We present information on the current population status of seabirds that breed along the Patagonian coast obtained between 1993 and 1995. A total of 16 species, including two penguins, one petrel, five cormorants, three gulls, three terns and two skuas, breed along the 3,400-km coast from southern Buenos Aires (38°58'S) to Tierra del Fuego (54°50'S). Breeding seabirds are not as abundant in coastal Argentina as was previously thought. Eleven of the 16 species have less than 5,000 pairs. The most abundant seabird is the Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus with 964,000 pairs, an order of magnitude higher than all other species. As well as Magellanic Penguins, Kelp Gulls Larus dominicanus, and Imperial Cormorants Phalacrocorax atriceps are relatively abundant and have a wide distribution. Other seabirds, such as Red-legged Cormorants P. gaimardi, Olrog's Gulls L. atlanticus, and Dolphin Gulls L. scoresbii, have a highly restricted distribution or nest in small colonies at a few sites in Argentina. The Patagonian coast is one of the most pristine coastal ecosystems in the world and, thus far, few seabirds are seriously threatened. However, oil pollution and commercial fisheries are having a negative impact on some seabirds and some colonies have shown recent declines. Current threats and impacts, including pollution, fisheries, human disturbance, guano harvesting, and introduction of alien species are discussed. There are currently 34 protected coastal areas, although in many cases protection measures are not adequately enforced and some areas with high seabird diversity and abundance still lack legal and effective protection. Conservation actions and requirements, including direct actions, monitoring and research are suggested.