Coastal MPA
Monte León
National Park

Cover Photo © Darío Podesta


Monte León National Park is located in the south of the Province of Santa Cruz and covers an area of about 630 km2 of Atlantic marine coast. The beaches, ravines and coastal terraces are used by numerous species of coastal marine fauna, including 6 species of marine mammals and 20 species of seabirds. Of these, 7 species have known breeding colonies in the park: the Magellanic penguin, the rock cormorant, the imperial cormorant, the gray cormorant, the southern gull, the kelp gull, and the South American tern. The bird colonies and colonies located in Pico Quebrado (where between 500 and 1000 pairs of imperial cormorants nest, about 100 pairs of rock cormorants, and where the most important breeding colony of the Monte León fur seal is located), Rincón del Buque (nesting sites of rock and imperial cormorants and South American terns), Rincón del Buque (nesting sites of rock and imperial cormorants and South American terns), Monte León (nesting site for the rock shag), Monte León Beach (where a Magellanic penguin colony is located) and the Cuevas de Monte León sector (5 km south of Monte León, where there are nesting sites for the gray cormorant, rock shag, and South American tern).

Geographic Location


Santa Cruz


-50.35° Latitude S

-68.90° 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.

MPA file in the SIB (View More)

Legal Aspects



Year of Creation


Creation Legislation

National Law 25.945/04

Photo © Darío Podesta
Photo © Darío Podesta

Eco-regions represented



Patagonian Steppe Ecoregion

Conservation Objectives

Protect a sample of the Patagonian Platform’s coastal eco-region, and of the Patagonian Steppe eco-region, their ecological processes and their natural and cultural heritage.
Protect an emblematic sample of the marine eco-system of the Argentine continental sea.
Protect significant geological features, paleontological heritage and associated paleontological deposits.
Promote basic and applied scientific research of the area.
Preserve scenic beauties of importance, providing a favorable framework for regional tourism development, and facilitate quality and sustainable tourist and recreational activities in contact with nature.
Promote public awareness about the importance, functions and benefits provided by the protected area.
Promote the active involvement of neighboring communities in the conservation and management of the natural and cultural resources of the region, contributing to the practice of sustainable initiatives for local development.
Serve as an example for the future incorporation of other emblematic samples of the Argentine coastal-marine system to the Federal System of Protected Areas (Law 22.351).

Conservation Values

1. Coastal seabird breeding and non-breeding stations or colonies and their feeding and resting areas.
2. The current rookeries of the fur seals (Otaria flavescens).
3. Intertidal biological communities associated with shoaling, and fish and invertebrate breeding and feeding habitats.
4. Macroalgae meadows and associated communities.
5. The natural characteristics of the marine environment represented and the biological communities present in it or using it for feeding, breeding or transit.

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

Not evaluated

Sources consulted:
Biodiversity Information System (see here).
Management Plan (2002)

Bird and marine mammal colonies: See Bibliography