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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Torres del Paine lies between the Andes Mountains and the Patagonian Steppe in southern Chile giving on to the Atlantic coast. It is an area of great scenic beauty, with many ridges, crags, glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and lagoons. The Grey, Tyndall and Balmaceda Glaciers are remains of once much more extensive system. The tablelands and plains are part of the Patagonian-Fuegian steppe. The evergreen forests of Verano extend to the west as far as the foot of the Andes mountains, which wise up to a treeless alpine zone. There are about 106 species of birds, some of which are endangered, such as Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba) and Darwin-Nandu (Pterocnemia pennata). There are 24 species of mammals of which the puma (Felis concolor) found in well-protected wooded areas, is key in controlling the population of smaller mammals. Some 570 guanaco (Lama guanicoe) are also found. The site is designed and managed as a National Park, with no permanent inhabitants. More than 20,000 national and 40,000 international tourists visit the site annually (1999) and both national and international researchers are sporadically involved in research activities. Lands cleared in the past for rearing domestic stock, are now being restored. Research is currently being carried out on plant succession, reintroduction of South Andean Deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus), the population structure and ecological impact of the introduced European hare. Geological research and the preparation of a geological map are envisaged, and studies are planned on species such as condor, eagle, Magellan ostrich, Coscoroba swan, black-necked swan, flamingo and fish.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Patagonian-Fuegian steppe with Festucetum gracillimi; evergreen forest with Nothofagus pumilio; alpine treeless zone; scrublands; meadows; desert and sub-desert communities
  Location   50°45' to 51°20'S; 72°31'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   184,414
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +20 to +3,050
  Year designated   1978
  Administrative authorities   Parque Nacional Torres del Paine Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF)

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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