Earlier this year we reported on a dramatic bush fire which swept across the coastal steppe in Patagonia, and devastated huge swathes of grassland. Luckily the rains came just in time and the the fire only reached the south-west corner of the *Ranch of Hopes* (Estancia La Esperanza) – WLT’s reserve. However, there were a few wildlife casualties and after the fire the staff of *Fundacion Patagonia Natural* (FPN) combed the reserve looking for signs of life. José Maria Musmeci, Director of FPN, has sent us the following reports on animals they were able to rescue, successfully treat and then release.
*Dwarf Mouse Opossum Rescued*
/Thylamys pusilla/. See actual size. (Use your back button to return here.)
“A marsupial (/Thylamiys pusilla/, *Dwarf Mouse Opossum*) of 7 cm length was found the day after the fire, sheltering under a big bush, barely breathing. He was rescued and taken to the house, where first aid and care was given. Now he has fully recovered and is trying to settle down in the house surroundings. The Dwarf Mouse Opossum is one of the few marsupials that still survive in South America.”
Chulengo being fed by a FPN volunteer. See larger image. (Use your back button to return here.)
*Miracles; the “Chulengo” (baby guanaco) of La Esperanza “It was a windy day and ash from the fires was still in the air. A small Guanaco (/Lama guanicoe/) was entangled in burnt wires, which were the remains of a fence. She was alone, left by her herd in the middle of the burnt area and seemed to be dead. When people came closer, she showed a few signs of life. Although she was exhausted after fighting against the wires she had survived the fire.”*
“She was taken to the house and was warmed and fed with bottles of sweet milk. Volunteers and scientists gave her care for two days and fortunately she completely recovered.Then she was released near the area where her family used to stay. She was also marked so we could follow her and keep track of her progress. ”
The Hawk in its enclosure. See larger image. (Use your back button to return here.)
*Red Backed Hawk Saved*
“A young *Red-backed Hawk*, found on a nearby beach at Rio Negro, was brought to us as it had a broken wing and was unable to fly. We were able to successfully treat the injury and while it was healing we housed the eaglet in a large cage and placed food at strategic points so that it needed to search and move its wings to gain strength. These large birds are only found in Patagonia and the Andes and we were very pleased to release him back into the wild following a full recovery. ”
The important work carried out by FPN would not be possible without the help of the World Land Trust and its supporters. More land can be saved in Patagonia, at only £25 an acre. Make a donation to Patagonia.
Learn more about the Patagonia project here.
You can read more about the wildfire in the reserve in our press release: Wildfires threaten Patagonia Nature Reserve and see pictures from the fire here.