List of freshwater ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean

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This is a list of freshwater ecoregions in Latin America and the Caribbean, as identified by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The WWF divides the Earth's land surface into ecoregions, defined as "large area[s] of land or water containing a distinct assemblage of natural communities and species". Ecoregions are grouped into complexes and bioregions, defined as, "a complex of ecoregions that share a similar biogeographic history, and thus often have strong affinities at higher taxonomic levels (e.g. genera, families)." The Earth's land surface is divided into eight ecozones. Latin America corresponds, roughly, to the Neotropic ecozone, although northern Mexico lies within of the Nearctic.

Each ecoregion is also classified into major habitat types, or biomes.

Many consider this classification to be quite decisive, and some propose these as stable borders for bioregional democracy initiatives.


By complex[edit]

Baja California Complex[edit]

Colorado River Complex[edit]

Sinaloan Coastal Complex[edit]

Rio Bravo Complex[edit]

Lerma/Santiago Complex[edit]

Rio Panuco Complex[edit]

Balsas Complex[edit]

Pacific Central Complex[edit]

Atlantic Central Complex[edit]

Isthmus Atlantic Complex[edit]

Isthmus Pacific Complex[edit]

Bahama Archipelago Complex[edit]

Western Insular Caribbean Complex[edit]

Eastern Insular Caribbean Complex[edit]

Choco Complex[edit]

South American Caribbean Complex[edit]

High Andean Complex[edit]

Inter-Andean Dry Valleys Complex[edit]

North Andean Montane Complex[edit]

Puyango-Tumbes Complex[edit]

Atacama/Sechura Complex[edit]

Pacific Coastal Desert Complex[edit]

Lake Titicaca/Poopo Complex[edit]

Galápagos Complex[edit]

Mediterranean Chile Complex[edit]

Juan Fernández Islands Complex[edit]

Southern Chile Complex[edit]

Subantarctic Complex[edit]

Venezuelan Coast/Trinidad Complex[edit]

Llanos Complex[edit]

  • Llanos (Colombia, Venezuela)

Guiana/Orinoco Complex[edit]

Amazon Complex[edit]

Northeast Atlantic Complex[edit]

Mata-Atlantica Complex[edit]

São Francisco Complex[edit]

Upper Parana Complex[edit]

Beni Complex[edit]

Paraguay-Parana Complex[edit]

Southern Atlantic Complex[edit]

Chaco Complex[edit]

  • Chaco (Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay)

Pampas Complex[edit]

Patagonia Complex[edit]

By major habitat type[edit]

Large rivers[edit]

Large river deltas[edit]

Montane rivers and streams[edit]

Wet-Region rivers and streams[edit]

Xeric-Region rivers and streams[edit]

Xeric-Region endorheic (closed) basins[edit]

Flooded grasslands and savannas[edit]

Cold streams, bogs, swamps, and mires[edit]

Large lakes[edit]


  • Olson, D., Dinerstein, E., Canevari, P., Davidson, I., Castro, G., Morisset, V., Abell, R., and Toledo, E.; eds. (1998). Freshwater biodiversity of Latin America and the Caribbean: A conservation assessment. Biodiversity Support Program, Washington, D.C..