El Calafate is an area overflowing with wildlife. However, this wildlife utopia suffered the ravages of poachers that depleted the characteristic fauna of the "Villa" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As only one example, records show that in 1902 "two pioneers killed 73 pumas in one winter, around Lake Argentino"; and the native deer or huemul was declared to be endangered only a few years ago.
Currently the local inhabitants with the help of conservation scientists are trying to return harmony to this ecological preserve radiating color, mystery and unspoiled nature.
That is why even today you may find running among the exuberant trees such as the ˝ires, lengas and coihues and among the notro or ciruelito bushes, species such as the huemul, the hullÝn, the pud˙ pud˙ (dwarf deer) and the guanaco, and flying above birds such as the burrowing parrot, the black-bodied woodpecker and black-necked swans.
Next to the forests, on the steppe, we find greater rheas, guanacos, red and gray foxes, condors, sierra-finches, seedsnipes, southern-crested caracaras and chimango caracaras, among others, and on the lakes and lagoons we can see swans, ducks and flamingoes.