Fauna and flora

From the steppe to the vast temperate rain forest

Patagonia is still a vast and untamed land

Plants and Wildlife un Patagonia

Plants: The vast temperate rain forests

The vast temperate rain forests of the south of Chile and Argentina extend from an imaginary line running through Valdivia in Chile´s XIV region down to Tierra del Fuego However, there are many variations within this area due to latitude, height above sea level, temperature and rainfall.

The Valdivian temperate rain forest in the regions XIV and X in the south of Chile is a habitat featuring a densely wooded area untouched by agriculture.

Flora en la PatagoniaLarch and Pilgerodendron stand out in the evergreen forests, which can be found all over the mountainous regions of southern Chile and Argentina.

The magallanic subpolar rainforest is buffeted by strong winds and subject to heavy rainfall. It extends across the extreme south of Chile and Argentina. The most typical tree is local beech.

Tundra is the typical vegetation found in the extreme climate of the southern areas of Chile and Argentina. Areas of tundra are characterized by impoverished soils and the presence of shallow ponds and lakes.

The Andean forests of Patagonia – where the most typical trees are the Antarctic beech and the Lenga beech - make up a habitat which corresponds to the mountainous regions of the south of Chile and southwest of Argentina. One of the reasons for these forests is rainfall caused by masses of humid air from the Pacific when they collide with the Andes.

There are forests often called transitional because they occupy the area between the tundra and the forests of the Andes. These transitional forests are a mixture of conifers and deciduous trees and hardy scrubs

The Patagonian steppe is a vast plateau, which suffers low temperatures and is constantly buffeted by wind. Wildlife here is similar to that present in the mountains.

In Argentina, steppes can be found in the mid – west of Mendoza, west of Neuquén and Rio Negro, practically in all of Chubut and Santa Cruz and the northeast of Tierra del Fuego. In Chile steppes are found in Aysen and Magallanes.

Wildlife

“Nearly 500 species of animals live in Patagonia”

Birds

There are many species of quail, ducks, swans, flamingoes, woodpeckers, vultures, eagles and hawks. The most interesting and typical birds in Patagonia are the Andes condor (the world´s biggest flying bird and one of the highest flying), the kingfisher, the ibis, the rhea, the upland or Magellan goose, the grebe, and humming birds 

Fauna en la Patagonia

The camel family

The camel family in Patagonia is represented by: Alpacas, Llamas, Vicuñas and Guanacos.

Deer

Native deer are very small. They are the South Andean deer (It features on the Chilean coat of arms) and the Pudú, which is the world´s smallest deer                    

The cat family

Although locally it is referred to as a “León or Lion” we know it as a puma The Andean wild cat is also spotted occasionally.

Other animals

There are different species of foxes, armadillos, weasels, skunks and otters. The biggest native rodent is the coypu, which weigh up to 9 pounds. Especially interesting are the southern river otter and the giant armadillo. Deer, wild boar, rabbits and hares were introduced into Patagonia from Europe.

Wildlife in the Ocean

If you fish in the fiords or on the coast, you will almost certainly see penguins, albatrosses, petrels, pelicans, cormorants, elephant seals, sea lions, South American sea lions, whales dolphins, sperm whales and killer whales. Perhaps two of the most interesting to observe are the sea otter and the Southern right whale.