Perito Moreno National Park is situated in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina. It is located in the western portion of Santa Cruz Province near the border with Chile. Established in 1937, it is one of the oldest national parks in Argentina.
Perito Moreno National Park
Perito Moreno National Park is situated in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina. It is located in the western portion of Santa Cruz Province near the border with Chile and covers 126,830 ha (313,400 acres). Established in 1937, it is one of the oldest national parks in Argentina.
The park (not to be confused with the Perito Moreno Glacier to the south) was named after explorer Francisco "Perito" Moreno who was a geographer, naturalist, anthropologist and biologist. He is largely credited with creating Argentina's park system after donating 18,500 acres for its first national park.
The protected area is comprised of valleys that are situated at approximately 900 m (3,000 ft) above sea level and is traversed by a series of mountain ranges both east to west and north to south. The highest peak within the park is Cerro Herros rises to 2,770 m (9,087 ft) asl. Lying just outside the park is the glacier-covered Monte San Lorenzo, also known as Monte Cochrane, which reaches a height of 3,706 m (12,159 ft) asl.
Within Perito Moreno National Park, two main basins comprise eight lakes along with numerous rivers and streams. The Pacific basin feeds into Lago Mogote which then flows into Lago Volcán. The Atlantic basin hosts Lago Burmeister at 932 m (3,057 ft) asl. Numerous rivers traverse the basin, eventually reaching the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Ecoregions within the park include Patagonian steppe and Magellanic subpolar forests.
The area of the park experiences a cold climate ranging from a wet climate in the west to a dry one in the east. Temperatures can fall below −25 °C (−13 °F) in winter and snowfall can occur in any month. During summer, the mean temperature is around 15 °C (59 °F). The area experiences strong and persistent westerly winds throughout the year. Mean annual rainfall ranges from 3,000 mm (120 in) in the west to 400 mm (16 in) in the east.
Endangered species include the small wildcat gato pajero (Lynchailurus pajeros) and the gato huiña (Oncifelis guigna). Other species include guanaco, puma (cougar), pategonian fox, dwarf armadillo, ferret, skunk, tuco-tuco and south andean deer.
One hundred and fifteen species of bird have been recorded in the park, including peregrine falcon, hooded grebe, flamingo, andean goose, Podiceps (diving water birds), as well as several species of ducks, falcons and eagles.