NEW YORK (March 13, 2013)The Wildlife Conservation Society applauds the Government of Argentina for creating two enormous marine protected areas in Patagonia, a region filled with majestic shorelines and abundant wildlife.
The new marine parksIsla Pingino Coastal Marine Park and Makenke Coastal Marine Parkwere recently established by the National Congress in Argentina and will safeguard sea lions, penguins, dolphins, and other marine and coastal species.
"We commend the Government of Argentina for their conservation stewardship in creating this new network of marine protected areas," said Dr. Cristin Samper, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "Isla Pingino and Makenke Coastal Marine Parks now protect vital wildlife populations for posterity and create new opportunities for Argentina's ecotourism industry."
Stretching some 80 miles south of Puerto Deseado and extending 12 miles out to sea, Isla Pingino covers nearly 1,800 square kilometers (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 of imperial cormorants found anywhere (with more than 8,000 breeding pairs). Isla Pingino also boasts one of the only colonies of rockhopper penguins on the coast of Patagonia.
Farther south, the Makenke Coastal Marine Park begins at the entrance of the Ra San Julin, covering almost 600 square kilometers (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 but spectacular black and white Commerson's dolphin
Both marine protected areas are steeped in history as well as natural wonders. Charles Darwin traveled to the region now contained in Isla Pingino in 1833, describing the wildlife he observed there during his
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Wildlife Conservation Society