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Patagonia´s Freshwater Conservation: raising the scale
Promoting science-based conservation of Patagonian rivers
Miguel Pascual
Freshwater at the global scale
Water scarcity index. Oki & Kanae (2006)
Valle San Cabao, Río Chimehuin (1970)
Valle San Cabao, Río Chimehuin (2012)
Chimehuin River, the future of the “Boca”
Chimehuin River
Valle San Cabao, Río Chimehuin
Large inroads into FW conservation in Patagonia are to
be made by bringing the connections to light:
Proposal
Establish a partnership between TNC & CONICET:
• Build capacity for Natural Capital research
• Initiate pilot projects in 3 case studies
• Consolidate a regional network of collaborations
Research/conservation strategy:
top down
Biophysical models
Research/conservation strategy:
bottom up
Animated short by Drew Christie
The exotic nutria in Lake Washington asks “How long does it
take to become a native?”
“For the first time in my life
I was tired of fishing”
Famed British fisherman
Harold Hardy after fishing in
Nahuel Huapi, Patagonia, in the
1940´s
Research/conservation strategy:
bottom up
Biophysical model
Habitat based models
Research/conservation strategy:
before & after
RÍO
CONICET
CHIMEHUIN
CEAN
NODO
NEUQUÉN
DGBA
LEA-INIBIOMA
The Nature
Conservancy
NODO
COORDINADOR
CENPAT-CONICET
Otras fuentes
DGRH
LEF-CADIC
NODO
TIERRA
DEL
FUEGO
NODO
CHUBUT
GESA-CENPAT
SPCH
RÍO
RÍO
GRANDE
CHUBUT
Large inroads into FW conservation in Patagonia are to
be made by bringing the connections to light:
Salmonid recreational fisheries
Economic/social impacts
>70,000 fishing permits / yr
Revenues U$60-65 million
Jobs (few 000´s ?)
But….
Freshwater issues demand system level, multi-scale, and
multi-user views
The capacity to conduct such research in Patagonia does
not exist and needs to be created
Specific objectives
• Assimilate and integrate technical capacities available at
TNC globally and elsewhere
• Build capacity to conduct ecosystem level freshwater
conservation science
• Conduct specific research based on case studies
• Work with regional administrators to support decisions
processes and mainstream ES views
Problem
Lack of large-scale, long-term perspectives & views in
FW management
Society´s unpreparedness for impacts of development
and climate change on water supply and water related
resources
Big questions
The links between:
• Urban development and water supply, fishing, etc.
• Exotic species and riparian/stream habitat
• Agriculture/cattle ranching and riparian habitat
• Climate change and hydrology
• Dams and hydrology downstream
• Hydrology and habitat for FW species
Chimehuín River, urban development
Salmonid recreational fisheries
Lago Cardiel, Santa Cruz, 1951 (Sr. Otto Wholer)
If we zoom in
• Urban development and agriculture are transforming river
basins
• Dams will be built in the last three large free-flowing rivers
• Mining at headwaters is growing.
• Rivers and lakes no longer sustain the famed fisheries of the
past.
• Water is becoming a limiting resource for urban areas
throughout the region.
• Climate change!