Alerce Andino National Park (Chile)

Alerce Andino National Park (Chile)

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 21:17
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Alerce Andino National Park is located in the Andes, in the Los Lagos Region of Chile. The centerpiece of this lush and mountainous protected area are the Alerce forests. The Alerce only grows one centimeter every fifteen years; however these trees can surpass 50 m (164 ft) in height and live over 4,000 years.

Alerce Andino National Park is located in the Andes, in the Los Lagos Region of Chile. This national park covers about 393 sq km (152 sq mi) or approximately 40,000 ha (98,842 acres), out of which one-half are Alerce forests.

Alerce Andino National Park forms part of the Bosques Templados Lluviosos de los Andes Australes Biosphere Reserve

The park is bounded by the Reloncaví Estuary on its east and south sides and by the Reloncaví Sound to the west (excluding a coastal fringe of a few kilometers). To its north lies Chapo Lake. The park contains about 50 lakes and natural ponds.

The centerpiece of this lush and mountainous protected area are the Fitzroya cupressoides (locally known as Alerce) forests, which consist of pure and mixed stands comprising a total surface of about 200 sq km (77 sq mi). The Alerce only grows one centimeter every fifteen years; however these trees can surpass 50 m (164 ft) in height and live over 4,000 years.

The Alerce is a towering tree species native to the Andes mountains. There's almost no telling how old these trees can get, since most of the larger specimens were heavily logged in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many botanists believe they are the second-longest living trees on Earth aside from the bristlecone pine of North America. To date, the oldest known living specimen is 3,646 years old and is appropriately called Grand Abuelo.

The park provides important habitat for fauna species such as pudú and monito del monte.