Pod of Orcas spotted off the coast of Estancia la Esperanza

Orca (Killer Whale) sighting from the coast of the Patagonian Steppe, Argentina

A pod of Orcas passed by the coastal reserve of Estancia la Esperanza in Argentina, a reserve protecting the Coastal Steppe habitat and many species of Patagonian wildlife.

This coast attracts several charismatic marine mammals which can be seen from the coast, including Southern Right Whales, which pass the reserve on their way to their breeding grounds in Península Valdés, and South American Sea Lions, which have a colony on the rocky beach of the reserve.

Sea lion colony in Patagonian Steppe, Argentina

Thriving Patagonian wildlife

One of the characteristic mammals of this reserve and habitat is the Guanaco, one of the largest wild mammal species found in South America. It resembles its domestic relatives, the llama and the alpaca, and its wild relative the Vicuña. Its thick skin and fur provide excellent protection from the strong winds coming from the Atlantic Ocean.

Guanaco in Estancia la Esperanza Reserve

The Pichi or Dwarf Armadillo is another charming inhabitant of Estancia la Esperanza, rarely seen as they spend a lot of time underground but evidenced by the burrows they dig to shelter from the extreme weather of their habitat.

Pichi (Dwarf Armadillo)

Another burrowing creature of the Patagonian Steppe is the Burrowing Owl, a distinctive little owl with white eyebrows and bright yellow eyes. They nest in loose colonies about 100 metres apart and can be observed perching near their burrows on fence posts or trees, making a chuckling or chattering call.

Monitoring the marine and terrestrial wildlife in and around the reserve is the job of Axel Kuchaska, the Keeper of the Wild stationed at Estancia la Esperanza. He has been very involved in the recovery work necessary after a fire destroyed almost 10,000 acres of the reserve, though he reports that the vegetation has been slowly recovering.

Axel is also involved in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of wildlife, as the organisation managing the reserve, World Land Trust’s partner Fundación Patagonia Natural, are regularly contacted by people who have found wounded animals.

To support the continued protection of Patagonian wildlife in Estancia la Esperanza, you can make a donation to the Keepers of the Wild programme below.





Your email address will not be published. All fields are required

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Our Appeals

Ancient Forests

Mexico's ancient forests, a wild home to big cats and tiny hummingbirds, are being destroyed. You can help us purchase this habitat for conservation by donat...

  • 100%
  • Of Target Achieved

Amazonian Andes

We did it! Thanks to an incredible show of support to protect one of the richest habitats on Earth, we will be able to save 400 acres of tropical forest in the ...

  • 100%
  • Of Target Achieved