Argentina will create a new park on its "isolated and windswept" Patagonian coast to provide habitat for more than 500,000 penguins and other rare seabirds, the Wildlife Conservation Society said today. The measure has political support, but still must be approved by national and local legislators.
The 250-square-mile park consists of 40 islands, protected waters in Golfo San Jorge and 100 miles of coastline. It will be protected from the encroachment of Argentina's shrimping or oil industries.
"This decision represents a significant commitment by the government to protect one of the most productive and extraordinary marine ecosystems on the planet," said Guillermo Harris, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Argentina Program. "The creation of this park comes in the nick of time for many species that are threatened by the region's fisheries and energy industry."
The new park serves as a nesting and feeding ground for about 20% of the world's population of Magellanic penguin. Other species that will benefit include the southern giant petrels, Southern American fur seals, Olrog's gull, the white-headed steamer duck, and almost a quarter of all imperial and rock cormorants of Argentina.
Graham Harris/Wildlife Conservation Society
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