Latin America and the Caribbean

From Mexico to Argentina, WCS’s Latin America and Caribbean program uses a landscape-scale approach to conserve the habitats of the region’s penguins, pumas, monkeys, guanacos, and other iconic wildlife. Our conservationists work on the ground to protect Latin America’s most ecologically intact wild places, including the rugged coastlines of the Southern Cone, the rainforests of the Amazon basin, and grasslands of the Andean steppe. Encompassing productive fisheries, biological corridors, migratory flyways, carbon sinks, sustainable development reserves, and more, these landscapes are not only vital to Latin America’s biodiversity but to its people and economies as well.

O'Higgins Landscape

Bernardo O’Higgins, Chile

The biggest park in Chile and one of the world’s major freshwater reserves, this rugged area of glaciers and fjords is home to eagles and condors.

Bosawas Biosphere, Nicaragua

Bosawas Biosphere, Nicaragua

Covering nearly 7 percent of Nicaragua, this reserve helps protect the largest piece of tropical moist forest north of Amazonia.

Gran Chaco

Gran Chaco, Bolivia & Paraguay

This relatively undeveloped lowland is the world’s largest expanse of protected dry forest and a haven for jaguars and peccaries.


Karukinka Landscape, Chile

A gift by Goldman Sachs helped to establish this reserve in Patagonia, a mix of peat bogs, woodlands, and snowy mountains.


Madidi-Tambopata, Bolivia

Five protected areas, eight indigenous territories, and archeological sites dot this huge rainforest and montane wilderness.

Mamiraua-Amana, Brazil

Mamirauá-Amana, Brazil

The largest Brazilian protected area for the flooded forest, this region is home to river dolphins, uakari monkeys, and jaguars.

Maya Biosphere, Guatemala

Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala

This rainforest is a stronghold for jaguars, pumas, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, and millions of migratory birds.

peccary and bird

Pantanal, Brazil

Sitting at the geographic center of South America, the Pantanal is one of the largest tropical wetlands in the world. Thriving populations of many rare species live here, including giant river otters, hyacinth macaws, marsh and pampas deer, jaguars, and white-lipped peccaries.


Patagonia and Southern Andean Steppe, Argentina

One of Earth’s most sparsely populated regions, this land is the last stronghold of the guanaco, a wild relative of the llama.


Patagonia Coastal and Southwestern Atlantic Seascape

Magellanic penguins, southern right whales, and elephant seals rely on this wild, remote expanse to feed and breed.


Piagacu-Purus, Brazil

Vast swaths of intact tropical forests include seasonally flooded forests, which provide habitats for a great variety of wildlife.


San Guillermo, Argentina

This biosphere reserve was created in 1998 to protect the biggest concentration of wild vicuñas and other camelids in Argentina.

Valle de Cauca, Colombia

Valle del Cauca, Colombia

The Andean valley of the Cauca River boasts the country’s most fertile lands, which are under pressure from a growing population.

Yasuni National Park

Yasuni National Park, Ecuador

This swath of the Amazon has one of the world’s greatest varieties of trees and a record number of bat, bird, frog, and fish species.

Yavari-Miri, Peru

Yavari-Samiria, Peru

Few places in the world rival the Yavari River and its seasonally flooded forests in the western Amazon Basin for sheer wildness.


Zapata Swamp, Cuba

At more than one million acres, this is one of the most extensive remnants of West Indian biodiversity left in the region.

From the Newsroom

World Food Day Honors Family, Small FarmingOctober 16, 2014

Ramon, or breadnut, is among the crops harvested by local communities in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. The nutrient-rich seed was once a staple of the Mayas, whose civilization was centered here.

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