Laguna Blanca National Park

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Laguna Blanca National Park
Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca
IUCN category II (national park)
PN Laguna Blanca, Neuquen
Map showing the location of Laguna Blanca National Park
Map showing the location of Laguna Blanca National Park
Location of Laguna Blanca National Park
LocationNeuquén Province, Argentina
Coordinates39°02′S 70°24′W / 39.033°S 70.400°W / -39.033; -70.400Coordinates: 39°02′S 70°24′W / 39.033°S 70.400°W / -39.033; -70.400
Area112.5 km2 (43.4 sq mi)
Established1940
Official nameLaguna Blanca
Designated4 May 1992
Reference no.556[1]

Laguna Blanca National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca) is a National Park in the west of the province of Neuquén, Argentina, close to the town of Zapala.

The park around the lagoon was created in 1940 to protect the lagoon and particularly the population of black-necked swans (Cygnus melancoryphus). It has an area of 112.5 km². The lagoon is situated in the Patagonian steppe, surrounded by hills and gorges.

It has important aquatic bird fauna, of several species and in great number.

The lagoon used to host the largest known subpopulation of the endemic Patagonia frog (Atelognathus patagonicus), but this has been extirpated by introduced predatory fish; the species survives in isolated ponds in the buffer zone of the national park.[2]

Near the lagoon is the Salamanca cave, historically inhabited by humans, where rock paintings, typical of northern Patagonia, can be seen. Other mapuche and prehistoric human artifacts have been found in the park.

Climate[edit]

Map of Laguna Blanca in Neuquen Province

The park has an arid and windy climate with a large diurnal range.[3] During summer, the mean temperature is 22 °C (71.6 °F) with temperatures that can exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F) during heat waves.[3] In winter, the mean temperature is 5 °C (41.0 °F) with minimum temperatures reaching −20 °C (−4.0 °F).[3] Snowfall can occur during the winter months.[3] Rainfall is low, averaging between 150 to 200 mm (5.9 to 7.9 in) per year, most of it concentrated in winter.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Laguna Blanca". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ Úbeda, C.; Lavilla, E. & Basso, N. (2010). "Atelognathus patagonicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Parque Nacional Laguna Blanca" (in Spanish). Administración de Parques Nacionales. Retrieved November 7, 2015.