Taken 17-Aug-10


Guano collector's house in Islas Ballestas

The Ballestas Islands are a group of small islands near the town of Paracas located within the Paracas District of the Pisco Province in the Ica Region, on the south coast of Peru. Composed largely of rock formations and covering an estimated area of 0.12 km², these islands are an important sanctuary for marine fauna like the guanay guano bird, the blue-footed booby and the tendril. Other notable species include Humboldt penguins and two varieties of seals (fur seals and sea lions), amongst other mammals.

Large amounts of "guano" (birds' droppings) produced by the seabirds was gathered and exported to Europe for use as fertilizer. For many decades this industry was Peru's most important source of revenue. Remanants of this industry can still be seen upon the islands.
Guano collector's house in Islas Ballestas Peru home