“We commend the Government of Argentina for their conservation stewardship in creating this new network of marine protected areas,” said Dr. Cristián Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. “Isla Pingüino and Makenke Coastal Marine Parks now protect vital wildlife populations for posterity and create new opportunities for Argentina’s ecotourism industry.”
Stretching some 80 miles south of Puerto Deseado and extending 12 miles out to sea, Isla Pingüino covers nearly 1,800 square kilometers (720 square miles) of ocean and cliff-bordered coastline. The new protected area contains large populations of South American sea lions, red-legged cormorants, and one of the largest colonies of imperial cormorants found anywhere (with more than 8,000 breeding pairs). Isla Pingüino also boasts one of the only colonies of rockhopper penguins on the coast of Patagonia.
Farther south, the Makenke Coastal Marine Park begins at the entrance of the Ría San Julián, covering almost 600 square kilometers (230 square miles) of shore and ocean. The park contains the largest colony of rare red-legged cormorants in the country. It also protects breeding colonies of the dolphin gull, a rare scavenger, and pods of the small but spectacular black and white Commerson’s dolphin
Both marine protected areas are steeped in history as well as natural wonders. Charles Darwin traveled to the region now contained in Isla Pingüino in 1833, describing the wildlife he observed there during his seminal voyage aboard the HMS Beagle. Makenke Coastal Marine Park now borders the inlet of San Julian, where in 1520 Ferdinand Magellan executed and marooned a group of mutineers intent on aborting what would become the world’s first circumnavigation of the globe.
“We commend the National Congress in Argentina for passing laws to create these new marine parks, which will protect the country’s natural heritage given what will likely be an increase in development along the coast in years to come,” said Dr. Julie Kunen, Director for WCS’s Latin America and Caribbean Program.
Dr. Caleb McClennen, Director of WCS’s Marine Program, said: “Isla Pingüino and Makenke Coastal Marine Parks continue a tradition of conservation teamwork, with organizations such as WCS providing support to the government in protecting both coastal breeding areas for mammals and birds and the marine habitats they rely upon.”
Isla Pingüino and Makenke Coastal Marine Parks were made possible as a result of work conducted by Dr. Patricia Gandini, President of the National Parks Service, and Dr. Esteban Frere of the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral. Both biologists began studying the wildlife of the coast of Santa Cruz with support of WCS in 1985.
Both areas were identified as priority conservation sites by the Patagonia Coastal Zone Management Plan project, carried out by both the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Fundación Patagonia Natural with support from the Global Environmental Facility and the UNDP (United Nations Development Program). Support for the research was also provided by the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (Conicet).
WCS has been involved in the conservation of coastal Patagonia since the 1970s, beginning with Dr. Roger Payne’s behavioral work on southern right whales, and continues to this day with research by WCS’s Global Health Program on new threats to their survival. WCS began a long-running study on Magellanic penguins in the 1980s. That work led to conservation efforts that helped reduce the number of penguin deaths due to oil spills at sea from more than 40,000 a year to fewer than 1,000 annually, and helped move shipping lanes 30 miles offshore to avoid spills affecting seabird colonies.
WCS has also been conducting research on southern elephant seals, South American sea lions, rockhopper penguins, cormorants, gulls, terns, and other species that breed along the shores of Patagonia. These studies informed the region’s first atlas of breeding seabirds, a work designed to guide management decisions on fisheries and other natural resource usage. Over the past 40 years WCS has helped Argentina transition from harvesting of coastal wildlife to a burgeoning tourism industry based on its spectacular coastal species. These two new parks are the latest addition to the country’s extraordinary marine conservation effort.
WCS's efforts to help protect wildlife on the Argentine coast and sea are generously supported by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, the Waitt Foundation, and others.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit www.wcs.org.
The Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, based in New York City was established 1991 with funding from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, and its U.S.-based subsidiary, Mitsubishi International Corporation. Since its establishment, the Foundation has dedicated more than $7.2 million to environmental causes throughout the Americas. For more information, please visit http://www.mcfamericas.org.
Funding partnerships and projects in conjunction with its grantees and institute, the Waitt Foundation supports a variety of national and international programs concentrating on ocean conservation initiatives and marine related issues. By increasing global awareness, our goal is to reverse the current decline of ocean life while inspiring humanity to make informed choices that contribute to a healthy marine ecosystem.
Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a Web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to wcs.org.
Stephen Sautner | Newswise
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
24.03.2017 | Earth Sciences