Category Archives: Other

Rewilding Argentina moves forward with the first birthday of Ibera’s Jaguar Cubs

CORRIENTES On June 6, Argentina will mark the one-year birthday of two jaguar cubs, the first born in the province of Corrientes in over 70 years. Arami and Mbarete, sister and brother, will play a key role in the pioneering rewilding project of CLT Argentina (Conservation Land Trust), the foundation created by Tompkins Conservation. In the coming year, the cubs will be prepared for their eventual release in the vast protected wetlands of Iberá.

Jaguar cubs

The largest feline in the Americas, jaguars (Panthera onca) were once found from southwestern United States to Argentina. Today, the species is in critical danger of extinction in Argentina, having lost 95% of its historic range. The fragmentation of jaguar territory throughout the Americas has caused the worldwide population to fall by up to 25 percent in just over two decades.

Sebastián Di Martino, Rewilding Director of CLT Argentina, emphasized, “The jaguar occupies the top of the food chain in Iberá. Its presence is vital to achieve a healthy and complete ecosystem with a full complement of species serving their ecological role.”

The huge protected area of the adjoining Iberá National Park and Iberá Provincial Park offers ideal conditions for the comeback of the jaguar. The cubs are the first of their species born in the Jaguar Reintroduction Center, a state-of-the-art facility and the largest onsite breeding center for felines in the Americas. The cubs live in a specially-designed enclosure of 1.5 hectares with their mother, Tania. Remote video cameras provide wildlife technicians with detailed knowledge of the cubs’ development, while avoiding direct human contact which would compromise their ability to survive in the wild.

The center currently houses eight jaguars, including four reproductive specimens donated by zoos and rescue centers in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, which cannot be liberated, and four releasable cubs, two of which are orphans rescued from the wild. Tania, the mother of Arami and Mbarete, came from a zoo. Though missing a foot from a previous injury, she learned to hunt wild prey at the center and has shared her newfound expertise with the cubs.

Kristine Tompkins, president of Tompkins Conservation and UN Patron of Protected Areas, said, “After ten years of hard work to bring back the jaguar, we celebrate that these cubs born under our care are thriving at their one year mark. They will one day be the first generation of jaguars returning to roam free in the Iberá wetlands.”

The work of CLT in Iberá was first initiated by Douglas and Kristine Tompkins in 1997. In collaboration with the provincial and national government, the organization has donated over 60,000 hectares to the Argentine state to create the Iberá National Park, where it continues to fight the extinction crisis through working to recover locally extinct fauna, including the giant anteater, the pampas deer, the lowland tapir, the collared peccary and the red and green macaw.

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Rare Andean Deer Found in Chile’s Northern Patagonia

Thanks to an alliance between the non-profit Puelo Patagonia, Tompkins Conservation and the National Geographic Society, researchers have made the first scientific discovery of endangered huemuls (south Andean deer) in the Puelo Valley, a remote area of Chile’s Lakes District. This groundbreaking finding makes evident the need for further monitoring and protection of the species.

Huemul

May 28, 2019- Thanks to the accounts of rural settlers living in a remote region of the Andes, rare huemul deer have been discovered in an area without previous record of the species. While the Puelo Valley is located only one hundred miles from the regional capital of Puerto Montt, via an unpaved road and ferry transit on the Tagua Tagua Lake, this mountainous region near the Argentine border has seen little development. The first road arrived to the area only in the last few decades. The area currently lacks the official protection that a park or reserve status would bring.

Native to Chile and Argentina, the huemul deer has been reduced to a population of approximately 2000 individuals. It is considered extremely endangered due to threats upon its natural habitat, which include cattle, domestic dogs and wild boar. Distributed between both countries, the huemul is increasingly restricted to remote sectors that are difficult to access. Continuing this monitoring program to collect scientific data on the behavior of the species will be crucial in developing conservation plans using a cross-border approach in conjunction with non-governmental organizations, the state and local communities.

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The finding is nothing short of a milestone, according to Andrés Diez, Project Coordinator of Puelo Patagonia. He explained, “Now it’s vital to guide public and private efforts to ensure the conservation of this population of huemuls in the long term.” For Diez, the Puelo river basin represents the biodiversity of the austral Andes, “By protecting the huemul, we are ensuring the conservation of one of the most emblematic species of our country.”

Trap cameras installed by wildlife experts documented the presence of adult deer, both male and female, and fawns. The study proceeded under the technical direction of the Wildlife-Rewilding team of Tompkins Conservation, a foundation with a successful huemul conservation program in Patagonia National Park since 2005.

huemul4

Cristián Saucedo, administrator of the Tompkins Conservation Wildlife Program, explained that the initiative will continue to develop over the course of a year. After documenting the presence of the species, he noted that the coalition will propose conservation strategies with a transboundary approach, “huemuls, condors and other species are an integral part of the Patagonian Andean ecosystem shared by both Chile and Argentina.”

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Game-changing Agreement for National Parks and Community Development in Chilean Patagonia

10-05.19b

The President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, came to an agreement today with an international conservation coalition led by Tompkins Conservation and The Pew Charitable Trusts to create a finance mechanism for the permanent, long-term management of the Route of Parks of Patagonia. The Route of Parks Fund: Protecting Patagonia Forever will implement sweeping improvements to national parks, increase their benefit to the communities of southern Chile, and bolster the long-term conservation of one of the last wild places on Earth.

Santiago, Chile, 10th May, 2019

The Chilean government has agreed on a proposal by a coalition of conservationists led by Tompkins Conservation and The Pew Charitable Trusts to ensure the future conservation of Patagonia. The fund uses an investment tool developed by financiers called Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) to provide an innovative solution to some of the most pressing needs of Patagonia, including long term national park funding, economic development, and climate change mitigation.

The funding is destined toward The Route of Parks, a 1,700-mile network of 17 national parks and over 60 Patagonian communities between Puerto Montt and Cape Horn. Over an extended period, the investment will elevate the national parks to international standards, ensure government financing towards permanent conservation and help neighboring communities to benefit from fast-growing domestic and international tourism. The exact dollar amount of the fund remains to be determined, as stakeholders, including the local communities, collaborate to develop the plan and calculate its costs over the coming months.

“This is a strategic alliance with a very moral significance to protect our parks, to expand our parks, and this is not only out of respect for nature, but also for our children, our grandchildren and future generations”, President Piñera said after a meeting held at La Moneda presidential palace with Tompkins Conservation and The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The project is an instrumental response to the challenge of financing and managing a dramatically expanding park system after Tompkins Conservation’s historic donation to the state of Chile created seven new national parks in Patagonia and expanded three others. For Kristine Tompkins, President of Tompkins Conservation and UN Patron of Protected Areas, the milestone takes Chile one step further in becoming international model for conservation. She explains, “We consider this fund to be a keystone of our commitment with Chile post-donation to ensure the well-being of Patagonia’s national parks and the local communities. We are helping to conserve one of the most pristine corners of the planet.”

Francisco Solís Germani, director of the Chilean Patagonia project at The Pew Charitable Trusts explained “This is a unique opportunity to give our national parks the world-class protections they deserve. Working with the gateway communities of the national parks of Patagonia, and through the application of science and technical support, this innovative fund will help ensure that the heritage of the parks is conserved for future generations.”
Chile intends to innovate beyond similar landmark conservation projects implemented in Costa Rica (US$55 million), Bhutan (US$40 million) and the Brazilian Amazon (US$250 million). Park investment in Chile is approximately US$5.1 million per year for the national parks in Patagonia. Chile invests only US$1.54 per hectare in its national parks, far less than Peru (US$7), Costa Rica (US$30), or the United States (US$92). This commitment to increase investment in parks will position Chile to receive greater benefits from these natural and economic assets as tourism to the region grows.

10-05.19

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Extinct in Argentina, the Giant River Otter returns to Esteros de Iberá

The first attempt to reintroduce an extinct mammal in Argentina brings hope for restored ecosystems and increased ecotourism opportunities based on wildlife watching

Friday, March 22, 2019

The first giant river otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) have arrived to the Argentine province of Corrientes. The event is considered a vital part of an ambitious rewilding project pioneered by CLT Argentina (Conservation Land Trust), the foundation created by Tompkins Conservation, in conjunction with the province of Corrientes, and the collaboration of diverse national entities. The arrival of Lobo, a four-year-old male from the Parken Zoo of Eskilstuna, Sweden, and Alondra, an eight-year-old female from the Budapest Zoo in Hungary, hails the return of the top aquatic predator to the Iberá wetlands.

Credit: Ramón Moller Jensen

Credit: Ramón Moller Jensen

Along with illegal hunting and coastal development, the construction of large-scale dams contributed to the species’ extinction in the middle of the 20th century. In areas where the animal is currently found, including Brazil’s Pantanal and the Amazon region, the animal has become a key attraction for wildlife watching and conservation-based tourism.

According to Kris Tompkins, President of Tompkins Conservation and UN Patron of Protected Areas, the arrival of the giant otters marks a significant step forward for the rewilding of the Iberá wetlands.

“We are creating a model for rewilding that can be applied to areas around the world,” says Tompkins. “As a conservation foundation all of our work is focused on strategies that fight the species extinction crisis that we face – from creating national parks to bringing back those species that have gone missing.”

The giant river otter is endangered in the majority of the countries countries where it is currently found. Sebastián Di Martino, the director of conservation of CLT Argentina, acknowledges that the huge protected area offered by the adjoining Iberá National Park and Iberá Provincial Park offers ideal conditions for its reintroduction. “The project’s principal objective is for Iberá to continue to become whole and functional from an ecological perspective, especially now that the threats which had originally led the giant otter to extinction are no longer present.”

Credit: Jorge Peña

Credit: Jorge Peña

Reaching up to 1.8 meters long, the giant otter is the largest aquatic mammal in the region and the longest otter worldwide. Characterized by a flat tail and white throat, they are usually active during daytime, as well as territorial. A social animal, giant otters live in family groups of up to fifteen individuals and subsist primarily on fish.

The process of adapting these animals to life in the wild will require an extended quarantine period with routine check ups in San Cayetano, Corrientes. The pair will gradually be introduced to each other before their release in the heart of the wetlands in San Alonso.

The rewilding project has long term plans to continue until a healthy population of giant otters can reestablish itself in Argentina.

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Kristine Tompkins Celebrates Implementation of Network of National Parks of the Chilean Patagonia and Signs Commitment to Collaborate with Chile’s Minister of National Assets

Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park, Chile February 11, 2019

Chile’s Minister of National Assets, Felipe Ward, joined Kris Tompkins at Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park to celebrate the establishment of the Network of National Parks of Chilean Patagonia, which includes eight national parks.

“After a long process, thanks to the largest private donation in history for conservation purposes, we have reached the culmination of this network of parks. It is a very important milestone because national parks are a garden that belongs to all Chileans, and we have to take care of them,” said Minister Felipe Ward during his visit to Pumalin Douglas Tompkins National Park.

This network was established with the donation of over 1 million acres (407,000 hectares) from Tompkins Conservation in March 2017, which added to Chile’s contributions and allowed for the creation of 5 National Parks (Melimoyu, Patagonia, Kawésqar, Cerro Castillo, and Pumalin Douglas Tompkins) and the expansion of three others (Hornopirén, Corcovado and Isla Magdalena). In total, the network is over 11 million acres (4.5 million hectares).  

The Minister of National Assets and Kristine Tompkins also signed an agreement whereby the minister is committed to supporting the Route of Parks of Chilean Patagonia, a 1,700-mile scenic route between Puerto Montt and Cape Horn, which connects 17 National Parks and 60 communities, offering an opportunity for local economic development through tourism as a consequence of conservation.

“The Network of Parks is the origin of something even bigger: The Route of Parks of Chilean Patagonia, which protects more than 28 million acres (11.5 million hectares) under the category of National Parks. Chile is a leader in conservation, thanks to strong collaboration between the public and private sectors. The Route of Parks will not only serve as an effective tool to preserve ecosystems and counteract climate change, but will boost local economies,” added Kristine Tompkins.

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Kawésqar National Park: The Second Largest National Park in Chile is Created

The new Kawésqar National Park includes over 7 million acres of protected terrestrial land, while protecting almost 6.5  million acres of surrounding marine areas under the National Reserve category. With this milestone, the Protocol of Agreement signed between Tompkins Conservation and the State of Chile for the creation of the Network of National Parks of the Chilean Patagonia.

Photo Credit: Antonio Vizcaíno

Photo Credit: Antonio Vizcaíno

Santiago, Chile 

Made up of over 7 million acres of virgin ecosystems, the new Kawésqar National Park is the second largest national park in the country, after Bernardo O’Higgins National Park (over 8.6 million acres). Thanks to the Protocol of Agreement signed between the State of Chile and Tompkins Conservation in March 2017 and the acceptance of a new decree,  Kawésqar National Park, located in the Magallanes region, has become reality. The March decree led to the creation of five new National Parks (Melimoyu, Patagonia, Kawésqar, Cerro Castillo and Pumalín Douglas Tompkins) and the extension of three others (Hornopirén, Corcovado and Isla Magdalena).

Carolina Morgado, executive director of Tompkins Conservation Chile, said: “This is the last decree that was missing from the Protocol of Agreement signed during the administration of President Michelle Bachelet. With this milestone, the Network of Parks is created, which is the starting point of the Patagonian Parks Route, a scenic route encompassing  17 National Parks and more than 60 surrounding communities. The route spans over 1,700 miles, between Puerto Montt and Cabo de Hornos, where tourism as a consequence of conservation becomes an alternative for local economic development.”

Kristine Tompkins, President of Tompkins Conservation and UN Environment Patron of Protected Areas, said: “Chile is a global example of conservation, given that more than 20% of its territory is protected, while marine protected areas reach more than 40% of the Exclusive Economic Zone. This has been possible thanks to the work of different actors of the public and private sector, who have seen in conservation not only an effective tool to preserve ecosystems and counteract climate change, but also as an engine of local economies.” The environmental leader added: “Personally I would like to congratulate the different governments of Chile that have worked hard for the creation of five new National Parks and the extension of three others. The Tompkins Conservation team has worked hand in hand with the different administrations to make these parks a reality, so I would also like to highlight their effort and commitment.”

Photo Credit: Antonio Vizcaíno

Photo Credit: Antonio Vizcaíno

The new Kawésqar National Park incorporates the former Alacalufes Forest Reserve, new fiscal land and the donation from Tompkins Conservation. In addition, the approximately 6.5 million acres of marine areas are protected under the category of National Reserve. Its landscapes are a mosaic composed of mountain ranges, forests, glaciers, fjords, lakes, wetlands and valleys that form virgin ecosystems of unparalleled beauty and habitat of a great diversity of species. The Magallanes Rainforest dominates the landscape with species such as Coigue de Magallanes, Ciprés de las Guaitecas and Canelo. In terms of fauna, Huemul, Puma, Gato Montés, Culpeo Fox and Chilla stand out, as well as several bird species.

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Two New Jaguars Join the Wildlife Reintroduction Project in Iberá National Park

Corrientes Province, Argentina

Two female jaguars, each less than two years old, are being incorporated into the Jaguar Reintroduction Project based in Iberá Park and led by The Conservation Land Trust (CLT)—founded by Tompkins Conservation—and the government of Corrientes Province, Argentina.

Juruna—whose name means black mouth in Guarani, the native language of Iberá— and Mariua—whose name refers to a region in Brazil—come from the Scientific Breeding Institute NEX located in Aparecida de Loloia, a small town north of Brasilia, Brazil. These two jaguars were brought there when they were a few months old by the authorities of the Brazilian Environment Institute after poachers killed their mother. While at that center, they received the necessary attention to be able to be translocated to the Jaguar Reintroduction Project in Iberá Park, Argentina.

Credit: Matías Rebak

Credit: Matías Rebak

Juruna and Mariua underwent medical examinations while in Brazil to evaluate their genetic health and overall well-being to ensure that they could be incorporated into the Jaguar Reintroduction Project. Health examinations will continue while they are in quarantine in Corrientes, Argentina, where they will stay for approximately one month until they are transferred to the Jaguar Reintroduction Center.

The Jaguar Reintroduction Center already holds five adult jaguars and two cubs, which were born in June 2018 after more than half a century of the species’ absence from the region. The center was built in 2015 as part of CLT’s Rewilding program with the help of many institutions, organizations, companies, and the people of Corrientes. Juruna and Mariua are the sixth and seventh individuals to be incorporated into the project, adding to the other five jaguars from other rescue centers and zoos from Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil.

Credit: Matías Rebak

Credit: Matías Rebak

The transfer of these jaguars highlights the joint work of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers such as NEX, conservation projects such as the one carried out by CLT, the Corrientes government, and the Brazilian and Argentine governments through the environmental authorities (Environment and Sustainable Development Office), sanitation authorities (SENASA), and customs, to enable the arrival of Juruna and Mariua to Argentina.

What is the role of Jaguars in Iberá?

The jaguar is the largest feline in the Americas, and is currently in critical danger of extinction in Argentina, where it is estimated that around 200 individuals remain. It has been the top predator of the Iberá wetlands, and its presence in this environment is essential in order to  maintain a healthy ecosystem and support the local communities surrounding the park.

Jaguars’ beauty, symbolism, and cultural significance in Corrientes represent an opportunity for ecotourism, which promotes economic development and pride in the surrounding communities. This has been the case in the Pantanal of Brazil, where sightings of jaguars in their natural environment have become an international ecotourism attraction.

Credit: Matías Rebak

Credit: Matías Rebak

About Tompkins Conservation and CLT

Tompkins Conservation was founded by Kristine and Douglas (1943–2015) Tompkins, business leaders from iconic American clothing brands including The North Face, Esprit, and Patagonia, Inc., who changed the course of their lives more than 25 years ago to devote their funds, time, and passion to help protect wild nature in Chile and Argentina.

Tompkins Conservation has been working on the creation of national parks in Argentina since 1997 through CLT, totalling more than 1.2 million acres of protected land throughout the country. To this end, the foundation acquires and restores private lands, reintroducing their missing native species and working with local communities so that they can benefit from the transformation of their regional economies once the acquired lands become public. Finally, they donate the land to the national government in order to ensure its preservation by law within the maximum protection category. CLT’s mission is to promote the next economy through conservation and rewilding, to benefit the human and nonhuman world. The projects in Argentina are Iberá National Park, El Impenetrable National Park, Patagonia Park, and Marine Protected Areas Yaganes and Namuncurá – Banco Burdwood II.

Press Contact:

Pía Moya L.

pia.moya@tompkinsconservation.org

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Argentina Creates First Two Marine National Parks Comprising Over 25 Million Acres

  •  The country reaches almost 10% of protected sea honoring its commitment for the year 2020.
  •  These areas will  preserve species and benefit fishing activities by recovering stocks and improving captures surrounding the reserve.
Photo Credit: Lyra Films

Photo Credit: Lyra Films

December 12, 2018 — Buenos Aires, Argentina

 Today Argentina approved by law the creation of two marine protected areas, “Yaganes” and “Namuncurá-Banco Burdwood II”, in the southernmost area of the Argentine sea, thus increasing to nearly 10% the country’s marine protected areas, honoring the nation’s commitment to the 2020 goal agreed on by the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The approval of this law is the result of a long participatory process carried on by experts from national ministries, scientific institutions and civic organizations, which started with the identification of areas of high conservation value and the analysis of the Argentine sea based on criteria defined by the CBD.

“This is a great moment for our country. About 36% of the Argentine territory is marine, of which only 2.6% was protected, until today. With this new law, we are reaching a goal established by the National Government and supported by the whole political spectrum that enacted this law,” declared Martina Sasso, coordinator of the Marine Program of Conservation Land Trust (CLT) Argentina, the organization founded by Tompkins Conservation.

Photo Credit: Lyra Films
Photo Credit: Lyra Films

These new areas harbor continental slope waters with cold-water coral reefs, an ecosystem that is considered globally vulnerable. These marine protected areas seek to preserve the whole ecosystem, which includes feeding and breeding zones of attractive commercial species, and migratory routes of large marine mammals. Additionally, Yaganes MPA borders the recently created Cabo de Hornos marine park in Chile. With the creation of this marine protected area in Argentina, the whole exclusive economic zones of both countries on the Drake Passage will be managed with a conservation focus.

Kristine Tompkins, president of Tompkins Conservation, expressed: “I am especially pleased to hear that Argentina has taken an enormous ecological leap forward and declared over 25 million acres of new marine parks in the southern Atlantic ocean. This brings the country to nearly 10% protection of its total marine systems, making an historic move on the part of President Macri’s government and showing that treaties to conserve and preserve ecological systems are working. As a representative of the United Nations for Global Protected Areas I am especially pleased that Tompkins Conservation could play a role in establishing these parks, along many other groups and individuals. TC looks forward to working together with the Argentine Government and other NGOs and foundations toward new, high level conservation.”

Photo Credit: Lyra Films
Photo Credit: Lyra Films

Economic and conservation benefits

Marine protected areas contribute to fishing activities in the long term, by allowing the recovery of stocks and improving captures surrounding the reserve. These areas help fisheries apply for and obtain sustainability certifications, enabling them to reach high-standards markets and thus get higher profitability.

MPAs are also an essential tool for conservation: they restore populations of species of commercial interest, protect marine biodiversity and critical habitats, and favor climate change by protecting marine species that play a significant role on carbon storage. Additionally, MPAs encourage scientific research and education, and protect sites of cultural and archeological interest.

About Tompkins Conservation and CLT

Tompkins Conservation was founded by Kristine and Douglas (1943–2015) Tompkins, business leaders from iconic American clothing brands including The North Face, Esprit, and Patagonia, Inc., who changed the course of their lives more than 25 years ago to devote their funds, time, and passion to help protect wild nature in Chile and Argentina.  Tompkins Conservation has been working on the creation of national parks in Argentina since 1997 through CLT, totalling about half a million hectares of protected land along the country. To meet this end, the foundation acquires and restores private lands, reintroducing their missing native species and working with local communities so that they can benefit from the transformation of their regional economies once the acquired lands become public. Finally, they donate the land to the national government in order to ensure its preservation by law within the maximum protection category. CLT’s mission is to promote a next economy through conservation and rewilding, to benefit the human and nonhuman world. The projects in Argentina are Iberá National Park, El Impenetrable National Park, Patagonia Park, and Marine Protected Areas Yaganes and Namuncurá – Banco Burdwood II. CLT’s marine conservation program supports the national government on the compliance of its commitments to protect 10% of its marine systems, working along provincial governments to protect coastal areas of high priority on the blue corridor and the bioceanic peace park.

Press Contact

Pía Moya L.

pia.moya@tompkinsconservation.org

Photo Credit: Lyra Films
Photo Credit: Lyra Films

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Iberá National Park Established by Argentine Congress

New combined protected area forms largest nature park in Argentina

Photo Credit: Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

Photo Credit: Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

PRESS RELEASE

December 5, 2018 — Buenos Aires, Argentina

On December 5, 2018, the Congress of Argentina passed legislation approving the creation of Iberá National Park, located in northeastern Argentina, ensuring the long-term conservation of the almost 395,000 acres it encompasses. Douglas and Kristine Tompkins established the two foundations through which this land was donated: Conservation Land Trust (CLT) and Flora and Fauna Argentina. The Argentine Congress has now ratified this land’s long-term protection, consistent with Argentina and President Mauricio Macri’s goals to increase Argentina’s protected areas.  It is estimated that in 10 years, Iberá Park will receive more than 100,000 visitors each year, promoting economic prosperity as a result of conservation.

The new national park adds to the adjacent 1.3-million-acre Iberá Provincial Park. At a combined approximately 1.76-million acres, Iberá Park is now the largest nature park in Argentina and one of the most biologically diverse areas of the country. Centered on the great Iberá marshlands of Corrientes Province (one of the largest freshwater wetlands complexes in South America), Iberá Park’s diverse habitats of water, grasslands, and forest are home to some 4,000 species of flora and fauna (almost 30 percent of the total recognized in Argentina). The park is also home to the most ambitious program of “rewilding”—efforts to restore natural processes and reintroduce missing species—in South America.

“Today is a day to celebrate,” said Kristine Tompkins, president of Tompkins Conservation. “For the wildlife at home here, for the people of Argentina, and for future generations who will experience this amazing landscape’s beauty and biodiversity, the new park’s designation is a great victory.”

Photo Credit: Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

Photo Credit: Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

Congressional approval of the law establishing the park reflects collaboration between Tompkins Conservation’s CLT Argentina team, the national and provincial governments, and various other institutions, in addition to the support of Iberá’s surrounding communities.

“After many years of work, the vision of the people of Corrientes and Doug Tompkins to create Iberá National Park is finally fulfilled,” said Sofía Heinonen, Executive Director of CLT Argentina. “With the proclamation of this new National Park, together with the neighboring Provincial Park, the natural and cultural heritage of Iberá is fully protected. The result is a world-class tourist attraction for birding and wildlife watching.”

Photo Credit: Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

Photo Credit: Juan Ramón Díaz Colodraro

 About Tompkins Conservation:

Tompkins Conservation was founded by Kristine and Douglas (1943–2015) Tompkins, business leaders from iconic American clothing brands including The North Face, Esprit, and Patagonia, Inc., who changed the course of their lives more than 25 years ago to devote their funds, time, and passion to help protect wild nature. The Tompkinses concluded that creating large national parks where evolutionary processes could take their course was the most effective way to combat biodiversity loss. National parks represent the “gold standard” of conservation, offering a unique set of ecological, cultural, ​​and economic benefits. To date, the organization and its partners including local and national governments, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, activists, and fellow conservationists have protected roughly 13 million acres of parklands in Chile and Argentina. Tompkins Conservation is the leader in the Americas in “rewilding”—restoring ecosystems and reintroducing wildlife that has disappeared from a region because of human pressures.

Press Contact:

Marian Labourt

cltprensa@gmail.com

Photo Credit: Matías Rebak

Photo Credit: Matías Rebak

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New Museum and Visitor Center in Patagonia Park Unveiled

Located in the Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia, the new Patagonia Park Museum and Visitor Center combines the aesthetics of a nineteenth century museum of natural history with modern technology and attractive, interactive elements.

Why National Parks? This is the question explored in the new Patagonia Park Museum and Visitor Center, which interactively presents the landscape and cultural history of the Chacabuco Valley, incorporating a moving and inspiring story about the importance of National Parks and ecological loss and recovery.

Photo Credit: Linde Waidhofer

Photo Credit: Linde Waidhofer

Located in the commune of Cochrane within Chile’s Aysén region, the new Museum and Visitor Center combines the aesthetics of a nineteenth-century museum of natural history with modern technology and interactive elements. It is composed of a large central room that is subdivided into four areas that cover the ecosocial crisis, nature, culture, and activism, as well as an experiential space with an audiovisual show.

The interpretive center was opened by Tompkins Conservation President Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, who noted: “This Visitor Center was Doug’s dream that emerged more than 10 years ago, and today, has become a reality thanks to the people and foundations that supported this initiative. With this museum, we want to generate a culture of conservation, inviting visitors to be inspired by the beauty of the park and to get closer to Patagonia’s great natural and cultural heritage.”

Photo Credit: Linde Waidhofer

Photo Credit: Linde Waidhofer

In this regard, the Executive Director of CONAF, José Manuel Rebolledo, stressed that “through the exhibition and educational story of this center, the aim is to make people aware of how biodiversity is being impacted globally, and the collective action we must take to avoid its progressive deterioration. All of this reveals the public and educational value of protected areas and national parks, while also recovering the history of the area.”

Photo Credit: Linde Waidhofer

Photo Credit: Linde Waidhofer

This Visitor Center is inaugurated on the eve of Patagonia Park becoming an official National Park. At over 750,000 acres, Patagonia National Park will include land donated by Tompkins Conservation; the Jeinimeni and Tamango reserves; plus federal land from the government of Chile.

The museum is open to the public and admission is free. 

Details:

LOCATION:

Patagonia Park, Cochrane, Aysén Region, Chile

HOURS:

Monday – Friday:  9:00-13:00 and 14:00-17:30
Saturday and Sunday:  9:00- 13:00 and 14:30-18:00

(Enter until 30 minutes before the center closes.)

SURFACE AREA:

762 square meters

MUSEOGRAPHY:

Experience Project

ARCHITECTS:

Francisco Morandé Ruiz-Tagle – Douglas R. Tompkins

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