Chile: Proposed Bah??a Lomas Nature Center Receives Major Support

Written by Meredith Gutowski/WHSRN

The Bahía Lomas WHSRN Site of Hemispheric Importance, located in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, is the most important wintering area in the Americas for the imperiled rufa subspecies of the Red Knot (Calidris canutus). With initial funding raised by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and the Ramsar Convention’s Small Grants Program, local partners are developing a Management Plan for this site that addresses the conservation of Red Knots and other shorebird species of concern.

In addition, Manomet and its partner, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, have been providing the initial leadership and support for the development of a nature interpretation center that would benefit the site. The objective of the proposed Bahía Lomas Nature Center is to serve as the base of operations for the development of science, education, and tourism associated with conserving Bahía Lomas.

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Red Knot (Calidris canutus). © Pablo Petracci

In December 2010, based on the Management Plan and initial investment from Manomet, the nature center project received a huge contribution from the Municipality of Primavera—the donation of a building in which to establish the Bahia Lomas Nature Center! Located at Bahía Azul (Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego), the complex is in many ways ideal and has much of the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the operation of a nature center.

In the weeks to come, the Municipality of Primavera, the University of St. Thomas (Chile), and Manomet will sign an agreement for co-administration of the Center—another major step in the development of this important endeavor.

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Designated in February 2009, Bahía Lomas was the first WHSRN site in Chile.

Thanks to the municipality’s generous donation, more project funds are now available for “building” other important aspects of the Center such as internal infrastructure, equipment, and a sustainable business plan. The Center expects to open its doors during the second half of 2011!

We applaud Mayor Ricardo Olea Celsi and the Municipality of Primavera for their commitment to conserving the natural resources of Bahía Lomas and for their generosity!

For more information, please contact Diego Luna Quevedo (diego.luna@manomet.org), Southern Cone Program Coordinator, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.

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