Kawésqar National Park

Foto: Antonio Vizcaíno para Tompkins Conservation Chile

National Park

Park Creation

Founded: January 30, 2019
Area: 7,023,542 acres
Donated area: 65,347 acres
Ecosystem: Peat bog, Magellanic archipelago marshy steppe, high-altitude peaks without vegetation, Magellanic evergreen forest, Magellanic deciduous forest
Estimated carbon sequestration: 2,071.6 million metric tons
Location: Magallanes Region

This large Chilean archipelago is a mosaic of massifs, forests, glaciers, fjords, wetlands, and valleys, which come together to make up the intricate landscape of Kawésqar National Park, the second largest national park in Chile. A complementary protected marine area, the Kawésqar National Reserve, protects a stretch of coastline spanning nearly 6.5 million acres. This maze of channels, estuaries, and fjords is home to a diverse range of marine species. The park’s name honors the Kawésqar people, nomadic canoeists native to the area.

Mapa PN Kawesqar


As part of the agreement between the Chilean Government and Tompkins Conservation Chile creating new national parks, in 2018, the Alacufes National Reserve was reclassified as a national park along with the adjacent lands owned by Tompkins Conservation Chile. Thanks to the efforts of the Kawésqar community, conservation groups, and government authorities, the surrounding waters were also designated a national reserve.

Ecological Value

Magellanic rainforest dominates the landscape, featuring species including the Magellanic coigüe, ciprés de las guaitecas (Pilgerodendron), and canelo. You can also find lenga and ñirre, along with species associated with peat bogs, as well as shrubby vegetation like chilco (hardy fuchsia), calafate (magellan barberry), sarsaparilla, murtilla (Chilean guava), and scrub and strips of grassland along the coast.

In the park, you can also find around 24 different species of mammal. Highlights include the huemul (South Andean deer), the puma, the Andean wildcat, the culpeo fox, and the chilla (South American gray fox). You can also find 136 birds, including the condor, the fío-fío (white-crested elaenia), the southern churrín (Magellanic tapaculo), and the Magellan woodpecker. The nearby national reserve is home to marine species such as the black-browed albatross, terns, and cormorants. Four types of dolphins can be found in the water, along with sea lions, elephant seals, penguins, and humpback whales, among others. You can also find leopard seals, huillines (southern river otters), and chungungos (marine otters).

Kawésqar National Park | Photo: Antonio Vizcaíno for Rewilding Chile

For more information about the park click here.