Voyage to Punta Tombo

Prevented from traveling to La Esperanza due to the fire and blazes, I took a side trip to Punta Tombo Nature Reserve in the province of Chubut.  While there, I spoke with nature guides and park rangers in an effort to assess the state of local wildlife.  Historically, Punta Tombo has been subjected to environmental stress (to see my earlier article, click here).  On the road headed out of Puerto Madryn, onlookers may take in renditions of Argentina’s ancient past.

Dinosaur replica outside the town of Trelew

Outside Punta Tombo, visitors are greeted by a modest museum.  The reserve is characterized by Patagonian steppe, shrubs and vegetation which in theory is adapted to strong winds, dry climate and extreme temperatures.  In addition to Magellanic Penguins, the reserve features rodents such as the Mara and Lesser Cavy, as well as Hairy Armadillo and Seven-Banded Armadillo.

Guanacos in the wildlife refuge

Punta Tombo Nature Reserve is home to the largest colony of Magellanic Penguins in the world.  However, climate change has prompted a decline in the penguin population, and the animals face a variety of threats.  Penguins have a hydro-dynamic body, webbed feet, small feathers and flipper-shaped wings.  The animals  breed on land and feed and migrate at sea.


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