The Tebenquiche Lagoon in the vicinity of San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region was declared a Nature Sanctuary.
The lagoon is a place where Extremophile microbial ecosystems coexist, capable of withstanding extreme environmental conditions, as some studies carried out by indigenous communities, the municipality and other public institutions have shown.
Very few wetlands are protected in Chile, the salt flats and their lagoons harbor a high microbial diversity and unique adaptations to different hostile conditions for life. The microorganisms are crucial in the ecosystem, without them there would be no flamingos. Therefore, this evaluation is fundamental for its protection.
The communities of Coyo and Solor carried out the relevant procedures to start the declaration as a Nature Sanctuary. In May of 2018 they delivered the first file and yesterday the protection of this high Andean wetland became official.