Isla de Lobos
North side of the island.
|Area||0.435 km2 (0.168 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||26 m (85 ft)|
|Part of||Coastal Islands National Park|
|Administered by||Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries|
The island is an outcropping of rocks as a continuation of the Cuchilla Grande, in an area of the Atlantic Ocean immediately at the mouth (outer limit) of the estuary of Río de la Plata. Administratively, it falls under the jurisdiction of the province of Maldonado, although it constitutes a natural reserve. Somewhat to the northwest is the smaller Gorriti Island which is the secondmost southerly place in Uruguay.
Isla de Lobos was exploited economically until 1992. Hunting the island's marine life was prohibited by law in 1991. Today it constitutes a nature reserve that is integrated into the "Coastal Islands National Park" administered by the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries.
It was discovered by Spanish navigator Juan Díaz de Solís in 1516 and named "San Sebastian de Cádiz". In 1527, it was visited by the Venetian navigator Sebastián Cabot during his expedition to the Río de la Plata and Paraná. In 1528, Diego Garcia Moguer sailed to the region and named it the "Island of the Snapper." In 1599, the island was visited by Laurens Bicker.
In 1858 the Uruguayan government erected a lighthouse on the island, which was rebuilt in 1906. With its height of 59 meters above sea level, as of 2014[update] it was the third tallest lighthouse in the world. From the balcony outside, which is accessed by 240 steps, there is a wonderful panoramic view of the island and the coast of Punta del Este.
In July 2001, it became the first automated lighthouse in Uruguay, using solar energy and other new technology. It has a siren that runs on compressed air to provide an alternative signal on days of thick fog.
Isla de Lobos is a nature reserve because it has the largest colony of sea lions in the western hemisphere: in 2005 there were 250,000 sea lions of the species called "two hairs" and 1,500 of the species known as the "wig." Can also be found different types of orcas and birds.
- "La mayor reserva de lobos marinos de Sudamérica" (in Spanish). Uruguay: La República. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
- Journal of dagregister on line
- National Navy of Uruguay. "Cronología de Marina" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "La Isla de Lobos" (in Spanish). Turismweb Uruguay. Retrieved 2014-09-23.
- Correo Uruguay (2004-02-10). "Faros de Uruguay" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2012-02-11.
- Russ Rowlett. "Lighthouses of Uruguay". University of North Carolina. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
- Michelini, María Laura (2008). Recorriendo Uruguay Guía Turística del Uruguay (in Spanish). Uruguay. ISBN 978-9974-8119-1-1.
- "Polémica en el paraíso de los lobos" (in Spanish). Uruguay: Diario El País. 28 September 2003. Retrieved 2014-09-24.
- Páez, Enrique; de Bonis, Adela (1999), "Impacto en cachorros de lobo fino sudamericano durante el derrame de petróleo en la isla de lobos", V Jornadas de Zoología Del Uruguay (pdf) (in Spanish), Uruguay, Montevideo, retrieved 2014-09-24
- Conservación y uso sustentable de la fauna marina (pdf) (in Spanish), Uruguay, Montevideo: Escuela Naval, 2002, retrieved 2014-09-24