From its forests, fjords, and glaciers to its pumas, penguins, and whales, the region and its many treasures are worthy of conservation
Snowcapped mountains, vast glaciers, turquoise waters, and lush forests help make Chile’s Patagonia region one of the world’s last unspoiled areas.© The Pew Charitable Trusts
Chilean Patagonia is a region of dazzling natural abundance—snowy peaks nearly 4,000 meters (over 13,000 feet) tall rise above crystalline lakes and rivers, which wend through glacially carved valleys and dense forests to a wild coastline rich with wildlife. In the coming years, The Pew Charitable Trusts and its partners in the region—including the Patagonia Mar y Tierra working group—will work together to secure new and enhanced protections for significant stretches of its land and nearshore waters.
In addition to strengthening area parks’ protections to meet international standards, Pew and its partners aim to establish safeguards for national reserves, limit activities that may threaten the region’s ecological integrity, and create additional protected areas from public and private lands.
Here’s a look at the landscapes and wildlife these groups are working to conserve, in collaboration with local communities.
The jagged Cerro Castillo rises 8,776 feet above sea level in Patagonia’s Aysén region, home to some of the world’s most magnificent mountain ranges.© The Pew Charitable Trusts
Rio Baker, whose turquoise water gets its characteristic hue from glacial sediments, runs through the heart of Patagonia, drawing many appreciative visitors. One of Chile's largest rivers, it flows along the east side of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field to the Pacific Ocean.© The Pew Charitable Trusts
Native guanacos, a relative of the camel, roam in Valle Chacabuco, an integral part of the new Patagonia National Park, which conservationists Doug and Kris Tompkins have championed for decades. The grasslands of this former sheep ranch, which the couple donated to help create the park, also support populations of flamingos, pumas, endangered Huemul deer, and migratory birds.© The Pew Charitable Trusts
Sheltered bays, estuaries, and fjords like this one closely connect land and sea in southern Chile.© The Pew Charitable Trusts
A whale breaches in Patagonia’s near-pristine waters, which teem with wildlife, including penguins, sea lions, and blue and humpback whales. The whales raise their young in southern Patagonia’s largely unprotected waters.© The Pew Charitable Trusts
Sea lions lounge on the rocky shores of Bernardo O’Higgins National Park in southern Patagonia.© The Pew Charitable Trusts
Millions of acres of dense, unspoiled forests—including this one near Coyhaique—stretch across the Aysén region.© The Pew Charitable Trusts
Francisco Solís Germani directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ work in Chile’s Patagonia region.