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Restoring Resilience: Changing the Landscape Legacy in Patagonia


Dawn R. Tanner
Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
University of Minnesota
Jim A. Perry
Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology
University of Minnesota


Sheep ranching has destroyed habitat and decimated species in many areas of the world, but in Patagonia declining wool prices provide an opportunity to turn the tide. This case study places students in the role of advisor to an international NGO that has funds to advance conservation goals. A PowerPoint slideshow is used to present the Patagonian landscape, species, and variables that should be considered in conservation decisions.  After the presentation, students are given two maps: the first shows park boundaries, topography, roads, and major land forms; the second includes land prices overlaid on the first. Student groups are assigned a budget, and with the help of a set of guiding questions, they identify and defend a potential land purchase to develop as a protected area. The case is intended for use in an undergraduate class in conservation biology, environmental science, or ecology, and is an extension of another case in our collection titled "The Great Patagonia Land Grab" by C.E. Quinn and J.E. Quinn.


By the end of the case, students should have developed:

  • Knowledge about the history of poor land management and its effects.
  • Knowledge about the many layers of impact associated with invasive species.
  • A better understanding of the complexity of conservation and land-management issues.
  • An ability to think about conservation objectives across a range of temporal and spatial scales.
  • An ability to articulate the difficulty of conserving species that already face extensive habitat loss and modification and threats from invasive species, which now confront a changing climate.
  • Improved skills in landscape analysis and presentation.
  • Ideas about how to involve a range of stakeholder groups to work toward conservation goals.


Conservation; protected areas; PA; land use; estancia; ranches; guanacos; huemul deer; invasive species; Torres del Paine National Park; Patagonia; Chile; Argentina; South America

Topical Areas

Legal issues, Policy issues, Regulatory issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division


PDF, PowerPoint

Type / Methods

Dilemma/Decision, Directed, Discussion, Role-Play



Subject Headings

Ecology  |   Environmental Science  |   Natural Resource Management  |   Wildlife Management  |   Interdisciplinary Sciences  |  

Date Posted


Teaching Notes

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Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

Click the link below to download the Protected-Area-Delimitation exercise in PowerPoint format.

  Protected-Area-Delimitation Exercise