Other Regional Projects
Alongside the parklands projects we direct and manage, there are other noteworthy nearby projects that we support in spirit and, from time to time, on the ground. While we do not provide funding for these initiatives, we applaud these efforts and coordinate conservation aims with their leaders. Both Chile and Argentina have seen a dramatic increase in private conservation efforts in the past decades. We have supported numerous initiatives as advisors in the past, and will continue to do so into the future.
Two ambitious projects deserve special mention: the Patagonia National Park project in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina and the Impenetrable project in Chaco Province, Argentina. We have not funded either project, but our team has lent expertise and support to both.
The Patagonia National Park project in Argentina aims to establish a new protected area on and around the Meseta Buenos Aires, close to the Chilean border, in the northwest corner of the Santa Cruz Province. A series of lagoons on the Meseta provide key habitat for the endangered Hooded Grebe, a waterfowl species that hangs on the brink of extinction with only a few hundred individuals remaining. The Argentine National Parks Administration is making rapid progress toward designating the core of this area a national park, probably during 2013. Two Argentine NGOs, Aves Argentinas and Ambiente Sur, are spearheading the project, with critical support from a US foundation. With Conservacion Patagonica’s Patagonia National Park—Chile project just across the border, we are delighted to see momentum to create a new protected area in this region. For many decades, we have admired the dramatic scenery and expansive grasslands of this area, but we do not have the resources to take up this massive project ourselves.
The Impenetrable National Park project will establish a new protected area of approximately 370,000 acres of prime wildlife habitat in Chaco Province, Argentina. Both the National Parks Administration are eager to transform this area into a new national park, a rare case of full political support from the inception of such a conservation project. With one check, the entire property could be purchased by a conservation buyer, and quickly transformed into Argentina’s newest National Park. Several conservationists have expressed interest in this project, and our team looks forward to working with the governmental authorities (both provincial and national) to move this bold initiative toward completion.