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2 new marine protected areas created on Argentina's southern coasts
Date:3/13/2013

seminal voyage aboard the HMS Beagle. Makenke Coastal Marine Park now borders the inlet of San Julian, where in 1520 Ferdinand Magellan executed and marooned a group of mutineers intent on aborting what would become the world's first circumnavigation of the globe.

"We commend the National Congress in Argentina for passing laws to create these new marine parks, which will protect the country's natural heritage given what will likely be an increase in development along the coast in years to come," said Dr. Julie Kunen, Director for WCS's Latin America and Caribbean Program.

Dr. Caleb McClennen, Director of WCS's Marine Program, said: "Isla Pingino and Makenke Coastal Marine Parks continue a tradition of conservation teamwork, with organizations such as WCS providing support to the government in protecting both coastal breeding areas for mammals and birds and the marine habitats they rely upon."

Isla Pingino and Makenke Coastal Marine Parks were made possible as a result of work conducted by Dr. Patricia Gandini, President of the National Parks Service, and Dr. Esteban Frere of the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral. Both biologists began studying the wildlife of the coast of Santa Cruz with support of WCS in 1985.

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 Fundacin Patagonia Natural with support from the Global Environmental Facility and the UNDP (United Nations Development Program). Support for the research was also provided by the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientficas y Tcnicas (Conicet).

WCS has been involved in the conservation of coastal Patagonia since the 1970s, beginning with Dr. Roger Payne's behavioral work on southern right whales, and continues to this day with research by WCS's Global Health Program on new threats to their survival. WCS began a long-running
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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