Coastal MPA
Islote de la Gaviota Cangrejera
Comprehensive Provincial Nature Reserve

Cover Photo © Pablo Petracci


Located in front of the port of Ingeniero White, in the Bahía Blanca district, this islet is home to an important population of Black-headed Gull. This species, one of the gulls in danger of extinction, is only found on the Atlantic coast in its southwestern portion, with a population that does not exceed 8,000 breeding pairs. On the islet, other species of nesting birds such as the kelp gull also stand out, with the highest concentration of active nests in its entire distribution. Other birds that nest in the area are the white heron, the white egret, the cattle egret and the American oystercatcher. Among the endangered species of the grassland we find the dwarf sparrowhawk and the open-eared titmouse, which finds here an ideal site for reproduction.

Geographic Location


Buenos Aires


-38.82° Latitude S

-62.27° 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 Equivalent Conic projection to preserve area calculations.

OPDS reports 1.15 km2 (see here).

Legal Aspects



Year of Creation


Creation Legislation

Provincial Decree 469/11

Photo © Pablo Petracci
Photo © Pablo Petracci

Eco-regions represented



Espinal ecoregion

Habitat types

Continental habitats: shrub steppe, herbaceous steppe, marches and native grasslands

Conservation Objectives

This reserve protects an important population of Olrog’s gulls (highly endangered species), a colony of Kelp gull (with the highest concentration of active nests in its entire distribution), and other species such as the White egrets, Small white egrets, and Cattle egrets. Among the grassland endangered species we find the Bay-capped Wren-Spinetail, Sedge Wren and the American Oystercatcher, that find this an ideal place for reproduction.

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.


Management effectiveness and evaluation year

43 % – METT Evaluation (2014)

Uso público

This reserve does not receive tourists

Sources consulted: Provincial Decree No. 469/11.
Expert review: Pablo Petracci (2021) – Researcher, Universidad Nacional del Sur

Olrog’s gull colonies: See Bibliography