Conserving the large colonies of marine mammals and coastal birds along with their habitats
Extending 2,000 miles from the Pampas in the North to Drake's Passage beyond Tierra del Fuego in the South, the pristine shores of Argentine Patagonia are washed by a cool biologically-rich ocean current. Drawing nourishment from this current, large concentrations of marine birds and mammals gather to breed and rest on shore. Colonies of Magellanic penguins, large rookeries of southern elephant seals, and over one third of the remaining population of southern right whales, are some of the species of birds and mammals that inhabit this coast.
Patagonia is a development frontier and the rapid changes that are taking place in the region are affecting its wildlife. Towns and cities expanding on the coast, overfishing, pollution by oil spills from the transport and drilling of offshore oil, a heavy emphasis on industrial development and mining combined with a sometimes weak coastal zone management, are serious threats to the future of this biologically diverse natural corridor.
We seek to preserve the spectacular concentrations of wildlife on the Patagonian coast, and to ensure that populations of marine birds and mammals remain viable and healthy. We design and conduct priority research for the conservation of coastal wildlife, so we can define conservation priorities, develop strategies and provide stewardship for the conservation of coastal wildlife. We also work with local governments and partner organizations to strengthen management of coastal wildlife and we engage local communities to increase awareness of its value as a basis for responsible long-term coastal resource use. In addition, we provide training on wildlife conservation for wildlife managers, researchers, wardens, teachers, tour guides, fisheries observers and other decision makers.
Since 1960 we have been involved in the creation of more than 15 protected areas in the country that total more than five million hectares. We lead and facilitate with our local partners, the development and implementation of the Integrated Management Plan for the Patagonian Coastal Zone, funded by the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Program. Our work contributed to improve the practices used by oil tankers and to modify their shipping routes to reduce marine pollution by oil that in the past caused massive and chronic mortality of seabirds. We generate programs and research projects for the management and conservation of key species including dolphins, whales, elephant seals, penguins, cormorants and sharks.