Monte León National Park
| Argentina |
Area: 167,021 acres (67,591 hectares)
Where the semiarid Patagonian steppe ecosystem meets the South Atlantic Ocean in Santa Cruz Province is a mosaic of tide pools, beaches, and interesting landforms sculpted by wind and water over the ages. Monte León was the first coastal national park designated on the Argentine mainland and includes roughly 25 acres of oceanfront. Notable wildlife includes pumas, guanacos, Coscoroba swans, southern sea lions, and Magellanic penguins.
Kris and Doug Tompkins were first alerted to the exceptional private ranch owned by the Braun family by a former director of the Argentine National Parks Administration. Working in partnership with the landowner and the Argentine Wildlife Foundation, Conservacion Patagonica (now Tompkins Conservation) provided the funding to purchase the land for donation to the park system in 2002. The park was formally designated by Congress in 2004.