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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Argentina

MAR CHIQUITO

 
       
  General Description   This Biosphere Reserve consists of the ‘Parque Atlántico Mar Chiquita’, situated in the Chaco savanna region just north of Mar de Plata. It contains a large permanent, hyper-saline lake, up to 4 metres deep, with some small islands and brackish marshes at the mouth of the rivers which flow into the lake. The delta marshes of the Segundo River are particularly extensive. During periods of exceptional flooding, the lake level rises considerably and salinity decreases. Most of the lake is devoid of vegetation, but there are marshes of Typha spp. and Scirpus spp, and riverine thickets of Tamarix galica. The surrounding vegetation consists of open savannas, with undergrowth of cacti (Opuntia spp.), and Cereus spp. The delta marshes are extremely important for a large variety of waterfowl. Peak counts of birds have included 5,000 - 6,000 Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis), 250,000 brown-headed gull (Larus maculipennis), and 500,000 Wilson's phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor). The lake is of considerable interest for coastal species that occur in small numbers while migrating, for example red knot (Calidris canutus), and common tern (Sterna hirundo). More than 400 people live in the biosphere reserve (1995), engaged in cattle raising and agriculture, commerce and tourism. Some 900 tourists visited the Biosphere Reserve in 1995, mostly from Buenos Aires. The rationale of the Biosphere Reserve is to conserve the natural conditions which make this area attractive for tourism, with associated economic benefits from artisanal fishing, organic agriculture and local craftwork.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate grasslands including coastal wetlands and marine area
  Major habitats & land cover types   Lagoon (albufera) representing a fresh-saltwater aquatic interphase ecosystem; coastal sand dunes with Elionurus muticus, Poa lanuginosa and Panicum racemosum; wetlands; lagoons and water bodies with sand-loving species such as Myriophyllum spp., submerged species such as Potamogeton spp. and Ceratophyllum spp., floating species such as Lemna spp. and Azolla spp.; natural grasslands dominated by Stipa spp. and Piptochaetum spp.; xerophyllous forests dominated by Celtis spinosa ("Tala"); marine ecosystems with green, red and brown algae; pasture land; extensive agroecosystems; urban zones
  Location   37°44' to 37°33'S; 57°18' to 57°26'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   26,488
  Core area(s)   1,352
  Buffer zone(s)   9,857
  Transition area(s) when given   39,639
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -20 to +10
  Year designated   1996
  Administrative authorities   Municipalidad de Mar Chiquita


Last updated: 9/18/2007

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