Record of the presence of huemules at Laja Lagoon
An important discovery in terms of Biodiversity occurred in the surroundings of the Laja Lagoon, close to our southern hydroelectric plants (HPP Antuco, HPP Abanico and HPP El Toro), Biobío region. This is the confirmation of the presence of Huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), a species in danger of extinction, that hasn’t been recorded in more than 10 years in the area.
This important information was provided by the Biobío National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) who shared with us the report with the results of the 2020 huemul monitoring campaign, and which delivers the results of 10,800 photographic and video records taken by camera traps installed in the area, that confirm the presence of a pair of huemules in the La Puntilla sector of the Laja Lagoon, even proposing this site as a potential breeding place for the species.
The area corresponds to the Nevados de Chillán – Laja Lagoon Biological Corridor Biosphere Reserve, whose main object of conservation is the population of huemules in central Chile, of which it is estimated to date that only about 50 specimens remain. In this area, Enel owns the 12,500-hectare Alto Polcura property, which is located in the core area of the Reserve within the Ñuble National Reserve.
It should be noted that, in Chile there are Huemul populations in the Nevados de Chillán – Laja Lagoon (central zone) and in the Patagonian Andes (extreme south), being the Nevados de Chillán – Laja Lagoon population with a higher risk of extinction due to low population size, habitat fragmentation and geographic isolation.
As a company, this information makes us happy, because for years Enel has provided support to the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), both in logistics, during the patrol work of the park rangers and CONAF professionals in areas of the Laja National Park and National Reserve Ñuble, as well as from its participation in different initiatives for the conservation of the Huemul. Its contribution since 2018 in the Group for the Preparation of the Recovery, Conservation and Management Plan of Huemul (RECOGE Plan), approved in 2020 by the Council of Ministers, stands out. In addition, Enel is also one of the Associated Organizations in the GEF Project for the conservation of threatened species (in particular the huemul of the central zone), contributing in 2020 in the acquisition of 20 camera-traps that come to strengthen the monitoring work that is being carried out to this species in the area.
Finally, as a recognition of Enel's interest in protecting the natural heritage of the area, Enel was invited in 2020 to form part of the Advisory Council of the Ñuble National Reserve, a fact that took place on November 24 of the same year.