Aligned with Toyota Environmental Challenges 2050 and in order to contribute to the sustainability and the preservation of biodiversity, Toyota Argentina (TASA) supports Aves Argentinas ornithological association in the Hooded Grebe conservation project.
The program aims to preserve this native bird of Argentina that is critically endangered and lives only in the Patagonia National Park.
Protecting the hooded grebe helps promoting the ecosystems and foster environmental awareness in the region. Among other benefits expected from the project it will help to preserve the quality of the ecosystem through nature-friendly farming techniques by improving awareness of the hooded grebe among students and farmers in the region, and it will make this region, which contains the Patagonia National Park, one of the world's most appealing tourist destinations.
In August 2015, Toyota Argentina signed in a legal agreement with Aves Argentinas. TASA facilitates Hilux 4x4 for the association working period to access to the hostile habitat where the Hooded Grebe lives.
The Hooded Grebe (Podiceps gallardoi) is an endemic species. Discovered by science in 1974, this diver inhabits lakes of the Patagonia plateaus in the province of Santa Cruz. During the winter, they migrate to the Atlantic coast of the same province in the estuaries of the Santa Cruz, Coyle and Rio Gallegos rivers. 40 years after its discovery, the Hooded Grebe struggles though a process that can lead to the species extinction during the next decade. During the mid-80s their populations were estimated in 3,000-3,000 individuals. Today these populations don't exceed 800 individuals.
Press Journey crossing the Patagonia National Park
In February 2017 we did the 3rd crossing with 4x4 Hilux vehicles was conducted to know the Hooded Grebe Project and test Hilux in hostile areas. This time, 9 journalists were part of the action. They visited the Patagonia National Park where the Hooded Grebe lives and the amazing Cueva de las Manos, a site of incalculable cultural and archaeological value, it has been declared a National Historic Monument and UNESCO World Heritage. This site was recently acquired by the Wildlife Foundation and will be annexed in the future to Patagonia National Park.