Central Andean dry puna
|Central Andean dry puna (NT1001)|
|Biome||Montane grasslands and shrublands|
|Area||307,430 km2 (118,700 sq mi)|
|Countries||Argentina, Bolivia, Chile|
|Rivers||Desaguadero River, Lauca River, Río Grande de Lipez,|
|Conservation status||Relatively Stable/Intact|
Salt flats, locally known as Salares, are a characteristic feature of this ecoregion. Among the largest salares are Coipasa, Uyuni, Atacama, and Arizaro. Other major geographical features are the lakes Poopó and Coipasa, and the many volcanoes that tower over the altiplano, including Parinacota, Nevado Sajama, Tata Sabaya, Ollagüe, Licancabur, Lascar, Aracar, Socompa and Llullaillaco. In addition, numerous and colorful small lakes and ponds dot this region. There are seasonal as well as permanent, and have different degrees of salinity.
This ecoregion has a cold desert climate.
Typical high Andean wetlands are the Bofedales. These marshy areas are characterized by the presence of cushion bog vegetation. The Yareta grows in well-drained soils. Grasslands are dominated by species of the genera Stipa and Festuca.
Three of the flamingo species inhabit here. They are Andean flamingo, James's flamingo, and Chilean flamingo. Other remarkable birds are the Darwin's rhea, Andean condor, puna tinamou, puna teal, puna ibis and the Andean goose.
Population and conservation
Animals and plants find refuge in the protected areas of this ecoregion. Those include:
- Lauca National Park
- Sajama National Park
- Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve
- Los Flamencos National Reserve
- Olaroz-Cauchari Flora and Fauna Reserve
- Llullaillaco National Park
- "Central Andean dry puna". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.