Tierra del Fuego Island, in Austral Patagonia, is shared by Chile and Argentina. The island is a critical wintering site for several migratory shorebird species. On the Argentinean side of the island, the 220-kilometer (137-mile) long Atlantic Coastal Reserve of Tierra del Fuego is part of the Western Hemisphere Reserve Network. The reserve is also a Ramsar wetland of international importance, and is an officially designated Important Bird Conservation Area.
Despite its official protected status, the reserve area is under stress from urban development. Household waste contaminates the feeding sites, and dogs disturb the birds. All of these conditions damage shorebird habitat. Local organization Asociación Ambiente Sur is leading efforts to create a network of four Urban Natural Reserves, protecting a total of 198 acres (80 hectares). Seacology is providing funding for infrastructure for the new Rio Grande reserve system. The Seacology grant will pay for fencing, bird watching platforms, and signage. It will also fund as educational materials designed to engage the public in these important new reserves.