For the first time, in 2014 World Land Trust (WLT) is providing Keeper of the Wild funds to Fundación Patagonia Natural (FPN) to support the employment of a ranger at Estancia la Esperanza (Ranch of Hopes) Wildlife Refuge.
WLT has worked in partnership with FPN since 2000 when, in that year, the Trust helped fund the purchase of 15,000 acres (6,070 hectares) to create La Esperanza Wildlife Refuge.
In 2014 WLT will be allocating funds from the Keepers of the Wild appeal to cover part of the salary and equipment of Adrián Rodríguez, ranger at La Esperanza.
As well as coordinating conservation volunteers at the reserve, Adrián also monitors wildlife. All year round he keeps a close eye on the colonies of South American Sea Lion (Otaria flavescens) and during the winter months (June to December) he assists with the census of Southern Right Whales (Eubalaena australis).
Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) are monitored throughout the year and, during the breeding season (September to March), Adrián inspects the perimeter of the refuge in case young Guanaco (chulengos) are trapped in the wire fence.
Adrián also checks tracks and trap-cameras to record the presence or absence of Pumas (Puma concolor) and other wild cats, and identifies key sites for bird watching.
Born in Río Negro province, Adrian moved to Chubut province where he studied for a degree in tourism. He became a volunteer at La Esperanza, later taking on the role of Volunteer Coordinator.
A donation to FPN made by Bernard and Oonagh Segrave-Daly via WLT has been spent on a set of batteries to store power generated by solar panels at the reserve.
Bernard and Oonagh are regular visitors to La Esperanza and in 2013 they were the first people to stay in the reserve’s new guest house. “Thank you very much to Bernard and Oonagh for their donation, which has greatly improved the efficiency of our power supply,” said María del Carmen Taboada, FPN’s Administrator.