Ecology Programmes Rewilding the Gran Chaco

Compared to the Amazon rainforest, its bigger, more famous counterpart to the north, the Chaco is dry, sparse and hot, with parts looking more like savannah than forest. Despite its seeming harshness, the Chaco is highly biodiverse, home to some 4,270 different species, many found nowhere else in the world.

Threats

Deforestation rates are very high the Gran Chaco: it is estimated that there has been a 20 percent loss of its forest cover since 1985 as trees are cleared for pasture and cropland. The area is also severely degraded due to years of overgrazing.

The remaining forests and grasslands all over the Gran Chaco are threatened decades by increases in global prices on agro-commodities. The encroachment of industrial agriculture is also reportedly forcing many indigenous residents and others who have been living in the region for generations to leave their homes.

Rewilding

Since its creation in 2010, Fundación Rewilding Argentina (FRA), formerly Fundación Flora y Fauna Argentina, has managed local and foreign donor funding to target projects for the preservation of flora and fauna species, promoting environmental education and training in issues related to the conservation of the environment. As a result of its work, FRA has lead the establishment of two large parks in the Argentinean Chaco: 700,000-ha Iberá national and provincial park in Corrientes province, and 130,000-ha Impenetrable national park in Chaco province. These large reserves, combined with the smaller and previously existing 17,600-ha Mburucuyá national park (which is ecologically and politically connected to Iberá), harbour viable samples of some of the most distinctive ecosystems in the Gran Chaco: the dry and wet Chaco forests, evergreen jungles, grasslands, savannas and fresh-water wetlands.

Goals

Through this project Fundación Rewilding Argentina proposes to guarantee the long-term conservation of El Impenetrable, Iberá and Mburucuyá National Parks. The degraded ecosystems will be restored, locally extinct species will be reintroduced and a local economy based on traditional knowledge will be created.

This programme is executed by our partner Fundación Rewilding Argentina (formerly Fundación Flora y Fauna Argentina).




Key features

Landscape  Argentinian Gran Chaco
  Iberá national and provincial park: 700.000 hectares
  Impenetrable national park: 130.000 hectares
  Mburucuyá national park: 17.600 hectares
Goals for the next 4 years  Rewilding and park management
  Local development
  Building connections with the larger landscape