WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.
In Argentina, we aim to preserve the diversity of wildlife that makes this country unique, and to restore its landscapes in the face of growing threats. With a focus on Patagonia, our long-term goal is to have complete suites of Patagonian carnivores, herbivores and scavengers co-existing with livestock producers in restored private lands, that connect a network of large protected areas throughout Patagonia. Along the coasts, we seek to maintain the large aggregations of Patagonian marine mammals and seabirds that breed onshore and feed in the productive surrounding sea.
Patagonia’s wild coast and ocean are a global wildlife treasure with massive marine birds and mammal aggregations and extraordinary migrations that take place across spectacular environments at the tip of America’s Southern Cone. Breeding in colonies interspersed along the 2,000 km coastline, this wildlife depends on the adjacent South Atlantic Ocean to feed in what are some of the most productive waters on the planet.
Inland, the 700,000 square kilometers of open grasslands and shrublands of Patagonian steppe are home to a unique suite of wildlife whose principal herbivores include a camelid, a large flightless bird, and deer and rabbit-like rodents. Though few and far between, the lakes and lagoons on the steppes of Patagonia are used for feeding and breeding by large numbers of waterbirds.
Although seemingly wild and timeless, Patagonia is a development frontier with new industries seeking to tap into its natural wealth. Towns and cities on the coast continue to expand, impacting coastal wildlife colony areas, while large commercial fisheries offshore are harvesting fish to the breaking point, and wildlife in the interior must compete with unsustainable livestock husbandry, hunting, oil extraction, and large-scale mining. The pervasive impacts of climate change are now increasingly apparent both in the landscapes and seascapes of Patagonia.
How will we get there?
We apply science to help Argentina manage its natural living resources, and establish and strengthen protected areas in priority terrestrial, coastal and marine sites in the region. We work with private landowners on the adoption of land-use practices that conserve habitat and wildlife, and monitor wildlife to ensure that our actions are having the desired conservation outcomes.
Our approach focuses on protecting critical habitats and priority wildlife, advancing effective natural resource policy to link the local with the country scale, and effectively communicating our work to inspire stakeholders to be part of our vision.