Perito Moreno National Park
|Perito Moreno National Park|
|Parque Nacional Perito Moreno|
Hypochaeris incana, Belgrano peninsula, Perito Moreno National Park
|Location||Santa Cruz Province, Argentina|
Perito Moreno National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Perito Moreno) is a national park in Argentina. It is located in the western region of Santa Cruz Province on the border with Chile. It has an area of 115,000 hectares of mountains and valleys at a height of 900 metres above sea level.
The park is one of the oldest in Argentina having been established in 1937. It is named in honour of the explorer Francisco Moreno.
The latitude, altitude and snow covered mountains mean that the temperature is almost constantly below 0°C outside the summer months where it rarely reaches above 15°C. Snowfall is common from the mountains to the steppes. There is a frequent westerly wind which reaches speeds of 100 km/h.
The park is located at around 900 metres above sea level, which is the height at which the valleys are inhabited. A series of mountain chains traverse the park from east to west and from north to south, resembling an imposing amphitheater. Inside the protected area the highest peak is cerro Heros (Heros hill) at 2,770m. Nearby, but outside the boundary of the park lies the imposing cerro San Lorenzo (Monte San Lorenzo) which reaches 3,707m in height, which is generally covered by clouds. To the north of the lake Belgrano the cerro Leon (Lion hill) reaches 1,380 m and to the east of the same lake, the Gorra de Vasco (Basque peak) reaches 1,140 m. Inside the Park the Sierra Colorada (Red plain) is distinguished, of some 1,200 m, whose western slope is very abrupt, and whose coloring gives its name.
Two main basins are distinguished, one on the Pacific side and the other on the Atlantic. They comprise eight lakes including Belgrano Lake along with numerous rivers and streams.
The Pacific basin feeds into the lago Mogote (lake Mogote), which then flows into lago Volcán (lake Volcano).
The Atlantic basin features lago Burmeister (lake Burmeister) at 932 m. The many rivers in the basin traverse the Santa Cruz province and eventually reach the Atlantic to the east.
Flora and fauna
Of the 24 species of mammal that can be found in the park the most exotic and endangered species is the small wildcat gato pajero (Lynchailurus pajeros). Another small wildcat found within the park is the gato huiña (Oncifelis guigna) which is also endangered.
- World Wildlife Fund; C.Michael Hogan. 2010. Magellanic subpolar forests. Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
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- Official website (Spanish)