Patagonia National Park

Province of Santa Cruz

 

 

Project description

The creation of the Patagonia National Park (131,000 acres) was sanctioned by the National Congress in December 2014. The initiative had its starting point with the efforts of the NGOs Aves Argentinas and Ambiente Sur to safeguard a portion of the habitat of the hooded grebe, an endemic bird of Santa Cruz in critical danger of extinction.

 

 

Towards the end of 2011, the National Park Administration committed to the project by considering the Buenos Aires Lake Plateau as a relevant area of the Patagonian steppe because of its natural and cultural values. This new protected area, of great scenic beauty, contributes to the conservation of endemic species such as the hooded grebe, mountain chinchilla, reptiles, and high mountain vegetation. In turn, the plateau and its surroundings exhibit, almost intact, numerous archaeological deposits of high patrimonial value. In addition, the area includes the only flatland glacier in South America.

 

 

So far, Fundación Flora y Fauna Argentina has bought and donated around 84,000 acres, which are now part of the Patagonia National Park. At the same time another 210,000 acres have been acquired, and more than 136,000 acres are in the process of being acquired, with the objective of being donated to the National State to increase the territory of this park.

 

From 2013, FFyFA has increased its presence in the nearby localities by outreach activities and environmental education, while promoting local and regional stakeholders to visit the area. Likewise, the facilities of a nearby ranch were loaned to the Foundation to be used as a Biological Station for the Hooded Grebe Project activities and to function as a basis for other scientific research to be carried out in the zone.

 

 

Within the lands acquired by the foundation, there is the emblematic Cueva de las manos (Hands Cave) on the Pinturas River, declared World Heritage Site by its wonderful pictographs made by the first hunter-gatherers of Patagonia. Currently, the foundation works together with the Perito Moreno community to promote the protection, valorization and rational touristic use of this site.

 

 

Plateaus, canyons and steppes, together with turquoise lakes and streams, and green forests combine into wonderful colors and landscapes. This, together with the possibility of visiting the archaeological ruins, of sighting a puma and seeing the hooded grebe, make the site a wonderful treasure for ecotourism.

 

Our dream is that one day this park could join the Patagonia National Park that is being created in Chile, and that both countries form a large bi-national park and tourist destination, in what could be the Yellowstone of South America.

 

 

Photos: Jorge Cazenave, Antonio Vizcaino, Hernán Povedano

 

Location

The project is located in the Province of Santa Cruz, in the area of the Buenos Aires Lake Plateau, to the south of the localities of Los Antiguos and Perito Moreno.

 

 

This project is developed together with Aves Argentinas and Asociación Ambiente Sur.

 

Copyright 2014–2017 • Fundación Flora y Fauna Argentina