Learn About Patagonia’s Endangered Wildlife

Andean Condor. Photo by Gladys Garay

PEEC News:

Transport yourself to South America, minus the flight and jet lag. Chilean Patagonian naturalists Gladys Garay and Oscar Guineo will present the findings from their wildlife studies on the Andean condor and huémul deer at PEEC at 7 p.m. Sept. 5.

Garay and Guineo are well known and respected experts on the ecology and wildlife of the Magallanes Region of Chile. Together they have written and published various books and maps on the flora and fauna of Chilean Patagonia. Since the 1980s, they have worked on different wildlife projects with Iowa State University, University of Connecticut, private companies, and environmental and governmental organizations. Most recently, they headed a study of the endangered húemul deer.

Huémul deer. Photo by Oscar Guineo

The huémul deer are an endangered species native to the mountains of Argentina and Chile in the Patagonia region.

The Andean condor, a threatened species, is a large, black vulture. The Andean condor is a national symbol of several South American countries, and it has traditionally played an important role in the folklore and mythology of the region.

Guineo was born and raised on the Island of Chiloé. As a young man he was one of the first generation of park rangers assigned to Torres del Paine National Park, hired soon after the park opened in the mid-1970s. He was involved in much of the work that transformed Torres del Paine into the world-renowned park of today. Along with British colleague John Gardner, he designed one of the most popular trails in the park, the “O” or circuit trail.

Garay was born on the island of Tierra del Fuego. As a young girl, she was fascinated with the plants and animals of Patagonia and decided at the age of five to work with wildlife. True to her dream, she obtained her biology degree from the Catholic University in Santiago.

The duo will entertain with findings and stories of these fascinating animals. The event is free to attend, and no advance registration is required. To learn more about this event and others offered by PEEC, visit www.pajaritoeec.org, email programs@pajaritoeec.org or call (505) 662-0460.

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