FAUNA ATLANTIC PATAGONIA
Species that have been declared Natural Monuments stand out on the Patagonian coasts: the southern whale known as "southern franca blue whale" (1984) and the "huemul" (1996).
The "southern franca blue whale" used to be one of the most widely hunted cetaceans. Fortunately, since it is now being protected, it is undergoing a slow recovery process. It approaches the shore in big groups in order to breed and mate.
The coasts harbor important groups of birds and marine mammals in their reproductive age. Among the birds, the big nesting colonies of Magellanic Penguins, the Dolphin Gull, the Kelp Gull, the South American Tern and five cormorant species stand out.
In the group of marine mammals significant populations of seals, one-haired sea lions, and southern walruses are found. Along the littoral coast there are other varieties of outstanding cetaceans like the killer whale, and dolphins like the "tonina overa" and the "Franciscan" type.
To the southeast of Santa Cruz province, in Monte León, there is a place of great scenic beauty and one of the most important posts of marine fauna in the region, where every year thousands of one-haired sea lions meet, together with the Magellanic Penguins' nesting colonies.
There are no significant seasonal limitations for fishing in the sea or in the rivers, except for those imposed by the migration of the species.
The fauna in the Argentinean Sea has an extensive submarine platform and is really varied: fish, crustaceans, mollusks, birds and marine mammals.
Among the varieties of fish found in the Argentinean Sea we can mention: small anchovy, dorado, tuna, sole, sea bream, hake, "brotola", mackerel, "pejerrey", conger, bass, corvine, bream, dog-fish, prawns and shrimps. There are sport-fishing centers along the entire coast, and various organized fishing excursions available.
The "huemul" is also an inevitable guest in the Atlantic Patagonian region.
When the colonists settled in these lands in the XIX century, they brought sheep and rabbits with them.
Apart from typical species such as the guanaco, the puma, the red fox and the Lesser Rhea, there are Andean species such as the Cordilleran Canastero, the Shrike-Tyrant, frogs and small lizards.
Equally outstanding in the area are the territories for big-game exotic species. Among the autochthonous species are the "pecarí labiado", the "pecarí de collar", the "chancho cimarrón", the "carpincho", the puma, the ostrich, the "corzuela", the tapir and the guanaco. Lesser Rheas and wild boars are also prey for hunters in this place.
Sport-hunting is allowed in fall and winter. However, it is advisable to resort to the corresponding national or provincial tourist offices in order to get information about official opening and closing dates for the season.