The Patagonia steppe of Santa Cruz, now protected in part by Patagonia Park, was not immune to the reduction and even extinction of wildlife populations that have been seen in the rest of Argentina. The huemul and Southern river otter disappeared on the regional lever, while Wolffsohn’s vizcacha (also known as the Patagonia vizcacha), the coypu (a kind of nutria) and the Austral rail have suffered local extinctions, reduction in numbers and the fracturing of the connectivity between populations. Other species like the puma, the guanaco, the southern rhea and the Andean condor, the greatest symbols of the terrestrial fauna of Patagonia, have also suffered drastic reductions in their populations.
As a result, key ecological processes, such as predation and migration, have been altered with profound negative impacts on the ecosystem. In arid Patagonia, our goals include the reintroduction of species now absent from the landscape and to increase the numbers of the species that are still present but in reduced populations, with restoration of the natural ecological processes of the Patagonia steppe as the final objective.
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