Patagonia’s Big Five

April 16, 2012 - 15:29
You’re familiar with the Big Five on African wildlife safaris but what about the Patagonian Big Five? EcoCamp Patagonia hosts the world’s southernmost wildlife safari, over 4,000 miles from Africa, featuring the Patagonian Big Five - Guanaco, Puma, South Andean Deer, Andean Condor and Ñandú. Out of the 26 species of mammal and 118 different types of bird, we've compiled a list of the BIg Five. See video of Wildlife in Torres del Paine (Source: National-Geographic WILD)


Guanaco
 
The Guanaco is a friendly camelid native to South America which migrates in large groups across Torres del Paine national park. The 2600 to 2900 strong guanaco population in the park are not camera shy and enjoy posing for EcoCamp Wildlife Safari photos.
 
 
 
 
Puma
The rarely sighted Puma is a big topic of conversation in Torres del Paine. Given its solitary low profile, nobody knows exactly how many pumas there are in the park but experts estimate that approximately 50 of the golden-coated night hunters inhabit the park. Travellers wrestle between their desire to see a puma slinking across the horizon at dusk and the fear of coming face to face with one unexpectedly! Amazing video of Puma hunting in Torres del Paine (Source: National-Geographic WILD)
 
 
 
 
South Andean Deer
The South Andean Deer (Huemul) is an endangered specie and, as the national symbol of Chile, receives special protection in Torres del Paine National Park. It lives in high mountain forests in small groups and just 100 remain in the park. We hope the Big Five doesn’t become the Big Four!
 
 
 
 
 
Andean Condor
The Andean Condor circles throughout the Patagonian skies looking for carrion to feast on. This vulture has a wingspan of up to 3.2m (the world’s largest) and flies menacingly overhead providing great photo opportunities. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ñandú
The Ñandú, known as the Lesser Rhea, is a flightless bird which looks similar to an ostrich. It spreads out its large wings when running and is able to run very fast up to speeds of 60 km/h and outrun predators. It lives in the east of Torres del Paine, where EcoCamp is located, on the Patagonian steppe.  
 
 
 
 
Penguins

 

Other impressive fauna in Patagonia includes the 150,000 strong penguin colony on Magdalena island near Punta Arenas, Chile, where travellers can wander around and observe the penguins in their natural habitat. Austral dolphins, whales and sea lions swimming in the waters connecting the Pacific and Atlantic ocean can also be seen at the southern tip of Patagonia.

 

Any other species to add? Feel free to leave a comment with your additions to the Big Five!

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