Las Yungas Biosphere Reserve, located in northwestern Argentina's mountainous Andean Range, encompasses a rich diversity of landscapes from the high Andean mountain forest ecosystems to Chaco Serrano, cloud forests, montane forests, grasslands and agricultural land.
Las Yungas Biosphere Reserve
Las Yungas Biosphere Reserve is located in northwestern Argentina, within the southernmost part of the eastern mountainous forest of the Andean Range. It is situated within the Argentine provinces of Salta and Jujuy.
The Yungas is a transitional zone between the Andean highlands and the eastern forests. The Southern Andean Yungas begins in southern Bolivia and continues south into northern Argentina. It is a humid forest region between the drier Gran Chaco region to the east and the dry, high altitude Puna region to the west.
Las Yungas Biosphere Reserve encompasses a rich diversity of landscapes from the high Andean mountain forest ecosystems, Chaco Serrano, cloud forests, subtropical low mountain jungle, montane forests and grasslands; as well as agricultural land with sugar cane, citrus fruits, soya bean and cotton among others.
The area contains extensive portions of premontane forest surrounding and intersecting mostly sugar cane plantations, as well as citrus plantations. The area is intersected by rivers with riparian forest on both margins that constitute a natural corridor.
Some 203 bird species are represented in the biosphere reserve such as the eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), la pava del monte (Penelope dabbenei), and the military macaw (Ara militaris).
Among the 89 species of mammal species reported in the reserve, jaguar (Pantera onca), tapir (Tapirus terrestris), and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) are found.
Over 33,700 inhabitants (2002), mostly farmers descendants from the Kollas culture, live in the biosphere reserve. Some in the San Andres and Finca Santiago communities have developed traditional subsistence agriculture activities, handicrafts, hunting and timber extraction. Others are working in extensive sugar cane farms and fruits industries.
Las Yungas Biosphere Reserve expresses the mixed historic, social and cultural practices in both the highlands and lowlands of the region.