Argentina Produces Two Marine Protected Areas

Two coastal have been created in Patagonia, Argentina to help safeguard sea lions, penguins, dolphins, and other sea life.

The Government of Argentina is being applauded by the Wildlife Conservation Society for creating two marine protected areas in Patagonia, a region that is filled with majestic shorelines and abundant wildlife. The two parks, Isla Pingüino Coastal Marine Park and Makenke Coastal Marine Park, were recently produced by the National Congress in Argentina to safeguard marine and coastal species in the area.

“We commend the Government of Argentina for their conservation stewardship in creating this new network of marine protected areas,” said Dr. Cristián Samper, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. “Isla Pingüino and Makenke Coastal Marine Parks now protect vital wildlife populations for posterity and create new opportunities for Argentina’s ecotourism industry.”

Isla Pingüino covers nearly 720 square miles of ocean and cliff-bordered coastline. The new protected area contains large populations of South American sea lions, red-legged cormorants, and one of the largest colonies (more than 8,000 breeding pairs) of imperial cormorants found anywhere. Isla Pingüino also boasts one of the only colonies of rockhopper penguins on the coast of Patagonia.

Makenke Coastal Marine Park covers almost 230 square miles of shore and ocean. The park contains the largest colony of rare red-legged cormorants in the country. It also protects breeding colonies of the dolphin gull, a rare scavenger, and pods of the small black and white Commerson’s dolphins.

Both areas were identified as priority conservation sites by the Patagonia Coastal Zone Management Plan project, carried out by both the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Fundación Patagonia Natural with support from the Global Environmental Facility and the UNDP (United Nations Development Program).