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The wind that sweeps an endless space. Where the train tracks meet, the sun falls on the horizon, with the silence of the afternoon.

The peoples of the South Region have the magic of a time without hurry, where the force of Nature dominates life.

The train is much more than a transport from the mountain range to the sea, it is a union between these peoples, being also a mystical journey into the past, full of stories, memories and mystery.
The vegetation of the steppe consists mainly of two types of plants.

The patagonian steppe.


The vegetation of the steppe consists mainly of two types of plants: low bushes, small leaves and in many cases thorns and grasslands or coironales of the Stipa and Festuca genera.
The patagonian steppe is a mystical journey into the past, full of stories, memories and mystery.Click to Tweet
It is estimated that 45% of the surface of the steppe is formed by arid steppes of shrubs, another 20% by grasslands of coirones, 30% by the combination of shrubs and grasslands and the remaining 5% by bodies of water (rivers and lakes), mallines and vegas.

Birds.


More than 100 species of birds inhabit the Patagonian steppe, this without counting the birds of aquatic environments.
It is estimated that 45% of the surface of the steppe is formed by arid steppes of shrubs.

Fauna.


Probably the most representative and easy to recognize is the choique or ñandú petiso (Rhea pennata), a large and non-flying bird that belongs to the group of ratites, birds with long and strong legs and that lost their ability to fly, so that lack the sternum in the form of keel characteristic of flying birds.
Read also: El Bolson: magic city, Patagonian paradise of myths and utopias.
It is a very old group with origin in the supercontinent Gondwana.



To this same group belongs the ostrich in Africa and the emu in Australia.
Due to the shortage of pastures, the guanaco is displacing the sheep in Patagonia.
Lihué Calel means ‘mountain range of life’ in the Araucano tongue and it is the name of the mountain range system located in the center-south of the Province of La Pampa, on National Route 152, 120 kilometers southwest of General Acha and 220 kilometers from Santa Rosa.

Created in 1977, in comprises an area of 10,934 hectares, with a maximum elevation of 590 meters. The hills are rocky volcanic formations of Precambrian origin that may be visited through authorized paths.

Though rainfalls are scarce, the mountain range encourages the accumulation of water and thus there is plentiful wildlife in the area.

Logo Lihue Calel Nature Reserve.

The area.


The area was invaded by wild boar and red deer, which altered the ecosystem in spite of the controls
carried out by the National Parks Administration.


It is logical that this is the case, because water is more abundant than in the surrounding areas and the mountain ranges offer a very favorable habitat for vertebrates and invertebrates.

The abundance of the flora generates wealth of fauna, and both resources benefit from the microclimate of the Park.

The felines.


The felines, especially the puma (Puma concolor), find refuge in the park because poaching in the surrounding fields is practiced assiduously.

Together with the puma, three wild cats show off their agility and excellence: the Moor or Yaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi), the Pajonal (Lynchailurus pajeros) and the Wild (Oncifelis geoffroyi).
Read also: Utracán Lagoon is one of the most important centers of tourism mini pampas.

Other species.


Lihué Calel has species that are only present in this protected area within the national system.
This is the case of the Lesser Pichiciego (Chlamyphorus truncatus), the Patagonian weasel (MaraLestodelphys halli), the varied straw-colored mouse (Akodon molinae) and the Pampa digger mouse (Necromys obscurus).



In a special situation you would find the rat vizcacha salinera (Tympanoctomys barrerae) that could be found in Lihué Calel, although this requires confirmation. Its presence is likely in the recently annexed area of ​​Salitral Levalle.

It is remarkable the presence of the small skunk (Conepatus castaneus) only present in this Park and in the Sierra de las Quijadas.



Two foxes, the small gray (Dusicyon griseus) and the gray pampeano (Dusicyon gymnocercus) are in the area together with the smaller ferret (Galictis cuja).
Small Gray -  Zorro Gris - (Dusicyon griseus).

The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) has found an excellent refuge in these mountains, given that its population increased when compared to what was at the time of creation of the Park. The mara (Dolichotis patagonum) is rare but its presence in the Park can be confirmed.
Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) 

Several species of mice, bats (little studied) and the vizcacha (Lagostomus maximus) Guanaco on alert complete the list of 27 species of mammals of Lihué Calel.
The Lihue Calel Nature Reserve is an authentic oasis that holds many surprises in terms of fauna.Click to Tweet
Birds.
A bird that abounds in La Pampa and that is part of the emblem of the National Park Lihué Calel is the Cock coquetón (Rhinocrypta lanceolata).

It is logical that he can be seen walking or doing short runs in clear areas or roads, but much more common is to hear them vocalize among the thorny bushes or in the few trees.
 Gallito Copetón . (Rhinocrypta lanceolata)


It is not an easy bird to photograph, it always tries to hide, but there are so many and with some perseverance some specimens give photographers some snapshots.
Churrinche (Pyrocephalus rubinus).

This copy was quite close and are the best I could take last November 7 on my last visit to the park.

Perdiz Copetona or Martineta (Rhynchotus rufescens).
Curutié (Certhiaxis cinnamomeus).



Calandria mora (Mimus patagonicus).

 
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