Argentinean urban nature reserve gets Important Bird Area status
BirdLife International´s Honorary President, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan, today officially designated the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur in central Buenos Aires, Argentina, an Important Bird Area. At the ceremony, with the Buenos Aires authorities, a sign proclaiming the reserve´s new status was unveiled.
Important Bird Areas (IBAs) are key sites for the conservation of birds and biodiversity, and the building blocks for conservation planning. They are identified nationally, using data gathered locally and applying internationally agreed criteria. The worldwide network of IBAs forms an essential foundation for global nature conservation.
The reserve comprises 350 hectares of lagoons and pampas vegetation and is home to over 300 species of birds. It was founded in 1985 and one million visitors each year enjoy walking its paths and watching the wildlife.
“Urban nature reserves provide an essential link between birds and people. They are the only contact that many people get with the natural world and for cities such as Buenos Aires, this is especially true”, said Andrés Bosso, CEO of Aves Argentinas (BirdLife in Argentina). “Many of these reserves are also designated IBAs for their importance for birds and biodiversity.”
The concentrations of ducks, swans and other waterbirds at the reserve are world-famous. For most birdwatchers visiting Argentina, Costanera Sur is their first taste of the country´s wonderful birdlife.
However, over the last few years there has been a prolonged drought and the lagoons are now dry, the wetlands and the wildfowl that they once held are gone, and vegetation is beginning to take over and choke the once-rich lagoons.
“We need to study the use of the water from La Plata river in order to restore the wetlands effectively”, Andres Bosso continues.
Delegates attending the BirdLife International World Conservation Conference in Buenos Aires this week have spent many hours watching the birds of Costanera Sur.
“Hopefully the Buenos Aires authorities will renew the reserve’s management plan and carry out the work that is needed to return this famous reserve and IBA to its former glory”, Andres Bosso concludes.
Credits: Aves Argentinas
I fondly remember my own visit to Costanera Sur, on my way to the Antarctic. I remember the Everglades kites; the black-crowned night herons; the ovenbirds; the coypus; the frogs … I was there in the midst of rainstorms, so then the reserve was wet. I certainly hope it will be restored.