First sighting of Puma on the Ranch of Hopes (Estancia la Esperanza) in Patagonia
Although footprints and remains of kills have been frequently encountered on the Ranch of Hopes, it was not until last week that the first sighting of a puma occurred. Notoriously secretive and elusive, pumas have good reason to be shy as they are almost universally persecuted by the local sheep farmers. On the Ranch of Hopes they are now protected, and it is thought that the resident pair have reared a single cub.
Another exciting recent sighting was of the rare Geoffroy's cat, an attractive spotted cat not much bigger than a domestic cat. Only months before the ranch was purchased, a Geoffroy's cat had been found poisoned.
Since the Ranch of Hopes was purchased, dozens of species have benefited from protection, including crested tinamous (partridge-like birds), which are now seen in a flock of several hundred on the ranch. In the past they were shy and only seen in ones and twos, because they were hunted. Other species found include:
- Eagle owls
- Magellanic Penguin
- maras (Patagonian hares)
- burrowing parrots
- right whales
- killer whales
- Sea Lions
- Guanaco (wild llamas)
The 15,000 acre ranch was purchased with funding from the World Land Trust. For more details about the ranch and photos of its wildlife, visit our project page: Coastal Steppe Project, Patagonia. Get more information on the animals found in WLT's project areas.
This is an extract from the World Land Trust press release Elusive puma sighted (October 2002)