At Ternium, we keep supporting projects of preservation of species and social sustainability driven by Rewilding Argentina Foundation. In this new stage, we contributed with more than 14 tons of steel for the infrastructure of two ambitious projects: the reintroduction of the giant otter into the Iberá, as well as promoting local businesses for families from El Impenetrable in Chaco.
A pen of 44 x 22 yards was built with steel for the reintroduction of the giant otter, one of the projects at the Iberá Wetlands.
The absence of apex predators in the Iberá such as the jaguar and the giant otter causes an imbalance in the ecosystem since there is no regulation of prey population. The main mission of Rewilding Argentina Foundation is the reintroduction of these two species into the region.
Since 2011, Ternium, Tenaris, and Tecpetrol have contributed to the efforts of multiple public and private participants by providing pipes, galvanized sheets, and transport for the restoration and preservation of ecosystems and species carried out by the foundation. The Iberá Wetlands project has allowed the release of the first jaguar specimens and was chosen by National Geographic as one of the best seven environmental preservation models in the world.
Ternium steel was a key element in building the pens at the Jaguar Reintroduction Center in the Iberá Wetlands and construction work at El impenetrable in Chaco. Now, the company will also be essential for the reintroduction of the giant otter and the incentive of local businesses. All of that thanks to providing 31,614 pounds of pipes, profiles, and galvanized sheets.
The giant otter is the biggest otter species on earth and can be up to 5 feet long. It was the apex predator of the water ecosystems in the Corrientes province, feeding on fish and caiman. In the mid 20th century, it was still possible to see it at the Paraná River, near the province capital. This species is in critical danger in most of the countries where it belongs, and it is even considered extinct in Argentina. It is possible that different factors contributed to the reduction of its population in the country, including habitat modification, pollution, illegal hunting, and human conflicts.
The first couple of giant otter is expected to give birth to a litter in order to form a family group that would later be released.
In 2019, Alondra was the first female otter to be incorporated into the project, she was donated by the Budapest Zoo. Later, it was transferred into the first pre-release pen that was specially designed to accommodate specimens of the species. By the end of 2019, Coco was incorporated into the project, a male specimen donated by the Givskud Zoo from Denmark. Both of them are fed daily with native fish from the area, that is offered alive for them to practice their fishing skills. They are expected to give birth to a litter in order to form a family group that would later be released.
With the material donated by Ternium in this new stage, a 44x22 yard pen in San Alonso was built in order to shelter a second couple of giant otters, along with complementary infrastructure. In Iberá, also the approval by the National Park Administration is pending in order to enlarge the jaguar pen.
On the other hand, the Entrepreneurs by Nature Project in El Impenetrable looks to improve food safety and promote local businesses by means of family farming. For this initiative, steel was necessary in order to build six henhouses of 33x33 ft. The objective is for the families to be self-sufficient and that, in the near future, they are able to create businesses linked to tourism, complementing the supply of the region around the park.
Promoting the families’ self-sufficiency in El Impenetrable is one of the other objectives to which Ternium steel also contributed.