We’ve Expanded A Critical Habitat In The Patagonian Steppe Thanks To One Generous Donor

Thanks to the help of the International Living Future Institute and readers like you, GreaterGood.org has expanded the protected space of a critical habitat in Argentina.

Native species like Andean cats, condors, and llamas are facing threats of habitat destruction as local farmers use the Patagonian steppe to let their livestock graze. The Rainforest Site, founded in 2000 to protect vital habitats and endangered flora and fauna, and GreaterGood.org have teamed up with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (Vida Silvestre) to buy back the rights to these lands from the farmers.

With a $20,000 donation from the International Living Future Institute, the Lonco Vaca habitat will be incorporated into the Payunia Reserve, the largest protected area in the steppe.

Andean condors soar over the Patagonian steppe.
Source: Pixabay
Andean condors soar over the Patagonian steppe.

“By buying out the grazing rights from livestock producers we have reached an agreement with the Mendoza provincial government to incorporate these lands into the strictly protected core of the reserve,” said Carina Righi, Director of WCS Argentina.

Guanacos, a type of South American llama, migrate throughout Argentina.
Source: Needpix
Guanacos, a type of South American llama, migrate throughout Argentina.

With more square acreage in the park, a greater number of migratory species will be protected from ranchers and landowners who treat these animals as a nuisance. That includes the guanacos who breed throughout the steppe, endangered Andean cats that are  targeted by livestock farmers, and the condors that make their homes in the mountains nearby.

Andean condor make their homes in the mountains.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Andean condor make their homes in the mountains.

“When I visited the reserve area I was struck by the diversity and volume of animals, like an American Serengeti,” said Tim Kunin, CEO of GreaterGood.com which operates The Rainforest Site.

Andean cats are threatened by ranchers who kill them to protect their livestock.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Andean cats are threatened by ranchers who kill them to protect their livestock.

The purchase of the Lonco Vaca habitat was accepted by the provincial authorities in the summer of 2020.

Guanacos migrate throughout the steppe in search of breeding grounds.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Guanacos migrate throughout the steppe in search of breeding grounds.

“ILFI is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you on this project and make a donation toward the purchase and permanent protection of the Lonco Vaca property,” said Kathleen Smith, LEED Fellow, LFA and Director of Technical Support Services for ILFI.

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