Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network

An active start to the year for WHSRN in Argentina


Argentine WHSRN Council meeting. / Courtesy of Florence Scauso

The WHSRN Executive Office and its conservation partners in Argentina started the year with a full agenda of activities over the course of five days this March. The first was the 4th meeting of the Argentine WHSRN Council, held at the Municipal Cultural Center in San Antonio Oeste, Rio Negro Province. Council members—two from each of the country’s eight WHSRN sites—reviewed the state of conservation and management at each site; assessed the Council’s progress over the last two years; identified ways to improve interaction between WHSRN sites in Argentina and with those beyond its borders; and outlined a management agenda for the Council for 2016-2018.

A workshop entitled “Argentina in the Atlantic Flyway” was held the next day, in which the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative (AFSI) was presented. Participants included Argentine WHSRN Council members; representatives from the national, provincial, and municipal offices of the federal Ministries and Secretaries of Environment and Tourism; and nongovernmental organizations involved in managing and conserving the country’s important sites for shorebirds. Also present was Scott Johnston, Chief of Bird Population Programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Region—a leading partner in this Initiative.

“Argentina in the Atlantic Flyway” workshop participants. / Courtesy of Cecilia Pamich

 The group discussed the Initiative in the context of threats to shorebirds nationally, possible strategies for action, and focal species. They also considered the opportunities and challenges for Argentina to participate in and coordinate with this Initiative. The workshop was supported by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Rio Negro Province. Both activities were co-facilitated by Rob Clay (Director) and Diego Luna Quevedo (Conservation Specialist) of the WHSRN Executive Office, and were made possible thanks to coordination and management by partner Inalafquen Foundation.

Next stop: San Antonio Bay, to celebrate 23 years of being a WHSRN Site of International Importance. The event enjoyed a large public turnout and emotional presentations by those who have made, and continue to make, shorebird conservation possible at this WHSRN Site. Clay and Luna Quevado then had the opportunity to visit the site on foot, by boat, and by light aircraft, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the bay’s current condition.

Flying over the San Antonio Bay WHSRN Site. / Courtesy of Diego Luna Quevedo

The agenda continued in the city of Buenos Aires where Clay, Luna Quevedo, and Johnston, accompanied by Frank Talluto (Second Secretary of Environment, Science, Technology, and Health at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina), met with the country’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Representatives included Santiago D'Alessio, Director of the Ministry’s Wildlife Division, and Roman Baigún, member of the Scientific Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), for the Wildlife Division. After discussing various issues of common interest, the WHSRN Executive Office and the Ministry’s Wildlife Division agreed to jointly advance opportunities to carry out a National Action Plan for shorebird conservation in Argentina.

You can see more related activities, photos, and news to date about WHSRN in Argentina on the Facebook pages of Inalafquen Foundation, WHSRN, and individuals WHSRN sites

For more information, please contact Rob Clay (rclay@manomet.org), Director, WHSRN Executive Office, Asuncion, Paraguay, or Diego Luna Quevedo (diego.luna@manomet.org), Conservation Specialist, WHSRN Executive Office, Santiago, Chile.