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Argentina, Chile Sign Agreement to Conserve the South Andean Huemul

16 February 2011: A new Memorandum of Understanding aiming to conserve the South Andean Huemul has been signed between Argentina and Chile.

The agreement is part of the countries' Specific Protocol on the Conservation of Wildlife, developed on the margins of the 20th Ibero-American Summit on 4 December 2010, with the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) being the depositary. It aims to address illegal hunting, habitat degradation and the introduction of diseases concerning the only large herbivore to inhabit sub-Antarctic Patagonia, which is considered the national animal of Chile and a “natural monument” in Argentina.

The two countries are expected to develop a bi-national action plan in 2011 to: promote the exchange of scientific, technical and legal information, as well as training of professional staff and park rangers to coordinate conservation measures; promote research to better understand the ecology and biology of the species and the factors preventing the recovery of individual groups; enhance monitoring; and organize educational activities and media campaigns to raise awareness about the Huemul's poor conservation status. [CMS News Release]