Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spectacular Marine and Terrestrial Wildlife Haven Becomes Four Million-Acre Biosphere Reserve

16.07.2014

Argentina’s Península Valdés is home to whales, dolphins, penguins, guanacos, and rheas

WCS provided technical assistance leading to the designation


G. Harris

Elephant seals, southern right whales and Magellanic penguins all thrive on the Península Valdés, a newly declared Biosphere Reserve in Argentina. WCS has worked to protect wildlife in this region since the 1960s.

A rugged peninsula in Argentina’s Patagonia region teeming with wildlife, including southern right whales, Magellanic penguins, massive elephant seals, flightless Darwin’s rheas, and camel-like guanacos, has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Environmental, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Península Valdés on the Atlantic coast of Patagonia in Southern Argentina in Chubut Province has the largest breeding colony of southern elephant seals in South America. In addition, it supports more than 70,000 pairs of Magellanic penguins, over 10,000 South American sea lions, cormorants, gulls, terns, and nearly 4,000 southern right whales – almost one third of the remaining breeding population. On land, the peninsula supports over 4,000 guanacos and some of the highest densities of maras and Darwin’s rheas in Patagonia.

The new Biosphere Reserve was designated by the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme at its 26th session in Jönkoping, Sweden last month. The designation means the region, which is currently a provincial protected area, will work to reconcile sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection.

The new reserve covers an area of over four million acres and will be divided into core areas, buffer zones and transition areas. The designation increases protection for the wildlife and its adjacent coastal waters. It includes a previously unprotected area known as Punta Ninfas, which contains large numbers of elephant seals, South American sea lions, a spectacular mixed colony of imperial cormorants and terns and a new colony of Magellanic penguins. The area is close to three large cities and is under increasing threat from uncontrolled access by people using off-road vehicles. The new Biosphere designation draws attention to the urgent need for ensuring the protection of wildlife here.

WCS, which has conducted conservation work on the Península Valdés since the 1960s, provided resources to its local partner organization Fundación Patagonia Natural (FPN) in Puerto Madryn and Chubut Province to produce much of the required technical background to make the designation a reality.

Along with Fundación Patagonia Natural, WCS congratulates the Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable in the Federal Government of Argentina, Chubut Province’s Governor, Martín Buzzi, and Chubut’s Secretaría de Turismo y Areas Protegidas.

“Península Valdés is one of the great natural wonders of Latin America with greater concentrations of wildlife than any other area on the entire coast of Patagonia,” said WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper. “Making this incredible area region a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is the culmination of years of hard work by many great partners.”

WCS first became involved with the conservation of wildlife of Península Valdés in the 1960s under the direction of then General Director William Conway. The first project carried out here focused on the protection of rare southern right whales. WCS researcher Guillermo Harris began working to help protect the wildlife based at WCS’s field station on Península Valdés, in 1981 and WCS researcher Claudio Campagna began studying South American sea lions and southern elephant seals on Península Valdés around the same time.

Following a request made by the Argentine government and the Province of Chubut, UNESCO inscribed Península Valdés as a World Heritage Site (WHS) in 1999 based on its unique concentrations and diversity of wildlife. WCS and its local partner FPN played major roles in that designation and in the preparation of the corresponding management plan, a participatory process that took more than a year to complete. The new biosphere designation builds upon the existing WHS inscription and further highlights the extraordinary biological value of Península Valdés.

All of these efforts and many more in which WCS is involved on the peninsula, including management conservation, education and research, continue. To help protect the wildlife of Península Valdés, WCS works with researchers belonging to the local Science and Technology Agency of Federal Government of Argentina based at the Centro Nacional Patagónico (CENPAT), the Government of the Province of Chubut and Fundación Patagonia Natural.

Said WCS Senior Conservationist William Conway: “Southern right whales that swim within meters of shore, schools of dusky dolphins, huge colonies of Magellanic penguins, rookeries of South American sea lions that bustle with activity, orcas that beach themselves to capture pups and southern elephant seals that huddle in thousands on lonely sandy beaches, this is the wildlife that makes Península Valdés on the coast of Patagonia so special, one of the world’s great natural wonders.”

WCS’s conservation work on Península Valdés is made possible through the generosity of the Waitt Foundation, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, UNDP-Global Environment Facility, Jeniam Foundation, and other supporters.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. VISION: WCS envisions a world where wildlife thrives in healthy lands and seas, valued by societies that embrace and benefit from the diversity and integrity of life on earth. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in more than 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: www.wcs.org; http://www.facebook.com/TheWCS; http://www.youtube.com/user/WCSMedia Follow: @thewcs.

Stephen Sautner | newswise

Further reports about: Argentina Conservation Marine Patagonia UNESCO WCS Wildlife concentrations diversity seals whales

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>