Kawésqar National Park
| Chile |
Area: 7,023,542 acres (2,842,329 hectares)
Estimated Carbon Storage: 2,082.6 million metric tonnes
Chile’s grand archipelago, a mosaic of virtually untouched mountain ranges, forests, glaciers, fjords, lakes, wetlands, and valleys, forms the rugged landscape of Kawésqar, now Chile’s second-largest national park. A complementary marine protected area, Kawésqar National Reserve, covers roughly 6.5 million acres along the coast; its maze of channels, estuaries, and fjords provides superb habitat for fish and marine mammals. The name of the combined new park and marine protected area honors the indigenous Kawésqar people. Magallanes rainforest dominates the landscape with various species in the genus Nothofagus (the southern beeches). Notable wildlife species include huemul deer, puma, wildcat, Andean fox, and Patagonian fox.
As part of the parklands expansion agreement between Chile and Tompkins Conservation, the former Alacalufes National Reserve was combined with private land donated by Tompkins Conservation and upgraded to national park status in 2018. Due largely to the efforts of the local Kawésqar community, conservation organizations, and government officials, a complementary coastal national reserve was designated at the same time.