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.
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