Coastal-Marine MPA
Monte Loayza
Provincial Natural Park

Cover Photo © G Harris WCS


The Monte Loayza Provincial Nature Reserve occupies a coastal strip and a marine area south of the San Jorge Gulf and constitutes one of the most valuable bird and marine mammal colonies on the Patagonian coast, both for the diversity of species and the size of the populations it shelters. It is home to large breeding colonies of several species of birds and marine mammals, and is also frequented by elephant seals, Antarctic pigeons and giant petrels. Particularly noteworthy are: (a) the largest breeding colony of fur seals in the province of Santa Cruz, which is also one of the most important in Argentina; (b) breeding colonies of imperial cormorants, black-necked cormorants and gray cormorants. The area is home to the northernmost colony of the gray cormorant, which has a restricted distribution in Argentina; (c) breeding colonies of kittiwakes and southern gulls; and (d) nesting sites of at least two species of oystercatchers and the white-headed steamer duck.

Together with the Cañadón del Duraznillo Associated Buffer Reserve, with integrated management since 2010,  they represent a management  unit.

Geographic Location


Santa Cruz


-47.09° Latitude S

-66.27° 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.

APN reports 17.40 km2 of Patagonian steppe (see here). 

Legal Aspects



Year of Creation

1989 / 2004 / 2015

Creation Legislation

Provision N 14/1989, Law N 2737 (2004), Law 3454 (2015) // Law 2737 and amendment to Law N 3454

Eco-regions represented



Patagonian Steppe Ecoregion

Conservation Objectives

Protection of the area where there is a very large breeding site of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens), nesting colonies of four species of Cormorants, and an area for sighting Killer whales (Orcinus orca)

Conservation Values

1. Significant populations that depend on wetlands.
2. Endemic and threatened species: no data.
3. Species of economic importance, such as cormorants (Phalacrocórax spp), terns (Sterna spp) and fur seals (Otaria flavescens).
4. Charismatic species: fur seal (Otaria flavescens) and gray cormorant (Phalacrocórax gaimardi).

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

77 % – METT Evaluation (2014)

Sources consulted:
Disposicion N° 14/1989, Law N° 2737 (2004), Law N° 3454 (2015),
Management Plan (2010)

Bird and marine mammal colonies: See Bibliography