The 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 arid, high-altitude Puna region to the west.
Las Yungas Biosphere Reserve encompasses many landscapes from the high Andean mountain forest ecosystems, Chaco Serrano, cloud forests, subtropical low mountain jungle, montane forests and grasslands, and 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 and citrus plantations. In addition, the landscape of the Biosphere Reserve is intersected by rivers with riparian forests 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) live in the Biosphere Reserve, primarily farmers and descendants of the Kollas culture. Some 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 fruit industries.
Las Yungas Biosphere Reserve expresses the mixed historical, social, and cultural practices prevalent in the region's highlands and lowlands.