Saturday, March 24, 2018

This Argentine-Chilean binational site is located in the southern boundary of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, and includes Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), Mitre Peninsula, the Le Maire Strait and the eastern part of the Beagle Channel. The area is home to the only Magellanic penguin colony known in the channel as well as to the only Gentoo penguin colony reported in South America. Isla de los Estados (Staten Island) is the main breeding site for the southern rockhopper penguin (26% of the world population of this subspecies).


Conservation Status



Argentine Territorial Sea, Province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands. Chilean Territorial Sea, Chilean Antarctica and Magellan Region (Región de Magallanes y Antártica Chilena).

Biogeographical Region

Temperate seas of South America. Magellanic Province. Ecoregion: Channels y Fjords of South Chile.


8.800 km2

Types of Habitats

Irregular coastal environments with coves, closed bays, fjords, and brown algae beds. Island, pelagic and benthic shelf environments.

Species Richness

Six marine mammal species; 20 waterfowl and seabird species; and about 40 species of bony and cartilaginous fish.

Main Uses

It has the main port of the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego (Ushuaia) and one dock for unloading refined fuels. Intense traffic of transport, industrial fishing and tourist vessels. Artisanal fishing for king crab and false southern king crab. Small scale mussel harvesting along the coast.


Lack of coordination in the managment of artisanal fishing. Discharge of offal from fishing vessels and trash on the beaches. Anthropic impact and eutrophication in coastal areas near Ushuaia. Invasive alien species. Maritime traffic.

Management - Main Government Bodies

Argentina: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto, Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable (SAyDS), Administración de Parques Nacionales, Secretaría de Desarrollo Sustentable y Ambiente de la Provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur. Chile: Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Servicio Nacional de Pesca (SERNAPESCA), Subsecretaría de Pesca (SUBPESCA), Dirección General del Territorio Marítimo y de Marina Mercante (DIRECTEMAR), Armada de Chile, Gobierno Regional (GORE), Ilustre Municipalidad de Cabo de Hornos.

Level of Protection

There are three protected coastal areas in Argentina (not protecting marine environments): Tierra del Fuego National Park, Reserva Playa Larga and  Reserva Isla de los Estados, Islas de Año Nuevo e Islotes Adyacentes, the latter having significant usage restrictions.


Southern Rockhopper Penguins © Klemens Pütz

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