Conguillío National Park constitutes the core area of the Araucarias Biosphere Reserve, while the Alto Biobío National Reserve constitutes the buffer zone. The protected area is characterized by extensive Araucarias and Nothofagus forests and the Llaima volcano, one of Chile's largest and most active.
Conguillío National Park
Conguillío National Park is located in the La Araucanía Region (IX), 148 km (92 mi) northeast of Temuco, Chile. The Conguillío is characterized by Araucaria (A. araucana) forests with Nothofagus, rivers, and lakes.
Among the attractions in the park are the Llaima volcano, one of the largest and most active volcanoes in Chile, the Sierra Nevada stratovolcano, and wild landscapes characterized by islands of vegetation surrounded by vast areas of lava flows.
Araucarias Biosphere Reserve
The Araucarias Biosphere Reserve is situated in the southern part of the volcanic Andean chain in south-central Chile.
The Biosphere Reserve includes two formerly separate national parks: Parque Nacional Conguillío and Parque Nacional Los Paraguas.
The two former parks are now united and form the Conguillo National Park, which constitutes the core area and a forest reserve, Alto Bio Bio National Reserve, which comprises the buffer zone.
The most prominent species of the biosphere reserve is the Araucaria, also called the 'Monkey Puzzle' or Chilean Pine, which has been declared a natural monument in Chile. In addition, four species of Nothofagus are found here, including Podocarpus andinus and Austrocedrus chilensis.
The rare marsupial Dromiciops australis is found within the Biosphere Reserve. Both avifauna and herpetofauna are rich.
Among the mammal species, the 'pudu' (Pudu pudu) and 'guanaco' (Lama guanicoe) are particularly noteworthy.
The Araucarias Biosphere Reserve offers excellent potential for scientific research, and studies have been undertaken, particularly on reintroducing the guanaco (Lama guanicoe).
Alto Bío Bío National Reserve
Alto Biobío National Reserve (the buffer zone) is a nature reserve located in the easternmost portion of the Upper Bío-Bío River basin in the La Araucanía Region of Chile. The Andean steppe with scattered Araucaria trees dominates the vegetation.
Alto Bío Bío National Reserve contains pasture lands and agro-ecosystems and has a population of about 20 families (1980) engaged in pastoralism.
Areas grazed in the past or subject to forest exploitation are all set aside as ecosystem restoration zones.