Environmental Profile: Futaleufú Riverkeeper

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Launched in 2012, Futaleufú Riverkeeper is an organization that works to uphold environmental justice principles and promote sustainability in the Futaleufú watershed through a model that combines community involvement and legal action.  Futaleufú Rivekeeper is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international non-profit founded in 1999 that now has more than 200 waterkeeper organizations on six continents, each working locally to protect different bodies of water.  In Chile, the approval of the environmental impact assessment for the HidroAysén dams project in 2011 sparked the creation of Futaleufú Riverkeeper, the first of its kind in Patagonia.   
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River of Desire Excerpts: Doña Dominga

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(Editors note: This is the first in a series of excerpts we will be publishing on our website from British author Simon Worrall’s book The River of Desire: A Journey of the Heart Through Patagonia. In the current issue of the magazine, we also have a lengthy excerpt.)
 
I discovered Patagonia through an assignment from National Geographic Magazine.  For six, glorious weeks I drove 7,500 miles by jeep, from Neuquén in the north of Argentinean Patagonia to Ushuaia, criss-crossing the steppe from the Andes to the Atlantic, and back.
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Orchids: the ephemeral beauty of Torres del Paine

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For those who have had the privilege of visiting Torres del Paine National Park, there is no doubt that the scenic beauty that it has is extraordinary. The mountain for which the park is named, Chile’s quintessential postcard in the world, rises sharply to just over 3000 meters of elevation, generating diverse landscapes representative of southern Chile that include extensive lakes, rivers, mountains, valleys and glaciers. These landscapes also support a variety of ecosystems such as the wide and flat Patagonian steppe, old forests, shrublands rich with native species, and cold swamps at high elevation, among others. These ecosystems are dominated by endemic and emblematic species such as the Coirón, Calafate, Lenga, Neneo and Notro.
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Anniversary of the Torres del Paine fire

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A year ago today, a fire broke out in Torres del Paine National Park that ultimately consumed more than 17,600 hectares. Here are some photos from our current Patagonia Photo Contest about this sad accident.
 
Support reforestation initiatives at www.reforestpatagonia.com
 
Participate in the Patagonia Photo Contest! Send your photos to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it until January 31, 2013. For more detailed info, see the contest rules here. 
 
 
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Rediscovering Bagual: tracking pumas

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As top predator, the puma has an influence, whether direct or indirect, over almost every component of the Patagonian ecosystem.  VHF radio and GPS collars allow Conservación Patagónica wildlife experts to monitor and understand the interactions between pumas and both endangered huemul deer and livestock.  However, putting a collar on a wily puma is no easy feat.  Winter’s snows make tracking possible, but even then, the challenges are noteworthy.
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