Aconquija Park

Province of Tucumán

 

 

Project description

Fundación Flora y Fauna Argentina has cooperated intensively with the government authorities of the Province of Tucumán and with the National Parks Administration to design a national park project of more than 250,000 acres in the Aconquija mountain range, northwest of Argentina. The future park would connect provincial lands (which are currently protected: the provincial reserves of La Florida and Santa Ana) with federal lands that belong to the Army (25,000 acres), and the existing National Park Campo de los Alisos (42,000 acres). To achieve this, FFyFA will acquire land which, once protected, it will be donated to the national government.

 

 

The project rescues an old idea proposed by one of the country's prominent scientists, the Tucumán expert Miguel Lillo. Thanks to the authorities' interest, in December 2016 a provincial law was approved to transfer jurisdiction over about 173,000 acres to the federal government for the National Park establishment. This was reinforced by the country's president, Mauricio Macri, in a formal announcement. In addition, seven owners have formally expressed interest in selling their land to create the new protected area. In order to accomplish this, FFyFA has received the necessary funds to acquire most of this land.

 

 

The Aconquija mountain range is formed by steep mountains. Large differences in altitude in few kilometers allow the existence of a very diverse environmental gradient. The lower portions of the mountains up to 3000 meters high constitute the Yungas eco-region, with its subtropical mountain forests. Above the forest strata, mountain meadows, rocky outcrops, meadows and permanent snow are found. Heavy rains and mountain springs give rise to many permanent rivers and streams that flow to the plain, and feed the main basin of Tucumán, Santiago del Estero and the north of the Province of Córdoba. Many cities, villages and most of the agricultural and livestock production of the region depend on the water flowing from these mountains.

 

 

Several endemic plant species, amphibians and birds are found in the area, as well as several important bird areas. Some large mammal species, such as the jaguar and the South American tapir, became extinct locally in historical times, but others still remain, as is the case of the ocelot, the puma, the collared peccary, and the globally threatened, northern huemul (a mountain deer). To complete this natural treasure, there are dozens of Inca ruins scattered around the project area, some of them of global importance, such as the "Ciudacita" and the remains of the Inca Trail (Qhapaq Ñan) that were declared Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

 

 

Spectacular landscapes, high biodiversity, archaeological and cultural values, added to hotspots for birdwatchers, provide the area with a huge touristic potential.

 

Location

The future Aconquija National Park would cover the southwest fringe of the Province of Tucumán, located in the north of Argentina.

 

 

This project is developed with the collaboration of a European donor, the Province of Tucumán, the National Park Administration and Fundación Miguel Lillo.

 

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