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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Chile

JUAN FERNÁNDEZ

 
       
  General Description   The Juan Fernandez Biosphere Reserve is situated 650 km from the Chilean coast in the Pacific Ocean. It includes the whole Archipelago with the islands of Robinson Crusoe, Alexander Selkirk and Santa Clara and all the islets in the area. The Juan Fernandez Archipelago is volcanic in origin, with steep, rugged mountain ranges with deep ravines. There are practically no flat areas. Various types of lava are found, some 400 metres in depth. Robinson Crusoe Island has a central ridge some 20 km long rising 900 metres above sea level and dividing.
The arid island, its treeless of 'prados' and a zone with more humid habitats. Santa Clara Island is dry and uninhabited. Alexander Selkirk Island rises to a high plateau dissected by deep ravines with forest extending up to about 700 metres, and a peak of 1,650 metres. The vegetation of the islands is characterized by a variety of unusual growth forms with nearly 60% endemism among the vascular species. 146 species of native flowering plants have been recorded, including one endemic family (Lactoridaceae), ten endemic genera and 97 endemic species. Over 510 people (1999) live on Robinson Crusoe Island in the settlements of San Juan Bautista at Cumberland Bay, engaged in fishing, agriculture and cattle raising. Alexander Selkirk Island is occupied by seasonal fishing settlements at Colonia from October to May. Around 2,000 national and 700 international tourists annually visit the Biosphere Reserve. Tourism has been encouraged and eases economic dependence on the Juan Fernandez lobster. Erosion caused by livestock grazing is the most serious threat and difficult to control on the steep volcanic terrain. The main goals of the Juan Fernandez Biosphere Reserve are to restore altered areas and develop environmental education, protecting wild populations of native species, and training in horticultural techniques and controlling livestock numbers.
  Major ecosystem type   Volcanic islands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Robinson Crusoe island: Lower mountainous forest (500 to 600 masl); higher mountainous forest (above 600 masl); isolated groups of "luma" (Myrceugenia fernandeziana); evergreen scrub community with Chilean myrtle (Ugni selkirkii), the tree fern Blechnum cycadifolium etc. from 570 to 780 masl; steppe ("prado") with Stipa neesiana and Piptochaetium bicolor; associations of shrubby Asteraceae (Dendroseris spp.); "maqui" brushwood; sub-antarctic forest with Myrceugenia fernandeziana, Juania australis, Berberis corymbosa and the Juan Fernandez apple tree (Boehmeria excelsa)

Alexander Selkirk Island: Coastal fringe of lower plants, herbs and Cyperaceae; Graminae steppe; isolated groups of "luma" (Myrceugenia fernandeziana) from 300 to 650 masl; higher mountainous forest (950 to 1,100 masl); scrub community with Lophosoria sp.; high steppe with Magellanic species (above 1,000 masl

Santa Clara Island: steppe
  Location   33°36' to 33°47'S; 78°47' to 80°47'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   9,967
  Core area(s)   9,967
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +1,650
  Year designated   1977
  Administrative authorities   Parque Nacional Archipiélago Juan Fernández Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF)


Last updated: 3/8/2011

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