Chile contains one of the richest biodiversity's on this planet. There are roughly 5,100 species that live all throughout Chile and more than 2,500 of them are found nowhere else on Earth. These animals range from the Andean condor, the largest flying land bird in the western hemisphere, to the puma, one of the world's most elusive animals. High development in Chile threatens these animals ecosystems and in some cases - their existence.
The effects of globalization can be seen all throughout the landscapes of Chile and Patagonia. The marine life is significantly impacted by the expansion of fishing, salmon farming and increased traffic in the area. Unsustainable logging has destroyed natural habitats and the native forest cover - some of which are thousands of years old. Lastly, "mega" hydro-electric dams and the increase of mining strongly affects the local flora and fauna around the areas of development. And these are only a few of the threats facing these pristine habitats.
The fact Chile has so many species that can't be found anywhere else makes it such a critical country for protection. There are already many animals that are near extinction, including the Huemul, a symbolic deer in Chile that is featured on the national shield, among many others. If the ecosystems of these animals aren't protected or in some cases, restored, we may lose these unique and fascinating species forever.
Click on the link below to learn more about the biodiversity in Patagonia and to see some of the endangered species in the Future Patagonia National Park, which represent some of the most critical species in all of Patagonia.