and bivalves are abundant and varied.

The community of Puerto Pizarro wants to protect two small uninhabited islands just offshore, Whalebone Island (Isla Hueso de Ballena) and Love Island (Isla del Amor). It has formed a tourist board, which has authority to regulate use of the islands.

The organization will protect 1,235 acres of mangroves surrounding the islands for 15 years. The community will also plant native mangrove species in deforested areas on the islands. To improve the success of the replanting, they will get expertise from two people with extensive experience with recovery of degraded mangrove areas in the region.

The community will use a Seacology grant to improve the interpretive center and to build an interpretive trail and install signs on Love Island. It will also fund a garbage collection system to handle the trash left by more than 100,000 tourists each year. Ongoing operations will be paid for by the tourist board, which collects money from entrance tickets, and the community.

Project Updates
May 2019
Local university students helped with reforestation, and this project is now complete.
December 2018
The extensive repairs to the interpretive center are finished, and the exhibits have been installed. The boardwalk and island interpretive trail are complete. The reforestation effort will...
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May 2018
Our NGO partner is publicizing the center with posters and brochures, and Peru’s tourism ministry (iPeru) is promoting the trail and center online. Construction of the island interpretive trail,...
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March 2018
Repairs to the Puerto Pizarro interpretive center have been completed, and a ceremony was held to mark the center's reopening.
January 2018
The roof of the interpretive center has been replaced, and the front of the building and fence have been improved. Outlets and lights have also been upgraded. Interpretive infographics have been...
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October 2017
Field representative Enrique Michaud visited Puerto Pizarro and the islands, and reports that project work has begun. Informational signs have been designed and are ready to print, the...
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