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Elisa Corcuera Vliegenthart, born in Madison Wisconsin in 1972died in Santiago on July 14, 2017 after a long fight against her disease. Her funeral services were held in Santiago on July 15. Her remains were cremated and deposited in Parque Katalapi, near Puerto Montt, Chile.
Elisa was a journalist and territorial planner and expert in private lands conservation. She wrote books for children, scientific articles, and organized environmental education courses at Parque Katalapi. She co-founded Parque Katalapi, institution dedicated to scientific research, environmental education and conservation. In addition, she founded Así Conserva Chile, an NGO dedicated to private land conservation.
Kristine Tompkins wrote a note published in La Tercera describes Elisa: “We received the sad news that today (Friday 14), Elisa Corcuera, a great champion for the protection of biodiversity of Chile has died. Still young, Elisa, through Parque Katalapi, , a conservation initiative created by her family, and Asi Conserva Chile, organization that she help to found and strengthen, worked locally regionally and national levels, to help Chileans to protect the lands that are the backbone of the beauty of the country. Her extraordinarily beautiful personality crossed all political, social and cultural frontiers and united people towards a common objective. In Tompkins Conservation hope that Elisa be remembered by her great work capacity, her great work and heart and her love for beauty, a clean and healthy future for all Chileans. To recognize her work, we Will place a recognition plate in Parque Pumalín, to remind all visitors that there was a woman that lived her life with a great committed to beauty and biodiversity”.
Her optimism, creativity, and perseverance were decisive in the consolidation of Parque Katalapi and Así Conserva Chile and in the territorial planning of Cochamo Valley. Her relatives, numerous friends, and colleagues will never forget her friendly look and smile full of joy, that together with a bright mind were an irresistibly force that made people to join her cause and love for nature. This provided her with a legion of friends and coworkers around the world. She loved them all from the bottom of her heart.
Ricardo Hernández and his family are well and safe
The recent eruptions of Volcán Calbuco have caused concern amont collaborators and visitors of Parque Katalapi. We can now inforrm with great relief that no damage has been produced in the park. Noly some ash has been falling. Ricardo Hernández and his family are well and safe. Them and their house have not suffered any damage. The forest and park infrastructure have not been affected either.
Katalapi is 23 km away (in straight line) from Volcán Calbuco. Therefore is outside of the evacuation zone. In addition, between Volcan Calbuco and Katalapi there is a natural barrier: Cordillera de Quillaipe (see map). For these reasons and because the prevailing winds are favorable for Katalapi, it is unlikely that the park would be significantly affected. There is no possibility that lahars and lava flows in this area. Ashes have been mainly directed by winds towards the North-Eastn and Argentina. Katalapi is to the South of Volcan Calbuco.
Therefore, activities in Katalapi have not been affected and will continue according to planning. Should it change, it will be inforrmed through this web page
During the strong storm of late May in Katalapi, the oldest tree in the park was knocked down by strong gusty winds. This was an enormous old tineo (Weinmannia trichosperma), who sheltered us for years under its shade. Around this old tree, hummingbird often held territorial battles. There is even a local legend that tells: if you sit under its shade and make a wish, you should steadily keep your thoughts on your wish; when the first chucao (a bird from the forest) sings, it is a signal that the Great Tineo had listened and that your wish would be granted.
Chilean biologists, based on studies by Dr Chris Lusk, estimated that the Great Tineo was around 800 years old. Ax marks on its trunk made a century ago show that the tineo resisted forest workers when modern techniques for cutting trees were not available. This old tree invited many people to think about our short stay on Earth and the scars we leave on it.
We are not crying about its downing because it is the cycle of life and the succession in the forest: in the space left by the Great Tineo new future forest monuments will grow. However, we are thankful for the years it was with us and declare our admiration for this fallen remnant of the Chilean primary temperate rain forest.
The field guide to observe and identify the Birds of Parque Katalapi is available for all those that wish to download it from our web page. The guide includes descriptions and photographs of 42 birds species that have been observed within the park. These descriptions contain order and family, common name in Spanish, Mapudungun, and English, descriptions of female and male adults, and chicks, habitat, feeding, reproduction, and behavior. It is also possible to find valuable web links for their sounds and conservation status. Information on abundance of species, best time to observe them and continuity of their presence in the zone will help bird watchers.
The guide was made by Marcelo Mayorga, Journalist and Biologist from Universidad de Concepcion. Marcelo Mayorga has a long experience in making science available to the general public. For example, he worked for several years at Buin Zoo, where he was in charge of educational programs. He also helped to make the programs for environmental interpretation for the national Park Laguna del Laja. The publication the the guide Birds of Parque Katalapi confirms his commitment with education and conservation of the Chilean fauna,
The presence of three previously unsighted species within Katalapi Park was confirmed this summer season: the painted lizard Liolaemus pictus, the tree-mouse Irinomys tarsalis, and the "Monito del Monte" or Dromisiops gliroides . These species were observed and -in the first two cases- photographed, by Veterinary Medicine students from the Universidad Mayor, doing their internship at our private protected area. The students, Belén Bustamente, Ismael Horta, Cristóbal Suazo, and Fernanda Soffia, are also part of "Vida Nativa", a group specializing in native species, which has done important base line information and education efforts in Santiago´s Quebrada de Macul.
The painted lizard species is considered "vulnerable", and was photographed near the campground. The tree-mouse´s conservation status has not been classified, but is clearly differentiatied from other mice by its brush-shaped tail. It was found on a fern, bordering the Menocos Trail.
The last sighting was the "Monito del Monte", a species considered "insufficiently known". It is a tiny nocturnal marsupial that weighs approximately 25 grams and has a prensile tail. Previous indirect indicators of its presence had been found, the most telling of which was a characteristic nest, found by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) biologist Alberto Tacón, four years ago. Last week, Universidad Mayor interns saw three Monitos in one sighting. "We saw them climbing very clearly" say Ismael and Fernanda, "and they were recognizable beyond a shadow of a doubt by their binocular eyes and the prensile tail". At the moment of the sighting, they were doing nocturnal research in the area of the park with most mature vegetation, bordering the Tepual River, near a patch of native bamboo.
These new sightings are considered of great importance for the park, given that they are infrequent species, difficult to sight, and in some cases, in special conservation category. Ana María Vliegenthart, Education Director, indicated that together with intern Belén Bustamente, they have already begun working on interpretative activities and species information, given that the presence of these new species in the park opens new opportunities to reach visitors with fascinating data.