Celebrating a Decade of Conservation in Chile’s Karukinka Landscape
By Bárbara Saavedra and Cristián Samper
On the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego in the Patagonia region of Chile, you’ll find one of the most stunning wild places in the hemisphere, complete with bountiful peat bogs, sub-Antarctic woodlands, windswept steppes, and snow-covered mountain ranges.
Spanning 1,160 square miles, the Karukinka landscape is home to Patagonia’s unique wildlife, including the endangered culpeo fox, the Andean condor, guanacos (wild relatives of the llama), and the Magellanic woodpecker, the largest woodpecker in the Americas. It’s also a place rich in plant species like southern beech, Chilean fire bush, white dog orchid, and sundew.
Karukinka serves as a groundbreaking model of how the private sector can impact conservation. In one of the largest donations ever made for conservation, the investment bank Goldman Sachs generously gave the lands that today form the Karukinka protected area to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in 2004. The bank continues to provide support for basic park operations.
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