• © Conservación Marina

    Securing shorebird sites at Maullín, Chile

In Brief


Maullín, Los Lagos Region, southern Chile


Improve the population status of at-risk migratory shorebirds by increasing protection of important shorebird sites.

Conservation Value:

The three wetlands for this project were recently deiganted as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) site totaling 1,370 hectares.  These sites support more than 1 percent of the biogeographic population of the Hudsonian Godwit.  The site is also important high numbers of Whimbrels, Sanderlings, Yellowlegs, and other migratory shorebird species.  Over 100 species of migratory and resident species of shorebirds and other waterbirds have been recorded.


Maullín has several significant coastal wetlands that are not yet formally protected. The municipality was open to designating three coastal wetlands as bird reserves but lacked capacity to do the needed groundwork, including a management plan. Enter ICFC partner Conservación Marina, who saw an opportunity to develop bird-oriented tourism and protect the sites for thousands of North American godwits, whimbrels, sanderlings, yellowlegs, and other shorebird species. The sites are also important for over 100 other resident wetland and waterbird species.

Actions & Results:

Work is well underway in preparation for enacting three new wetland reserves totaling 970 hectares, and in developing birding related tourism and monitoring birds and threats.

Project Field Partner:

Conservación Marina


2015-2017 (18 months): ICFC portion: US$70,000 (58%) with matching funds of $50,000 from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program.

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photo:  Conservación Marina

In More Depth...

Project Partners and Personnel

Our partner is the Chilean conservation organization Conservación Marina with project leader Claudio Delgado. This project received matching funding from the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act program of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.


The Maullín wetlands represent one of the largest coastal wetlands in continental Chile and are recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for their importance as a feeding and resting area for Nearctic shorebird species of concern, notably Hudsonian Godwit, and for other waterbirds. This project aims to stem the loss and degradation of habitat from unregulated recreational activities (and from the lesser problem of livestock trampling) through the creation of a municipal nature reserve system. The project will also assist the local community to develop birding tourism, which will enhance local support for and appreciation of the reserve network.

  • In October 2015 Conservación Marina and the Municipality of Maullín hosted a well-attended Ornithological Congress to begin the work to protect Maullín wetlands.
  • Three new wetland reserves totaling 970 hectares are in the works. A cooperation agreement with the municipality of Maullín is in preparation and agreements have been signed for two of the three reserves in less than a year.
  • In April 2016 the Maullín coastal wetlands were designated as regionally important sites by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
  • The development of birding trails and educational materials for birding-based tourism are underway.
  • We are working with the Maullín tourist office on siting, design and construction of bird observation infrastructure.
  • Monthly monitoring is now occuring of key bird species and the threats by cattle and dogs.

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