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Argentinean coastal wildlife haven declared Biosphere Reserve

Four million acres in southern Argentina declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
  Wikimedia Commons
Peninsula Valdés, Argentina
Patagonia’s Peninsula Valdés teeming with wildlife
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“Península Valdés is one of the great natural wonders of Latin America with greater concentrations of wildlife than any other area on the entire coast of Patagonia.”

—Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO

Situated in Argentina’s Patagonia region, the rugged Peninsula Valdés in Chubut Province is teeming with wildlife. The area is home to the largest breeding colony of southern elephant seals in South America as well as 70,000 pairs of Magellanic penguins, over 10,000 South American sea lions, cormorants, gulls, terns, and nearly 4,000 southern right whales, nearly one third of the world’s remaining breeding population. On land, the peninsula supports over 4,000 guanacos and some of the highest densities of maras and Darwin’s rheas in Patagonia.

The new reserve encompasses over four million acres and will be divided into core areas, buffer zones and transition areas. The designation includes a previously unprotected area known as Punta Ninfas and increases protection for the wildlife and its adjacent coastal waters.

“Península Valdés is one of the great natural wonders of Latin America with greater concentrations of wildlife than any other area on the entire coast of Patagonia,” said WCS President and CEO Cristián Samper. “Making this incredible area region a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is the culmination of years of hard work by many great partners.”

The new Biosphere Reserve was designated by the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme at its 26th session in Jönkoping, Sweden. The designation means the region, currently a provincial protected area, will work to reconcile sustainable economic growth, social development, and environmental protection.

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