Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia

by Rewilding Chile
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Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Help recover Rheas population in Chilean Patagonia
Male rhea embedding - Picture from Camera Trap
Male rhea embedding - Picture from Camera Trap

One of our main challenges is strengthening the genetic pool of the rhea population in Patagonia National Park. Reserva Quimán, a private reserve located about 1,000 km north of the park, has been a fundamental partner in achieving this. 

Our team visited the Quimán Reserve to advise and improve bird management at the center. We are happy to announce that the chicks are already hatching and will be translocated to the park in January by light aircraft.

Estancia Baño Nuevo is another important partner, as it provides us with eggs that are then incubated at the center. Unfortunately, several males abandoned their nests at the estancia, and due to heavy night frosts, it was impossible to recover the eggs in time. We hope that the eggs that are still being incubated will hatch successfully. 

Finally, we are moving forward with the administrative paperwork with the National Wildlife Service to translocate rheas from Argentina. This would be the first translocation of these birds from another country, and we plan to do so during the first quarter of next year.  

Male rhea lying over the eggs (embedding)
Male rhea lying over the eggs (embedding)
Baby chicks sheltering
Baby chicks sheltering
Supporting the work of Reserva Quiman
Supporting the work of Reserva Quiman
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Released Rheas by Marcelo Mascareno
Released Rheas by Marcelo Mascareno

A new season of rhea releases in Patagonia National Park raises hopes for the recovery of this locally endangered species!

After several months of acclimatization, 26 "charitos" (or chicks) were released during the months of April and May and are now running free in the Patagonian steppe in Patagonia National Park. 

This is the year that most specimens will have been released since 2017, thanks to a donation of charitos (or chicks) made by Reserva Quimán, which allowed the transfer of 10 specimens from Futrono (Los Ríos region) to Patagonia National Park.

The release of rheas is the culminating stage of a reproductive process that lasts a year and is added to other actions that are carried out annually at the Reproduction Center that involve the permanent care of the breeding specimens, including the incubation of eggs, the transfer, and raising of young rheas. 

All this work is possible thanks to the public-private collaboration with the National Park Agency (CONAF) and the Livestock and Wildlife National Service (SAG), together with all those who support the work of Fundación Rewilding Chile!

THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS POSSIBLE 

Looking forward for the rheas by Marcelo Mascareno
Looking forward for the rheas by Marcelo Mascareno
Wild rehas in Patagonia Park by Marcelo Mascareno
Wild rehas in Patagonia Park by Marcelo Mascareno
Darwin's rhea (Rhea pennata) by Marcelo Mascareno
Darwin's rhea (Rhea pennata) by Marcelo Mascareno

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Preparing the plane for the flight
Preparing the plane for the flight

After the fire in the Ñandú post, our rhea program had to adapt to operate in one single wildlife post, Puesto Choique. The breeding season started well with a male nesting four eggs during springtime, but unfortunately, they didn’t hatch.

This event triggered two essential donations: Reserva Quiman, our strategic partner, who contributed with 26 rhea chicks, and the generous support of a Chilean donor, Nicolás Ibáñez Scott, who provided his private plane to transport them 530 miles south from the city of Osorno to Cochrane, where a group formed by the National Park Agency, The Wildlife and Livestock Service and Rewilding Chile finally transported them by land to Patagonia National Park. 

The rheas are in an acclimatization period of approximately two months before reaching the right size for being released. We are proud to see the program's resilience, led by women, and we are confident that we will achieve our goal to reach a healthy population of 100 adult wild rheas in the steppe of Patagonia National Park.

"Charito" or young rhea
"Charito" or young rhea
Rheas arriving to the center
Rheas arriving to the center
Center view from the plane
Center view from the plane

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Gabriela, Wildlife Ranger / by Jan Vincent Kleine
Gabriela, Wildlife Ranger / by Jan Vincent Kleine

Fire in Patagonia National Park

During the third quarter of this year, a fire affected 1,273 hectares/ 3,146 acres of the Patagonian steppe in the surroundings of the Rhea breeding center at Patagonia National Park. Originated from human causes; fortunately, no one from the team was injured and the main wildlife post and the corrals of the Rhea breeding center were not primarily affected. The unusual 25mm of rain that same day was a major natural ally. 

After we found the last rhea lost during the fire, all the flock was translocated to another post, in collaboration with the Wildlife and Livestock Service (SAG) and the National Park Service (CONAF) teams. One of them, “Pindy” a female rhea who was under permanent treatment for burns, sadly passed away; a tough strike for the whole organization, especially for the team on the ground, who took care of her. The good news is that the young rheas released last April are healthy and roaming free in the park.

Please click here to see a video of the area.

 

A new hatching season begins

The wildlife ranger team has already found the first nesting male Rhea with five eggs in Patagonia National Park. This finding is an excellent sign as it shows that these birds have been able to acclimatize well after the location changes caused by the fire. The incubation period for rheas is 40 days, and it is the male who hatches the eggs and then raises the chicks.

Fire in Patagonia National Park
Fire in Patagonia National Park
Medical treatment for injured rhea
Medical treatment for injured rhea
Male rhea with eggs
Male rhea with eggs

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Adult rhea with chicks / by Marcelo Mascareno
Adult rhea with chicks / by Marcelo Mascareno

New chicks arrive at Patagonia National Park
Nuevos polluelos llegan al Parque Nacional Patagonia

For the first time, we received ten chicks donated by Quimán Reserve breeding center located 800 km north of the park. This allows not only to increase the number of rheas but diverse genes to the wild population.

Por primera vez, recibimos diez polluelos donados por el centro de cría Reserva Quimán, situado a unos 800 km al norte del parque. Esto permite, no sólo aumenta el número de ñandúes, sino también diversificar los genes de la población silvestre. 

 

Fourteen Darwin’s rheas are released
Catorce ñandúes son liberados

A new flock of young rheas is now roaming the Patagonian steppe after the 5th rhea release from the Darwin’s rhea Breeding Center in Patagonia National Park. Since the program started in 2014, we can proudly say that the population has tripled and expanded its territory by 30%.


Una nueva bandada de ñandúes jóvenes recorre ahora la estepa patagónica tras la quinta liberación del Centro de Reproducción del ñandú en el Parque Nacional Patagonia. Desde que se inició el programa en 2014, podemos decir con orgullo que la población se ha triplicado y ha ampliado su territorio en un 30%.     

Thank you for supporting our work! / Gracias por apoyar nuestro trabajo!

We count on you / Contamos contigo

DONATE / DONA

Rhea chicks / Photo by Marcelo Mascareno
Rhea chicks / Photo by Marcelo Mascareno
Rhea release / Photo by Marcelo Mascareno
Rhea release / Photo by Marcelo Mascareno
Juvenile rheas in the wild / by Marcelo Mascareno
Juvenile rheas in the wild / by Marcelo Mascareno
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Rewilding Chile

Location: Puerto Varas, Los Lagos - Chile
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Rewilding Chile
Puerto Varas, Los Lagos Chile
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