PATAGONIA AZUL PROJECT
Patagonia steppe and Atlantic coast, with sections of canyons, marshy areas, steep bluffs and rocky beaches.
203,400 metric tons
Important conservation attributes:
Large nesting and breeding colonies of marine birds and mammals, the endangered and endemic white-headed flightless steamer duck, other species that are threatened and close to endangered like Olrog’s gull and Magellanic penguin, important stop-over sites for endangered migratory bird species like the Red knot and ruddy-headed goose.
Boat trips to view marine birds and mammals; Cabo Raso, Cabo Dos Bahías and Bahia Bustamante; snorkeling and diving in forests and meadows of algae and around islands and to explore shipwrecks.
Patagonia Azul Project Coordinator
Diana is a naturalist and adventurer. She received a degree in Nature Conservation in South Africa, that led her to work in several nature reserves in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania. She was the field coordinator for the Macá Tobiano (hooded grebe) Project, an initiative of Aves Argentinas, for three seasons and worked as a field technician on Rewilding Argentina’s projects to reintroduce giant anteaters and red-and-green macaws. Currently she lives in Camarones and coordinates the Patagonia Azul project.
Coordinator of Rewilding for the Patagonia Azul project
Lucas is a digital technician, professional diver, and sailor with a degree in Biological Science. For his doctorate, he studied the behavior and bio-energy of two species of Argentine marine fish, the mero (Argentine seabass) and the salmon (Argentine sandperch). For six years, he participated in the Southern Right Whale Health Monitoring Program and was a sailing instructor. Currently, he coordinates and carries out rewilding work for the Patagonia Azul Project.
The future Patagonia Azul (Blue Patagonia) Park is located on the coast in the province of Chubut, within the Patagonia Azul Biosphere Reserve, which inspired the project’s name. In the area, more than 60 islands and protected bays serve as an important feeding area and nesting and breeding ground for many species of marine birds and mammals. This region is a great opportunity for the conservation and restoration of the environment and of many endangered species, via the process of rewilding.
The Coastal Marine Interjurisdictional Park of Southern Patagonia or PIMCPA is the starting point from which we plan to reinforce and expand the protection of coastal and marine ecosystems, using the model of Nature Production.
The future Patagonia Azul Park will protect a stretch of coast and coastal waters that is one of areas richest in wildlife of the entire Argentine coast. This reserve will become part of the Blue Route, which will cover around 200 kilometers of jagged coastline and will include over 60 islands. Of the sixteen species of marine birds that nest along the Argentine coast, thirteen nest in this area in twenty-one breeding colonies, each of which contain from one to seven species of birds. Some of these are the Southern giant petrel, the Imperial cormorant, the Magellanic cormorant, the endemic Chubut steamer duck and Olrog’s gull. The colony of sea lions on the islands numbers around 4000 animals, which is 20% of the entire population that inhabits this area in the gulf of San Jorge. The richness and abundance of the marine region also attracts whales, orcas and dolphins, while guanacos, rheas, the endemic mara and armadillos range across the land.
However, the introduction of exotic species —rabbits, domestic cats and rats— onto the islands threatens its fragile environments and the colonies of marine birds which have developed on them. In addition, the collection of algae to make agar has deteriorated the sea bed which has had serious impacts on the biologic biodiversity that the forests of algae in this marine zone harbor.
Through Rewilding, our goal is to eliminate the threats that loom over these island environments and their colonies of marine birds, through the eradication of exotic species and by implementing the first restoration of submarine environments in the country, via the regeneration of the forests of algae that once thrived on these sea beds.
In Patagonia Azul, our vision is to create public access gateways or entrances to the Coastal Marine Interjurisdictional Park of Southern Patagonia and the Blue Patagonia Biosphere Reserve, with the objective to develop a nature tourism destination, with services and tourism offerings for visitors of the world who want to experience the beauty and biodiversity of Patagonia.
Our local team works with the municipality of Camarones and with the Ministry of Tourism and Protected Areas of Chubut to develop proposals and plans to promote Camarones, Blue Patagonia and the Blue Patagonia Scenic Route as tourism destinations. These destinations and scenic routes will boost the regional economies due to their unique natural scenery and the richness of terrestrial and marine wildlife.
A culture embedded in the sea and the steppe
ANDRÉS PÉREZ MORENO
Because of its strategic location in relation to the Coastal Marine Interjurisdictional Park of Southern Patagonia and the Cabo de Dos Bahías Provincial Park, we work with the community of Camarones, with the goal of evaluating the feasibility of developing of a new project of Nature Production in the region.
In the initial phase, our objective is to position the town as a tourism center which offers a variety of services to visitors with renewed value given to its own historic attractions. Working with the National Commission of Historic Monuments and the Provincial and National Ministries of Tourism, we hope to expand and extend the number of tourists and the days they spend in the region.