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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Laura M. Torres
  General Description   Ñacuñan is located in the Province of Mendoza in the plains at the foot of the Andes. The area consists of semi-arid upland grasslands , shrubby steppe and matorral, and shrubby and herbaceous woodlands, and wetlands 540 metres above sea level with three distinct geomorphological units. Mammals as the grey fox (Dusicyon griseus), ‘puma‘ (Felis concolor), and ‘guanaco’ (Lama guanicoe), birds such as rhea (Rhea americana), ‘martineta’ (Eudromia elegans) and reptiles such as tortoise (Geochelone chilensis), and Boa constrictor are found in the reserve.The forests of Prosopis flexuosa survived timber exploitation in the 1930s. However, timber and hunting still constitute the main threats that the Biosphere Reserve is facing today. A site of particular historic interest is ‘La Carbonera’ which contains relicts of Propopis wood transformation into charcoal and some pottery and metal utensils, left by the ancient human settlements. More than 80 inhabitants of the indigenous community live in the Ñacuñan village in the transition area (1999). Many activities such as education and public information, training courses, workshops and research activities have been carried out in the Biosphere Reserve, to the benefit of the local population. Management practices are oriented towards conservation, research and environmental education. Recent work in the Ñacuñan Biosphere Reserve concern the impact of seed-eating birds on soil-seed reserves in the Monte desert.
  Major ecosystem type   Warm deserts and semi-deserts
  Major habitats & land cover types   Shrubby steppe and matorral dominated by Prosopis flexuosa, Geoffroea decorticans, Larrea divaricata and L. cuneifolia; arboreal woodland with P. flexuosa; shrubby woodland dominated by L. divaricata, Atriplex lampa, Verbena aspera, Lycium chilensis, Atamisquea enarginata and Ephedra triandra; herbaceous woodland characterized by Pappophorum caespitosum, Digitaria californica, Setaria leucophila etc.
  Location   34°02'S; 67°54'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   12,271
  Core area(s)   3,255
  Buffer zone(s)   2,298
  Transition area(s) when given   6,718
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +540 (average)
  Year designated   1986
  Administrative authorities   Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Aridas (IADIZA)
  Brief description   Climate monitoring
Biodiversity and perturbations
Vegetation inventory, resulting in two maps from 1970 and 1999
Plant-animal interactions
Bird ecology
Habitat selection of micro-mammals
Structure and dynamics of Prosopis flexuosa forest
Ecology of desert communities
Insect biodiversity
Sustainable development in an arid zone community
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, habitat, monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Arid/Semi-arid, biodiversity, birds, community studies/communities, ecology, fauna, forest systems, invertebrates/insects/spiders, mammals, perturbations/resilience/vulnerability, plants, population genetics/population dynamics, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Mapping, planning and zoning measures/zonation, sustainable development/sustainable use.
  Contact address   Silvia Claver
Reserva de la Biosfera Ñacuñan
Dr. A. Ruiz Leal s/n - Parque General San Martín - C.C. 507
5500 Mendoza
  Telephone   (54.261) 42 87 995
  Fax   (54.261) 42 80 080

Last updated: 07/03/2011

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