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 Man-made underwater sound may have wider ecosystem effects than previously thought
05.02.2016 | University of Southampton

nachricht Sluggish electrons caught in action
04.02.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik

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: Automated driving: Steering without limits

OmniSteer project to increase automobiles’ urban maneuverability begins with a € 3.4 million budget

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...

Im Focus: Microscopy: Nine at one blow

Advance in biomedical imaging: The University of Würzburg's Biocenter has enhanced fluorescence microscopy to label and visualise up to nine different cell structures simultaneously.

Fluorescence microscopy allows researchers to visualise biomolecules in cells. They label the molecules using fluorescent probes, excite them with light and...

Im Focus: NASA's ICESat-2 equipped with unique 3-D manufactured part

NASA's follow-on to the successful ICESat mission will employ a never-before-flown technique for determining the topography of ice sheets and the thickness of sea ice, but that won't be the only first for this mission.

Slated for launch in 2018, NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) also will carry a 3-D printed part made of polyetherketoneketone (PEKK),...

Im Focus: Sinking islands: Does the rise of sea level endanger the Takuu Atoll in the Pacific?

In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister picture is being painted evoking the demise of the island states and their cultures. Are the effects of sea-level rise already noticeable on reef islands? Scientists from the ZMT have now answered this question for the Takuu Atoll, a group of Pacific islands, located northeast of Papua New Guinea.

In the last decades, sea level has been rising continuously – about 3.3 mm per year. For reef islands such as the Maldives or the Marshall Islands a sinister...

Im Focus: Energy-saving minicomputers for the ‘Internet of Things’

The ‘Internet of Things’ is growing rapidly. Mobile phones, washing machines and the milk bottle in the fridge: the idea is that minicomputers connected to these will be able to process information, receive and send data. This requires electrical power. Transistors that are capable of switching information with a single electron use far less power than field effect transistors that are commonly used in computers. However, these innovative electronic switches do not yet work at room temperature. Scientists working on the new EU research project ‘Ions4Set’ intend to change this. The program will be launched on February 1. It is coordinated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR).

“Billions of tiny computers will in future communicate with each other via the Internet or locally. Yet power consumption currently remains a great obstacle”,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

DATE 2016 Highlighting Automotive and Secure Systems

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new potential biomarker for cancer imaging

05.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Graphene is strong, but is it tough?

05.02.2016 | Materials Sciences

Tiniest Particles Shrink Before Exploding When Hit With SLAC's X-ray Laser

05.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>