20 new sites become UNESCO biosphere reserves

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The Patagonia Azul biosphere reserve, Argentina



The Patagonia Azul biosphere reserve. [Photo/UNESCO] 

The Patagonia Azul biosphere reserve is located in the south of the country on the coast of Chubut province, and covers an area of 3,102,005 hectares. The site encompasses a coastal area with the greatest biodiversity on the Argentinean coastline. It also includes important breeding, feeding and migration sites of different species of birds and mammals. It hosts the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world, accounting for almost 40% of the global population. The site has a very low human population density, the only town being Camarone. Close to five percent of the town's permanent population belong to indigenous ethnic groups, including the Mapuche and Tehuelche. Ranches or rural establishments dedicated to sheep rearing account for the main human activity on the territory, followed by the production of wool, fishing, tourism and seaweed extraction.

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