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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Fray Jorge Biosphere Reserve comprises the Fray Jorge, Talinay and Punta del Viento National Parks, situated in the IVth Region, Limari Province, north of Santiago. It extends along the range of mountains forming the Cordillera de la Costa which extends between the River Elqui in the north to the Aconcagua in the south and includes coastal plains and mountainous hinterland. It is situated between formations of scrub and semi-desert coastal steppes on the one side, and tree and shrub formations of the Cordillera de la Costa on the other. The most important feature of this Biosphere Reserve is the presence of the most northerly forest in Chile. The Fray Jorge forests are green ‘oases’ surrounded by semi-arid lands. They have some features in common with the hygrophilous forests in the south. The Biosphere Reserve shelters almost all the mediterranean species typical of Chile. Among the great variety of birds are partridge (Nothoprocta perdicaria), meadow lark (Sturnella loyca), goldfinch (Diuca diuca), and mockingbird (Mimus thenca).There are relatively few mammal species, the most noteworthy being the fox (Dusicyon culpaeus). The core area of the Biosphere Reserve has remained in its natural state. There is no evidence of farming, intensive stock raising or exploitation of the forest even though there has been some introduction of livestock in the transition area. However, in Las Chinchillas there has been excessive grazing, felling of trees and coal mining. Over 752 people (1999) live in the buffer zone, mainly engaged in agriculture and cattle raising. A development plan for tourism has been made for camping and picnic areas, an education centre and tourist information. Priority has been given to research projects relating to management programmes.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrub; mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Semi-desert coastal steppe (matorral) occasionally associated with woodlands with "lilén" (Azara celastrina), "molle" (Schinus latifolius), "litre" (Lithraea caustica), "guayacan" (Porlieria chilensis) etc.; semi-desert coastal steppes (matorral) with "alcaparra" (Senna cummingii), "palo de yegua" (Fuchsia lycioides) and Echinopsis coquimbana; river ecosystems with Baccharis sp., Salix sp., Potamogeton pectinatus, Myriophyllum aquaticum etc.; agroecosystems with potatoes, paprika and beans; grazing areas
  Location   30°38'S; 71°35'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   9,959
  Core area(s)   9,845
  Buffer zone(s)   63,700
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -3 to + 6,323
  Year designated   1977
  Administrative authorities   Parque Nacional Fray Jorge Corporación Nacional Forestal, Region IV, CONAF IV
  Brief description   Climate
Small mammals
Influence of fog on the dynamics of the Fray Jorge forest
Reintroduction of species which previously existed in the region, such as the guanaco (Lama guanicoe) and the chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera)
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate.
  Biodiversity   Ecosystem functioning/Ecosystem structure, forest systems, mammals, reintroduction, vegetation studies/plant cover, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Marco Cordero
Reserva de la Biosfera Fray Jorge - IV Región Chile - Corporación Nacional Forestal CONAF
Cordobés 281
 La Serena
  Telephone   (56.51) 22 33 33
  Fax   (56.51) 22 96 05

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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