Magdalena Island, Magallanes Region
|Native name: |
The penguin's colony upon the island
|Location||Strait of Magellan|
|Highest elevation||27 m (89 ft)|
Magdalena Island (Spanish: Isla Magdalena) is a small island in the Strait of Magellan, Chile. It is occupied year round by a small force of Park Rangers: 6 in summer, 3 in winter. "Newbie" or first-year rangers are not permitted to volunteer for harsh winter duty. They barrack in the single substantial building attached to the Magdalena Island light. The island is part of the End of the World Route, a scenic touristic route.
Magellan, definitely saw the island as he passed for the first time in the strait. Antonio Pigafetta, while speaking about the desertion of Sab Antonio cites in his famous book, s:The First Voyage Round the World/Pigafetta's Account of Magellan's Voyage (Chap.79), that in to alert the crew of the ship if they ever try to get back:"This manner of acting had been ordained by the captain from the commencement, in order to effect the junction of any ship which might be separated from the others. So the people of the said ship did what the captain had commanded them, and more, for they set two ensigns with letters; one of the ensigns was placed on a small hill at the first bay, the other on an islet in the third bay, where there were many sea wolves and large birds."
It is located in Magallanes Region about 32 km northeast of the regional capital Punta Arenas. In 1982, it and nearby Marta Island were declared a national monument—Los Pingüinos Natural Monument. The island is the breeding location for several species of seabirds, most notably the Magellanic penguin. The penguin colony on the island has been monitored since 1998 and was estimated to hold 63,000 breeding pairs in 2007. With the exception of the Park Rangers, the island is currently uninhabited.
- An interview with a 1st year Park Ranger on 1/25/19
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