Río Maipo Wetland Declared as a New Site of International Importance

This denomination is an important step for effective protection of the habitat of shorebirds that nest, rest and feed in Chile while performing their migratory journeys from the Arctic to the Patagonia.

Santiago / San Antonio, September 5, 2015.- Under the framework of the World Shorebirds Day, celebrated each year on the 6th of September, the Maipo River Wetland and Estuary was appointed as a new site of international importance for the conservation of migratory shorebirds in Chile.

The ceremony was held on the Marbella Beach located in Santo Domingo where Hugo Díaz, ceremonial mayor of Santo Domingo, and José Luis Brito, director of the Museum of Natural History of San Antonio, received the official certificate that denominates this wetland as a new site belonging to the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).

Rayadores

‘Rayados’ bird

With respect to the importance and commitment the community has with this place, Hugo Díaz declared that “this designation is important because it reinforces what the municipality has been doing in collaboration with Fundación Cosmos and Fundación Mar Adentro for quite some time now, that is, the protection and conservation of the Maipo River Wetland and its ecosystem. This appointment motivates us to continue working for this noble cause and the commitment we have with nature and our people.”

In Chile the Maipo Estuary is now considered the fourth WHSRN site after Lluta River Wetland in Arica, Eastern Wetlands System of Chiloé, and Lomas Bay in Tierra del Fuego. The new site has about 140 hectares and includes the beach area, sand bar, estuary, grasslands, marshy areas, shrub-lands, sand dunes and estuary that together, form an ecosystem that is home to 132 species of birds, besides fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. The importance given to the Maipo River Wetland within the network of key sites for shorebirds, is due to the fact that it hosts a part of the biogeographic population of Eurasian Curlew and Magellanic oystercatcher.

Shorebirds are considered one of the species that roam farthest during their migration. Some fly up to 30,000 km from the Arctic to Patagonia and Patagonia to the Arctic, making stops in areas of breeding, feeding and/or rest. Unfortunately there are several scientific studies that demonstrate the decline of shorebird populations caused by a sustained loss and deterioration of their habitats, among other factors, caused by the transit of 4 x 4 vehicles on the beaches and wetlands; the presence of unleashed dogs that disturb shorebirds, destroying their eggs and/or eating their hatchlings; real estate development; and garbage bags and plastic left behind on the beach.

Centro de Visitantes

Visitors Center

“Unleashed dogs are one of the greatest threats to the conservation of  these birds, therefore people should practice responsible ownership of their pets,” said José Luis Brito, director of the Museum of Natural History of San Antonio, who was also responsible for the application of the Maipo River Wetland to become part of the WHSRN. In fact, according to data provided by Brito, in the Maipo River Wetland between spring of 2014 and early summer of 2015, dogs ate or destroyed almost all bird eggs that nested on the south bank of the river, especially those of the Southern Lapwing, Magellanic Oystercatcher and the Yellow-billed Pintail.

“Shorebirds, particularly some species belonging to the Pacific Route, are declining globally, and if we do not respond promptly we could be faced with the extinction of these species in the short term. Coastal wetlands such as the Maipo River should achieve national conservation status to protect the bird species it houses, in agreement and coordination with all users of the area,” said Diego Luna Quevedo, conservation specialist belonging to the WHSRN of Chile.

WHSRN is composed of a set of partners throughout the Americas, and aims to promote the conservation of shorebirds and critical habitats for their survival through the creation of a network or system of key sites in their migration process. In total, it counts with 91 sites in 13 countries located in the Americas, and a large number of partners who conserve and manage more than 13 million hectares of vital ecosystems for these birds.

The New Río Maipo Wetland Visitor's Center Trails pointing the way through the wetland Cahuil Seagull Bird that is locally known as Seven Colors Small Heron Garuma Bird Ducks that are locally known as Colorado (Colored) Huairavo Bird

This denomination is an important step for effective protection of the habitat of shorebirds that nest, rest and feed in Chile while performing their migratory journeys from the Arctic to the Patagonia.

05/09/2015

Santiago / San Antonio, September 5, 2015.- Under the framework of the World Shorebirds Day, celebrated each year on the 6th of September, the Maipo River Wetland and Estuary was appointed as a new site of international importance for the conservation of migratory shorebirds in Chile.

The ceremony was held on the Marbella Beach located in Santo Domingo where Hugo Díaz, ceremonial mayor of Santo Domingo, and José Luis Brito, director of the Museum of Natural History of San Antonio, received the official certificate that denominates this wetland as a new site belonging to the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).

With respect to the importance and commitment the community has with this place, Hugo Díaz declared that “this designation is important because it reinforces what the municipality has been doing in collaboration with Fundación Cosmos and Fundación Mar Adentro for quite some time now, that is, the protection and conservation of the Maipo River Wetland and its ecosystem. This appointment motivates us to continue working for this noble cause and the commitment we have with nature and our people.”

In Chile the Maipo Estuary is now considered the fourth WHSRN site after Lluta River Wetland in Arica, Eastern Wetlands System of Chiloé, and Lomas Bay in Tierra del Fuego. The new site has about 140 hectares and includes the beach area, sand bar, estuary, grasslands, marshy areas, shrub-lands, sand dunes and estuary that together, form an ecosystem that is home to 132 species of birds, besides fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. The importance given to the Maipo River Wetland within the network of key sites for shorebirds, is due to the fact that it hosts a part of the biogeographic population of Eurasian Curlew and Magellanic oystercatcher.

Shorebirds are considered one of the species that roam farthest during their migration. Some fly up to 30,000 km from the Arctic to Patagonia and Patagonia to the Arctic, making stops in areas of breeding, feeding and/or rest. Unfortunately there are several scientific studies that demonstrate the decline of shorebird populations caused by a sustained loss and deterioration of their habitats, among other factors, caused by the transit of 4 x 4 vehicles on the beaches and wetlands; the presence of unleashed dogs that disturb shorebirds, destroying their eggs and/or eating their hatchlings; real estate development; and garbage bags and plastic left behind on the beach.

“Unleashed dogs are one of the greatest threats to the conservation of  these birds, therefore people should practice responsible ownership of their pets,” said José Luis Brito, director of the Museum of Natural History of San Antonio, who was also responsible for the application of the Maipo River Wetland to become part of the WHSRN. In fact, according to data provided by Brito, in the Maipo River Wetland between spring of 2014 and early summer of 2015, dogs ate or destroyed almost all bird eggs that nested on the south bank of the river, especially those of the Southern Lapwing, Magellanic Oystercatcher and the Yellow-billed Pintail.

“Shorebirds, particularly some species belonging to the Pacific Route, are declining globally, and if we do not respond promptly we could be faced with the extinction of these species in the short term. Coastal wetlands such as the Maipo River should achieve national conservation status to protect the bird species it houses, in agreement and coordination with all users of the area,” said Diego Luna Quevedo, conservation specialist belonging to the WHSRN of Chile.

WHSRN is composed of a set of partners throughout the Americas, and aims to promote the conservation of shorebirds and critical habitats for their survival through the creation of a network or system of key sites in their migration process. In total, it counts with 91 sites in 13 countries located in the Americas, and a large number of partners who conserve and manage more than 13 million hectares of vital ecosystems for these birds.