Dawn illuminates a view across an estancia and the Atlantic Ocean, Rio Gallegos, Argentina.
Argentina Grasslands Dawn illuminates a view across an estancia and the Atlantic Ocean, Rio Gallegos, Argentina. © Nick Hall

The Nature Conservancy in Argentina

Fortin Chacabuco

Argentina's first sustainable grasslands demonstration site.

At the foothills of the Andes, where mountain streams and shrubland give way to the mythical Patagonian grasslands, lies a magical place called Fortin Chacabuco. Home to condors and black-chested buzzard eagles, this working ranch harbors critically endangered species found nowhere else on earth, such as the tuco-tuco, a hardy rodent that has survived thousands of years in the Patagonia's harsh highlands.

To strengthen the Conservancy's sustainable grazing work in Patagonia, in 2016 The Nature Conservancy acquired, partly through donation and partly through purchase, the 13,000-acre Fortin Chacabuco working ranch .

Fortin Chacabuco is Argentina's first sustainable grasslands demonstration ranch. The working ranch protects Patagonian landscapes and spreads conservation to all of Argentina.

  • The Fortin encompasses 13,000 acres of Patagonian grasslands in which we teach hands-on educational programs to local communities, children, ranchers, producers, conservation leaders, scientists and government officials.
  • We are carrying out more than 18 conservation science research projects that can be replicated beyond the site, in conjunction with local, national and global scientists and universities.
  • We are showcasing how sustainable grazing and production chains can save Patagonia's natural landscapes. 
Herding sheep on a sheep and cattle ranch located in the Patagonian Steppe ecoregion
Grassland cattle Gaucho (cowboy of the Argentine grasslands) herding sheep on a sheep and cattle ranch located in the Patagonian Steppe ecoregion of the temperate grasslands of Patagonia; Chubut Province, Argentina. © 2008 Bridget Besaw

“Fortin Chacabuco is a conservation dream come true for The Nature Conservancy in Argentina. From the beginning we planned for the property to become a learning center, as it offers a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate how conservation is essential to making people's lives better. Fortin Chacabuco will expand the reach of conservation in Argentina, and will help shape the way lands and waters are managed across the continent to ensure a healthy planet for future generations”. - Georgia E. Welles, member of the Argentina Trustee Board and emeritus member of the Global board of directors, United States, The Nature Conservancy.