Unfortunately, as was common with many expeditions from the old continent, the native people of Patagonia who had adjusted so well to the difficult climatic conditions of the region, were unable to withstand the strong economic exploitation of the region and the diseases brought by white men in the 19th century. Slowly, they began fading away until the last known native of the Selknam people, a shaman of the name of Lola Kieja, died in 1966 at the age of 89.
The last couple of decades of the 19th century and 20th century saw a huge growing economic focus in the region. Livestock rearing and sheep farming became the main economic activities of Patagonia to meet the increasing demand of meat and wool in Europe, principally in Britain. Vast cattle and livestock ranches (or estancias) were set up in the region, many of which can still be seen today.