Americas flyway


WLI Americas


Name of organisation

Reserva Achalay

Number of staff


Overall aims of the centre

The general objective of the project is to protect, restore, manage and promote the sustainable use of a portion of wetlands in the first section of islands of the Lower Delta Bonaerense, which contribute to the maintenance of ecological integrity in the La Plata Basin, with the aim of conserving the environmental service of water regulation and purification, as well as its biodiversity.

Specific objectives:

To conserve and restore a portion of the wetlands of the Lower Buenos Aires Delta in a way that contributes to the maintenance of the ecological integrity of the La Plata Basin.
To bring the community closer to the knowledge of the Delta in formation, the importance of its conservation, the goods and services it provides and the threats to its conservation.
To contribute to scientific research in the La Plata Basin, particularly in the Buenos Aires Delta.
Description of the centre

The reserve covers about 160 hectares and is located in the first section of islands of the Lower Bonaerense Delta. It is divided into 4 islands as new streams were formed over time, and its general boundaries are the Piranha Stream to the west, the Rio de la Plata to the north and east, and the San Antonio Stream to the south.

Aquatic plant communities and marshy environments dominate the majority of the property. There are lagoons with submerged, floating and riparian vegetation. There are reed thickets of bulrushes, thatch, thatch and rushes, ceibales, thickets of purslane (or "water peach") of various species or spoonbills, saetas and also different species of accompanying grasses or graminoids.

Where there are albardón, scattered specimens of native trees such as the native willow, river alder and ceibo can be found, as well as shrubs, sub-shrubs or grasses that are mostly native to the region.

Among the native species found, the following are typical and mostly abundant: the river alder, the ceibillo, the ceibo, the spoon tree, the bulrush, the mother-of-pearl flower, the reed, the margarita de bañado, the paja cortadera, the paja brava, the pinito de agua, the saeta, the sarandí blanco, the willow criollo, the totora and the sarsaparilla colorada. Most of these are marsh or riparian plants, characteristic of the area.

Thanks to the great diversity of plant communities, in the reserve we can find a great variety of birds, having registered to date 144 species, which represents around 37% of the provincial avifauna and more than 14% of the birds known for Argentina (totalling around 1000 species).

Walking along the trails we can observe several characteristic and emblematic specimens of the Paraná Delta ecoregion, such as herons, crows and roseate spoonbills, several species of ducks and macaes ("grebes"), and several species typical of grasslands, marshy areas and riverside scrub: curved-billed woodpecker, junquero, plumbeous pijuí, red-crowned choca, grey louse, domino corbatita and black wader. Among the albardón forest, if we look more closely we can also find the common guan, cardinal, small woodpecker, small woodpecker, common chiví, juan chiviro, small crowned guan, grey woodpecker, boyerito and black boyero. In addition, we have the presence of the federal (Amblyramphus holosericeus), a threatened bird categorised as vulnerable at national level.

There are also mammals characteristic of this ecoregion, such as the capybara, the coypu, the cuis and the wild cat. Among the amphibians and reptiles we can find the bramble frog, a species of macaquito, the creole frog, the swimming frog, the burrowing toad, the common toad and the brown snake.

No activities are still being carried out except for the maintenance of the property and the control of invasive exotic species. The reserve is not yet open to the public.


Areas of work

Main CEPA work area

We have partnered with organisations such as Fundación Aves Argentinas, Fundación de historia Natural Félix de Azara, and we are also part of the Argentinean Network of Private Nature Reserves. They will help us to achieve visibility and strengthen our image. We have also initiated procedures with municipal and provincial authorities, and established a very good relationship which will help us in the future when we want to promote the site.


Top three successes

Maintenance and control of invasive exotic species: we do not have a large number of individuals and for this reason it is easy to control their expansion on our land.
Relations with municipal and provincial authorities and foundations that support our cause.
To have the approval of the OPDS (Organismo Provincial para el Desarrollo Sostenible), the provincial entity that acts as the enforcement authority for the provincial laws of private nature reserves.

Top three challenges

Opening of the visitor's centre, interpretation centre, etc.
Promotion and access to the reserve
Our next steps this year (2018) are to define the type of visitor centre we are going to install, and from that to create all the educational and informative content of the reserve, both for the visitor centre and the trails, as well as an environmental education programme to be able to receive schools on our property.

Once we have established the visitor centre, designed the signage and developed the educational programme, we will approach schools in the area to offer them the possibility of coming to spend the day on the island as part of an environmental education programme.

The only way to get to the island is by boat. That is an issue we will also have to look at this year. We think it is most likely that we will establish an agreement with a boat company in the area.






María Ball

Comodoro Rivadavia 620, Boulogne, Buenos Aires, Argentina


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