Los Alerces National Park (Argentina)

Los Alerces National Park (Argentina)

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 21:20
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The Los Alerces National park is located in the Andes of northern Patagonia in Argentina. It has a western boundary which coincides with the Chilean border. Successive glaciations have molded the landscape in the region creating spectacular features such as moraines, glacial cirques and clear-water lakes.

The Los Alerces National park is located in the Andes of northern Patagonia in Argentina. It has a western boundary which coincides with the Chilean border. Successive glaciations have molded the landscape in the region creating spectacular features such as moraines, glacial cirques and clear-water lakes.

The vegetation is dominated by dense temperate forests, which give way to alpine meadows higher up under the rocky Andean peaks. The property is vital for the protection of some of the last portions of continuous Patagonian Forest in an almost pristine state and is the habitat for a number of endemic and threatened species of flora and fauna.

The park was created in 1937 for the purposes of protecting the alerce forest and other typical flora of the Patagonian Andes. The National Park has the largest alerce forest of Argentina. Alerce is one of the longest-living trees in the world; some in the park are around 3,000 years old, with many of them over 1,000 years. It grows very slowly and belongs to the family Cupressaceae.

There is a complex lake system with many rivers. The most important are the Menendez, Rivadavia, Futalaufquen and Krüger lakes, as well as the Frey river. A hydroelectric dam, providing energy to industry in Puerto Madryn, has created the large artificial Lake Amutui Quimei, which empties into the Futaleufú River which flows on to Chile.

The climate of park ranges from temperate to cold and humid. In the lower altitudes, mean temperatures range from 2 °C (35.6 °F) in winter to 14 °C (57.2 °F) in summer. Mean annual precipitation ranges from more than 3,000 mm (120 in) in the west to 800 mm (31 in) in the east in which most of it is concentrated in winter. During the coldest months, snowfall can occasionally occur.