Coastal-Marine MPA
Islote Lobos
Park and National Reserve

Cover Photo © Pablo Petracci


The Park and National Reserve Islote Lobos is a natural protected area located on the San Matías Gulf, on the Atlantic coast of the province of Río Negro, in the department of San Antonio, in the Argentine Patagonia. It consists of six granite promontories that outcrop a short distance from the coast, called Lobos Islet, La Pastosa Islet, Redondo, Ortiz Norte, Ortiz Sur and de los Pájaros. Lobos Islet is the northernmost of the archipelago, while La Pastosa is the largest. To the southeast is Redondo Islet, and then the other three. The Lobos Islet National Park stands out for the important concentration of reproductive colonies of different species in a reduced area. The Lobos islet is home to the fur seal (Otaria flavescens), while on La Pastosa, Redondo, Isla de los Pájaros and Ortiz islets there are mixed colonies of marine and coastal birds, including the northernmost colony of Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) of the species in the world. Because of its ornithological richness, the archipelago is part of the Important Bird Conservation Areas of Argentina (IBAs) with the presence of important populations of marine and wetland bird species.

Geographic Location


Río Negro


-41.44° Latitude S

-65.04° Longitude W

Size and Limits

Total Area:


Marine Area:


Continental Area:


Area estimated based on the calculation of the area of the polygon represented on the map (ArcGIS PRO) with an Albers Conic Equivalent Conic projection to preserve area calculations.

APN reports 186.84 km2 (Read More) Argentinean Sea
SMA Rio Negro Reports: approximately 4o km2 according to the description of the Law / approximately 210 km2 according to the existing polygonal, with a total coastline development of more than 26 km / land 94.60 km2, according to the polygonal (Read More).

Legal Aspects



Year of Creation


Creation Legislation

Law 27.670

Photo © Dario Podesta
Photo © Dario Podesta

Eco-regions represented


Argentine Province
North Patagonian Gulfs Ecoregion


Monte Ecoregion of plains and plateaus

Conservation Objectives

The work guideline is the conservation of a coastal sector of nesting colonies of marine and coastal birds and a colony of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens).
Conservation of a coastal sector of nesting colonies of marine and coastal birds, and a colony of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens). (Rio Negro Government)

Conservation Values

1. Pristineness and scenic beauty: refers to the aesthetic characteristics of the area, as well as the near absence of human intervention. The pristine nature of the area and its beauty provide rest and a sense of wellbeing, necessary for physical and mental health, generating opportunities for encounters, social integration, education and enjoyment.
Biodiversity: the outstanding variety of species of native fauna and flora that are concentrated in this area of the coastal strip, both on the plateau and in the marine sector, among which are endangered species such as the yellow cardinal, the land turtle, vulnerable, or the mara, endemic rodent of large size, close to the threat.
3. Seabird and shorebird assemblages: The area is used by 59 species of seabirds and shorebirds that nest and/or rest on the islets and intertidal sector, and feed in marine environments. Some of these species are vulnerable, near threatened, or endangered, such as the giant petrel, southern flamingo, plover, and red shorebird, while others, such as the terns, are very sensitive to human disturbance.
4. Sea lion rookeries. The area has two Otaria flavescens rookeries on its islets and is occasionally a resting site for the fur seal Arctocephalus australis. The single-hair fur seal is of tourist interest, as well as being an umbrella and flagship species.
5. Magellanic penguin colony: the area has the northernmost Magellanic penguin breeding colony in the world on the islets La Pastosa, Pájaros and Redondo, and about 30 nests have been recorded in Punta Pozos. This seabird is one of the main tourist attractions for the area and a flagship species, an umbrella and landscape for conservation.
6. Wetlands: especially marshes with the presence of Salicornia Sarcocornia perennis. Several beaches are relevant as a resting and feeding site for plovers and shorebirds, as well as a refuge for the octopus Octopus tehuelchus, on which the traditional activity of the octopuses is centered.
7. Assemblages of fish, including residents of rocky caves, which are targets for underwater hunting, and sharks, including threatened species such as the endangered catfish Mustelus schmitti, the scallops Carcharias taurus and the vulnerable dogfish Galeorhinus galeus.
8. Archaeological sites: These include sites on the islets and along the current coastline that bear witness to the history of the settlement of hunter-gatherer societies along the Patagonian coast. They are composed of a variety of remains, including lithic and ceramic artifacts, human skeletal remains, faunal remains related to human diet, and structures related to different uses (burials, structures presumably created as fishing fences, etc.).

Colonies and stopover sites

The following table presents the colonies or stopover sites of some emblematic species of birds and marine mammals present within the MPA boundaries.


Year of Management Plan approval


Management effectiveness and evaluation year

38 % – METT Evaluation (2014)

Official Web site:

Sources of information consulted: Management Plan (2019).
Bird and marine mammal colonies: See Bibliography