Useful Information Flora and Fauna

Useful Information

Flora and Fauna

The flora of Patagonia is adapted to the different climatic conditions of each sector, where, depending on precipitation, temperatures, altitude and wind prevalence, different species grow. While species in some areas form shrubs, they take the form of tall trees in others. For example, in Torres del Paine National Park, the Chilean Fire bush (Embothrium coccineum) grows as a bush in windy areas, while with higher precipitation and less wind it forms into a large tree.  

Across most of the region, the forest is made up of species of the Nothofagus family, beech trees, which strongly resemble the oak tree. The predominant species include the Lenga (Nothofagus pumilio), the Antartic Beech or Ñirre in Spanish (Nothofagus antarctica) and the Coigüe (Nothofagus betuloides). This latter is the only evergreen species of the Nothofagus family present in the region, and as such is found in more low lying areas of the mountains, as it is less resistant to low temperatures.

The majority of flowers, which bloom in the spring and summer, are very delicate and adapted to rather extreme conditions. Flowers such as anemones and orchids can be seen, comparatively basic in their composition to some other shrubs which produce plentiful and colourful blossoms, such as the Mata Negra, Neneo Macho and Romerillo.

The famous “Pampa Patagónica” can be found throughout Patagonia, wide stretches of grassland where there is generally little precipitation and strong winds. The flora in these regions principally consists of “Coirón”, which is a small plant made up different types of grass, while Mata Negra and the famous Calafate bush can also be found in some areas.

The Pampas are located mainly towards the east of the region, where there is less rainfall, and to the north of the mythical Tierra del Fuego.

Birds are the main representatives of the fauna found in Patagonia, where typical species of The Andes such as the Condor, as well as the Chilean Blue Eagle, the Carancho, wild geese such as the Caiquén and Canquén Colorado, different duck species, the Black Faced Ibis, and the Chilean Flamingo. In some areas, like the Sierra Baguales, which is to the north of the city of Puerto Natales and to the east of Torres del Paine National Park, and within the park itself, it is possible to find endemic species such as the Carancho Negro Cordillerano.

There are few species of mammals to speak of however they are still interesting, the most famous and elusive of which being the Puma (Felis concolor). Being one of the most well known subspecies, this puma feeds on guanacos, hares, and quite often sheep. Armadillos, Skunks, the Andean Fox, the Patagonian Fox, Hares, Guanacos and types of rodents are all to be seen in Patagonia.

While amphibians are rare, they can also be found in some areas in the form of tiny toads and lizards.