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Birds and Marine Fauna

www.uruguaynatural.com | www.uruguaynatural.tv uruguaynatural.fb | uruguay_natural


Uruguay is a natural country of unique charm.

Surface area Land

176.000 km2

Territorial sea

137.567 km2

Temperature

2

Winter (June - September)

6ºC - 17ºC

Summer (December - March)

21ºC - 28ºC

It has a special magic that can only be found in few places around the world. The national territory is a never ending source of natural scenery only some kilometers away from each other, populated areas, and Portuguese-Spanish style architecture seemingly stopped in time. Uruguay was ranked third in the world in the 2005 Environmental Sustainability Index prepared by the University of Yale. Given its

geographic location it enjoys a  m ild su bt ropical climate. It has a semi-humid climate given its closeness to the sea and the lack of orographic barriers. A pleasant climate without extreme temperatures and plenty of natural richness, make of Uruguay a country to be enjoyed all year round.

3


Vast areas of natural grasslands, various types of river and hill forests, carob tree forests, remnants of sub-tropical forests tucked along rocky streams, excellent fluvial landforms, a chain of shallow lagoons along the Atlantic coastline, and large wetlands create a great patchwork of natural landscapes. In a world that is running out of water, Uruguay is a paradise of freshwater. Numerous rivers, streams, brooks, wetlands and lagoons create a dense hydrographic network which is full of life and sculpts the landscape. Hundreds of kilometers of coastline, mostly pristine white sand beaches, stretch out uninterrupted into the 4

Atlantic Ocean. The Río Negro (Black River) is a sight on its own. It crosses the national territory from east to west, most of it is navigable (like the majority of rivers in Uruguay), and it offers a myriad of opportunities. Due to the good climate conditions that foster the growth of varied and abundant vegetation, as well as its amazing hydrographic network, Uruguay is home to a very rich fauna. Over 450 bird species, 4 of the 7 existing species of marine turtles, the Southern Right Whale, and more than 320.000 sea lions; are

only a part of “Uruguay Natural”. The Uruguayan road network throughout the country features all the necessary services for you to relax and enjoy your holidays. Not many countries in Latin America have focused as much on road safety as Uruguay. Visitors will find good hotel accommodation, farms offering rural tourism, and camping sites very close to the places recommended for watching birds and other wildlife.

Uruguay offers tourists the tranquility and comfort needed to live an unforgettable experience in touch with nature. Uruguay is a word of Guarani origin and its most broadly accepted definition is “River of the Painted Birds”. 5


Bird watching in Uruguay is easy and fascinating.

The Oriental Republic of Uruguay was named after the birds, and this symbolism is well defined because of its tremendous variety in bird species, one of the outstanding natural characteristic of South America, known as “The Bird Continent�. The geographical position of the country is the main reason for the great diversity of bird species. The Atlantic coast, next to the Rio de la Plata Estuary, has its share of many marine and coastal birds.

In only one day, as many as 70 to 80 species can clearly be observed and identified. 6

The national territory is home to more than 450 bird species, and given the open and low native vegetation characteristics, they can easily be seen in different

environments within short distances of each other. Although more than 65% of the bird species live in the region throughout the year, there are four main migratory flows: birds that nest in North America and visit the region during the southern hemisphere summer; species that nest in Uruguay in spring and in fall season fly to the north of South America; birds that nest in the far south of the continent and migrate to Uruguay during the southern winter; and marine birds such as penguins, albatross and petrels that come to our waters in winter. 7


Saffron-Cowled Blackbird

Chestnut-Backed Tanager

Many bird species present in Uruguay are native to the region, geographically distributed only in the south of Brazil and east of Argentina, such as the CurveBilled Reedhaunter (Limnornis curvirostris), the Straight-Billed Reedhaunter (Limnoctites rectirostris), the Diademed Tanager (Stephanophorus diadematus), and the ChestnutBacked Tanager. Worth highlighting among the species that are globally under threat of extinction, but can still be seen in Uruguay are: the Saffron-Cowled Blackbird (Xanthopsar flavus), the Black and White Monjita (Heteroxolmis dominicana), the Yellow Cardinal (Gubernatrix cristata), the Entre Ríos Seedeater (Sporophila zelichi), and the Pampas Meadowlark (Sturnella defilippi). In the grasslands, covering over 70% of the country’s surface, it is common to find The American Rhea, The Spotted Nothura (Nothura maculosa), the RedWinged Tinamou (Rhynchotus rufescens), the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), The Field Flicker (Colaptes campestris), the Great Pampa-Finch (Embernagra platensis), and the White-Browed

Greenfinch

Dusky-Legged Guan

Snowy-Crowned Tern

Blackbird (Sturnella superciliaris). In the native forests, found mainly along rivers and hilly regions of the country, it is frequent to see the Dusky-Legged Guan (Penelope obscura), the Gilded Hummingbird (Hylocharis chrysura), the White-Throated Hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis), the White-Spotted Woodpecker (Veniliornis spilogaster), the Scimitar-Billed Woodcreeper (Drymornis bridgesii), the Chicli Spinetail (Synallaxis spixi), the Rufous-Capped Antshrike (Thamnophilus ruficapillus), the Glaucous-Blue Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea), the White-Rimmed Warbler (Basileuterus leucoblepharus), and the Blue and Yellow Tanager (Thraupis bonariensis). The wetlands, including swamps, marshes, scrublands, rice fields, and lagoons are home to the Plumbeous Ibis (Harpiprion caerulescens), the Black-Necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus), the Southern Screamer (Chauna

torquata), the Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba), Ringed Teal (Calonetta leucophrys), Silver Teal (Anas versicolor), th Giant Wood-Rail (Aramides ypecaha), the Spot-Flanked Gallinule (Porphyriops melanops), the Long-Winged Harrier (Circus buffoni), the Spectacled Tyrant (Hymenops perspicillata), the Brown-and-Yellow Marshbird (Pseudoleistes virescens), and the Scarlet-Headed Blackbird (Amblyramphus holosericeus). Along the coast it is common to find various species of seagulls and terns, like the Olrog’s Gull (Larus atlanticus), and the Snowy-Crowned or Trudeau’s Tern (Sterna trudeau). On the islands near the coast and especially in winter, it is possible to see the Snowy Sheathbill (Chionis alba), and further into the sea albatrosses and petrels, such as the Black-Browed Albatross (Diomedea melanophrys), and the Southern Giant-Petrel (Macronectes giganteus).

Burrowing Owl

Black and White Monjita

Field Guides (English)

American Rhea 8

Black-Necked Swan

• Birds of Argentina & Uruguay. Narosky e Izurieta. Vázquez Manzini. Oct 2004.

• Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica. M.R. De la Peña y M. Rumboll. Princeton University Press. Jan 1998. 9


Places recommended for bird watching:

26

Embalse de Salto Grande

21

Cuchilla Negra Valle del Lunarejo

31

12

Laureles

28 9

22 27

30

L

23

11

29

Bosques del Queguay

13 25

10 9

10

8

14

11

Esteros de Farrapos e Islas del Río Uruguay

21

7

Quebrada de los Cuervos

28

5

19 12

I

6

Pº Mazangano R. 44 sobre R. Negro

3

Paso Pache

17

BuenaVista Ruta 8 km 420

4

Juan Lacaze

18

Paso Centurión

5

Santo Domingo Soriano

19

Barra Río Tacuarí

6

Palmitas

20

Punta Quiroga

7

Farrapos

21

Quebrada de los Cuervos

8

San Javier

22

Barra Río Cebollatí

9

Guichón

23

Laguna Garzón

10

Río Queguay

24

Sierra de los Caracoles

11

Termas San Nicanor

25

Arroyo San Francisco

12

Río Arapey

26

San Carlos

13

Valle Edén

27

Laguna del Diario

14

Estación km 329

28

Valle del Lunarejo

A

Parque Lecocq

Route 1, km 19.200

B

Balneario Guazuvirá Nuevo

Route IB, km 57.300

C

Balneario Solís

Calle de la Laguna

D

Laguna de Rocha

Route 10 y Ruta 15

E

Parque San Miguel

Route 19, km 8.300

F

Parque Indígena

Cno. A. Saravia, Rincón del Indio

22 H

18

Chamangá

Route 26 sobre Río Negro

16

As well as having an adequate tourism infrastructure, there is also an interesting network of “hides”.

20

19

Bosques del Río Negro

15

Playa Penino

Viewpoints

Paso Centurión

15

24

Rincón de Melilla

2

18

17

16

1

G 17 13

J

San Miguel

3

K

2

15

A

B

1

Isla de Flores

10

1

24 4

26 C

7

6

M

20

Parque Santa Teresa

F

4

La Coronilla

Verde

Arequita

25 Humedales del Santa Lucía

2 Cerro 3

8

16

5

E

Cabo Polonio

23 D

27

11


Pinnipeds and Cetaceans of Uruguay. To date, records show that the Uruguayan coast and sea has seen the presence of 35 different marine mammal species: 3 Pinniped Otarid (sea lions and eared seals), 4 Pinniped Phocidae (true seals), 20 Cetacean Odontocet (dolphins and porpoises with teeth in their jaws), and 8 Cetacean Misticets (“large whales”, with baleen plates or whalebone in their jaws).

Cetaceans: Whales, porpoises and dolphins.

Southern Right Whale 12

One of the species that visits Uruguay’s coast is the Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis). Its body is large, rotund, oval shaped, and it does not have a dorsal fin or ventral pleats. The average length of an adult is 14 mt (males) and 16 mt (females), and the average weight is 45 tons. The two distinctive characteristics which make the Southern Right Whale different from other

species of “large whales” are: the wide V-shaped blow rising about 4mts above the surface of the water; and callosities (roughened patches of skin) on their heads that can be as thick as 5 cm. The oldest records that document this species presence in Uruguayan sea date back to 1761 and 1920, a time of whaling operations in the Maldonado Bay. 13


The Whale Route. Today, in order to foster the conservation of the species, hunting these cetaceans has been banned. From July until November, this into our oceanic waters; and there, in those calm waters, three of the

most important events in their lives take place: mating, giving birth, and nursing the calves. It is spring season in Uruguay, the perfect time to follow the “Whale Route” along the coast and watch these beautiful animals. Punta Quiroga

Punta Gabito

Treinta y Tres

Punta Cebollatí

Cebollatí

Punta Magro

Tourists can enjoy 350 kilometers of coastline and be amazed by incredible landscapes such as: Punta Colorada, Punta Ballena, Merín Punta del Este, La Pedrera, Cabo Polonio, Barra de Valizas, Laguna La Coronilla, and Punta del Diablo; as well as the astounding lighthouses and their views of José Ignacio, La Paloma, and Cabo Polonio. 8

Punta Pelotas

Rí o C ebollatí

Arroyo de las Pel

o t as

Arroyo del Cei b

o

Punta San Luis

19

San

Lui s

Mu

er

ta

bo llatí

Rí o

A r ro

In d

ia

Ce

yo

de

la

In

ro y

o de la

Río

d ia

M u er ta

Faro

14

Ar

15

Bañados de San Miguel

La Coronilla

Punta Rabotieso

available with trained guides and crew that provide accurate information during the trips. Uruguay strictly follows a code of good conduct, designed for safe sightings both for tourists and whales, and follows conservation practices procedures. The presence of theses mammals in our coastal waters increases every year, therefore there are very good chances of seeing them, but because they swim freely in the ocean, sightings are not assured. Uruguay is undoubtedly the country chosen by these friendly animals to find tranquility in our calm waters.

Cerro Verde

16

Embalse de la India Muerta

Laguna Merín

Six viewing platforms have been strategically located along the coast for whale and bird watching, an invitation to discover our territory’s biodiversity. It is not surprising to see right whales only a few meters away from the shore; visible even from the roads that run along the coast. It is also frequent to see Odontocetes (franciscanas, dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, porpoises, and false killer whales). Leaving from the ports of Punta del Este and La Paloma, cetaceanwatching boat excursions are

Playa La Moza Playa del Barco

Laguna Negra

13

Faro

13

Punta del Diablo

Montevideo

Rocha

9

Castillos

8

16

Lavalleja 15

109

Minas

Laguna de Castillos

Faro

10

Faro de Cabo Polonio

Rocha

39

15

12

Laguna de Rocha

Maldonado

60

93

Laguna Garzón

Laguna del Sauce

10

Piriápolis

Laguna José Ignacio

Maldonado

Punta Chileno

Punta del Este Faro

Isla Gorriti Faro Isla de Lobos

14

La Pedrera

La Paloma

9

9 10

Faro

Costa Azul

Faro

Faro Cabo Santa María

At

la

nt

ic

Oc

ea

n

Faro de José Ignacio

Viewpoints Other strategic marine fauna viewpoints 15


Watching seals and sea lions in their natural habitat is amazing.

Laguna Merín Punta Rabotieso

Punta Quiroga

Punta Gabito

Treinta y Tres

Punta Cebollatí

Cebollatí

8

S.O.S. Marine Fauna Rescue

93

Laguna José Ignacio

39

Maldonado Punta del Este

Isla Gorriti

o

San

Lu i s

Mu

er

ta

bo llatí

In d

ia

A r ro

yo

In

o de la

ro y

d ia

Muerta

Bañados de San Miguel

14

Ar

15

Embalse de la India Muerta

16

13

13

9

16

o Garzón

Rocha

There is restricted access to Isla de Lobos. Boat trips leaving from the port of Punta del Este are available for passengers to enjoy this outstanding experience.

Punta San Luis

Faro

Tourists will also be delighted to watch this natural wonder from solid ground. At the Punta del Este, Piriápolis, and La Paloma docks, Southern Faro Sea Lions can frequently be seen coming close to local fishermen who clean their catch and feed them the leftovers.

In Cabo Polonio, South American Fur Seals, mostly males, can easily be seen in front of the lighthouse, on the rocks next to the sea. Punta Colorada also offers many different activities. There are guided tours to S.O.S. Marine Fauna Rehabilitation and Rescue Center, where voluntary work and training workshops are available.

Cabo Polonio

15

Laguna de Rocha 9

Laguna Garzón

An unbeatable experience.

Punta Pelotas

Laguna Merín

Laguna de Castillos

15

A r ro y

io

n ac

Jos é I g

Laguna del Sauce Piriápolis

Río

10

Montevideo

o ta s

19

Arroyo

60

Arroyo de las Pel

Arroyo del Cei b

39

12

La Paloma 10

Faro

At

la

Oc ic nt

Faro

ea

n

Faro Faro

Isla de Lobos 16

Río C ebollatí

109

Minas

10

one of the largest populations of South American Fur Seals breed and live; on its north and east shores there are also adult and young Southern Sea Lions and Southern Elephant Seals. Ce Owners of 45 hectares of Río completely natural landscapes, mostly rocks and sandbanks, about 180.000 South American Fur Seals (Arctocephalus australis) share the territory with more than 7.000 Southern Sea Lions Laguna Negra (Otaria flavescens). An estimated 35.000 pups of the first species, and 1.000 of the latter,Castillos are born annually on the island. la

Among the seal species that visit our latitudes, the one that stands out is the Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonine) coming from breeding colonies in Argentina. It is the largest of the Pinnipeds. This enormous seal can be found on our beaches and also on some islands. Leopard Seals (Hydrurga leptonyx), Crabeater Seals (Lobodon carcinophagus), and Weddell Seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) are also frequently seen, although not as much. Not far from the coast, there are several islands that conserve their natural values. On8 Isla de Lobos,

Sea Lions

Punta Magro

de

9

For over two centuries, until 1991, commercial exploitation of sea lions was carried out at Isla de Lobos and Cabo Polonio. Today, the protection, management, and conservation of all marine mammal species are included in the legislation.

Island regions where Pinnipeds live.

Southern Elephant Seal 17


Ce

b Río

Chuy Faro

Discovering sea turtles on Uruguayan shores is an astounding experience.

15

9

14 16

Laguna Negra

13

Isla Verde Isla Coronilla

Parque Nacional Santa Teresa Faro

Punta del Diablo

Montevideo

13

La Coronilla

Cerro Verde

Castillos 8

Leatherback Turtle Loggerhead Turtle

18

Laguna del Sauce

Piriápolis

yo Garzón

ce O ic

10

Faro

Maldonado

Río de la Plata

Punta del Este Isla Gorriti

Of the seven species of sea turtles, five can be found in Uruguayan waters. The Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) is commonly seen on rocks and shores with abundant seaweed, their main food source. Young turtles with shell lengths of between 30 cm and 60 cm come to our shores. The Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is found in coastal waters and further out to sea, where they prefer to eat mollusks and crustaceans. It is common to see immature and adult turtles with shells measuring 50cm - 110 cm in length. The Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a tropical species, that rarely can be found in uruguayan waters. Juvenile turtles can be found sporadically in coastal waters, with shells measuring 30 - 50cm. The Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivácea) is the smallest of the sea turtles. It feeds on mollusks and crustaceans; and out of the four species that live in our waters, this is definitely the most difficult to find.

Laguna José Ignacio

39

93

La Paloma Faro

Laguna Garzón 10

Turtle sighting areas

15

Arro

o

ac i

J os é I gn

9

Faro

Cabo Polonio

Laguna de Rocha 9

Arroyo

60

In accordance with international laws and treaties, our legislation protects these species in risk of extinction throughout our national territory and territorial sea. Uruguay fosters the conservation of sea turtles and the sustained development of communities, and invites you to enjoy the wonderful experience of watching them in their natural habitat.

10

Rocha

Valizas

nt

Rocha

39

12

Laguna de Castillos

la

109

At

9 15

Minas

an

16

Faro Faro Isla de Lobos

Green Turtle

The Lea t h er ba ck tu r t le (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest of all living sea turtles, growing to 2 mt in length. Adults weigh about 300 kg - 700 kg and feed primarily on jellyfish and other ocean drifters. During the summer months, Green turtles are sighted basking on rocks, mainly in Maldonado and Rocha. They come from Ascencion Island (United Kingdom), Surinam, Isla de Aves (Venezuela), Brazil, and Africa. With a good amount of patience they can be seen feeding. Research has found that the region of Cerro Verde in Rocha is their feeding and development habitat. Places such as Cabo Polonio, Valizas, Punta del Diablo, Santa Teresa, and Cerro Verde have high probability of sightings. The latter has a natural path that can be visited all year round. Access is from Ruta 9, km 314, entering the Parque Oceánico and walking 4 km

to Cerro Verde. Marine and coastal birds like American Oystercatchers, Terns, and Neotropic Cormorants, among many other, can be spotted along the way. If you carefully examine rocky areas, you will find stunningly beautiful seaweed and anemones. If you are lucky enough, you might also see the bottlenose dolphins riding the waves. Once you reach Cerro Verde you will find natural viewpoints where you can watch the Green turtles. Guides from the Sea Turtle Center are available to accompany you along this path during weekends in high season (December - March). It is important to book in advance. 19


More information AVESURUGUAY/G.U.P.E.C.A. Canelones 1164 - Montevideo

Tel.: (598) 2902 8642 e-mail: gupeca@adinet.com.uy Web: www.avesuruguay.org.uy

Birdlife International

Web: www.birdlife.net

Proyecto Ballena Franca/OCC

Tel.: (598) 4479 8318 Cel.: (598) 99 124144 e-mail: info@ballenafranca.org Web: www.ballenafranca.org

(Cetacean Conservation Organization) La Paloma - Rocha

International Fund for Animal Welfare - IFAW

Web: www.ifaw.org

Proyecto Karumbé

Cel.: (598) 098 614 201 e-mail: karumbemail@gmail.com Web: www.karumbe.8k.com

Av. Rivera 3245 Montevideo

SOS Rescate de Fauna Marina (SOS Marine Fauna Rescue) Ruta 10 Costanera - Bahía Delfín Punta Colorada - Maldonado

Ministerio de Ganadería, Agricultura y Pesca (MGAP) (Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries)

A.C.U.O.

Tel.: (598) 4432 7244 Cel.: (598) 94 330795 e-mail: sos-faunamarina@adinet.com.uy Web: www.sos.elacuarista.com DINARA Web: www.dinara.gub.uy RENARE Web: www.mgap.gub.uy/renare/areasprotegidasyfauna/fauna Tel.: (598) 2525 9565 e-mail: acuo@adinet.com.uy

(Uruguayan Association for the Conservation of Ornithology)

REPÚBLICA ORIENTAL DEL URUGUAY Area

176.215 km2

Population

3.314.466 inhabitants

Capital

Montevideo

Official language

Spanish

Currency

Uruguayan Peso

Temperature

Winter 6º/17º C

Summer 21º/28º C

Rambla 25 de Agosto de 1825 y Yacaré | Tel.: 00 (598 2) 1885100 Montevideo, Uruguay

www.uruguaynatural.com | www.uruguaynatural.tv uruguaynatural.fb | uruguay_natural For more information and downloadable maps visit: www.uruguaynatural.com

Photographs and texts: AVESURUGUAY / G.U.P.E.C.A. (Agustín Carriquiry, Walter Pérez, Adrián Stagi, Juan J. Culasso y Pilar Reimondo), Lic. Alberto Ponce de León, DINARA- MGAP, Dr. Jorge Cravino, RENARE - MGAP, Proyecto Karumbé (Alejandro Fallabrino), Proyecto Ballena Franca - OCC (Rodrigo García y Martín Gutiérrez), SOS Rescate de Fauna Marina (Julio Etchart), Martín Rodríguez, A.C.U.O. - Asociación Conservacionista Uruguaya de Ornitología (Gabriel Rocha), Revista Gente, Archivo Fotográfico Ministerio de Turismo y Deporte. This material is to take away | Octubre 2012


Birds and marine wildlife