CHALLENGES OF TOURISM
Patagonia supports tourists from all over the world. The region is sparsely populated and is not used to supporting large amounts of people. As its popularity as a destination spot grows so do pollution problems. For example, in recent years Torres Del Paine has attracted 150,000 visitors in one season. The primitive areas are not equipped to handle such large numbers. Campers reported overcrowding at one campground and the park had complaints of sewage leaking into lakes. Please be responsible when you visit and minimize the problem by hauling out whatever garbage you bring in and being considerate of those who will come after you.
Another area of concern for Patagonia is the survival of the Andean condor. The Andean condor plays an important role in the folklore and mythology of the Andean regions. The Andean condor is considered near threatened by the IUCN. It is threatened by habitat loss and by secondary poisoning from carcasses killed by hunters. Captive breeding programs have been instituted in several countries.
Some local populations of orca are considered threatened or endangered due to prey depletion, habitat loss, pollution, capture for marine mammal parks, and conflicts with fisheries.
Peninsula Valdés in Patagonia contains very important and significant natural habitats for the conservation of several threatened species of outstanding universal value, and specifically its globally important concentration of breeding southern right whales, which is an endangered species. It is also important because of the breeding populations of southern elephant seals. The area exhibits an exceptional example of adaptation of hunting techniques by the orca to the local coastal conditions.