Argentina's newest national park protects vital wetlands

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, park rangers Agustin Mezzabotta, right, and Gonzalo Alves stand on a wooden walk way at "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, park rangers Agustin Mezzabotta, right, and Gonzalo Alves stand on a wooden walk way at "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, park rangers Agustin Mezzabotta, right, and Gonzalo Alves walk at "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aire

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, park rangers Agustin Mezzabotta, right, and Gonzalo Alves walk at "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aire

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, a member of National park service sits on a wooden walk way at "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park park near Buenos Ai

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, a member of National park service sits on a wooden walk way at "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park park near Buenos Ai

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, yellow flowers grow at the "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lawmakers in Argentina ha

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, yellow flowers grow at the "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lawmakers in Argentina ha

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, a wooden walk way thrusts into the swamp at the "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aires, Argentina. At a

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, a wooden walk way thrusts into the swamp at the "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aires, Argentina. At a

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, a wooden walk way stands at the "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aires, Argentina. The park is named fo

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, a wooden walk way stands at the "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aires, Argentina. The park is named fo

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, aquatic plants are seen throw a wooden plank of a walk way at "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aires, A

In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, aquatic plants are seen throw a wooden plank of a walk way at "Ciervo de los Pantanos" National Park near Buenos Aires, A

CIERVO DE LOS PANTANOS NATIONAL PARK, Argentina (AP) — Just an hour's drive from one of South America's most populous cities, a sprawling wetland of bright green marshes and dark lagoons stretches far into the horizon.

The until-now little-known area, home to a wide range of birds, fish and other wildlife, has become Argentina's newest national park in a victory for nature preservation at a time when the country is facing an economic crisis and governments worldwide are cutting back funding for parks and environmental programs.

Conservationists say creation of the Ciervo de los Pantanos (Marsh Deer) National Park out of two nature preserves will increase resources to protect the more than 5,500 hectares (20 square miles) from real estate development and other threats while creating an open-air classroom for students in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area.