Conservationist gains ground in Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina
U.S. entrepreneur and conservationist Douglas Tompkins needs no introduction in Argentina.
He began making news here at the end of the 1990s, when he already had acquired and conserved huge swaths of land in Chile and was purchasing conservation property in the Esteros del Iberá, an enormous, 1.3-million-hectare (3.2-million-acre) wetland system in northeast Argentina.
Back then, the Esteros de Iberá, located in Corrientes province about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) northeast of Buenos Aires, was difficult to reach and hardly drew mention in high school geography classes.
Now, however, the region draws domestic and foreign tourists, thanks largely to publicity of Tompkins’s biodiversity-conservation efforts. Tompkins convinced many locals that tourism could be far better business than hunting such animals as the yacaré (Caiman latirostris) or the carpincho (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris).