Rewilding in Argentina: the giant river otter returns to Iberá park

Half on water and half on land: Alondra for the first time in her amphibian enclosure. Photo by Rafael Abuín/Conservation Land Trust Argentina

The first attempt to reintroduce an extinct mammal in Argentina brings hope for restored ecosystems and increased ecotourism opportunities based on wildlife watching.

In June 2018, two new jaguar cubs were born in northern Argentina’s new Iberá National Park, marking a milestone in the efforts to bring the species back into the region after decades of absence. Now steps are being taken to reintroduce the giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) as well.

After an extended period in quarantine, Alondra, an eight-year-old female from Budapest Zoo in Hungary, has been reintroduced into the Iberá wetlands. For now, she is in a tailor-made enclosure of 800 square meters on the island of San Alonso in the province of Corrientes.

This is part of an ambitious rewilding project pioneered by the Conservation Land Trust of Argentina, the foundation created by Tompkins Conservation, in partnership with the province of Corrientes and thanks to the collaboration of diverse national entities.

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