The Secretariat is pleased to announce that Chile has designated a High Andean site, Parque Andino Juncal, as its 12th Wetland of International Importance.
This High Andean site is located in Chile’s central zone on the Andes mountain range between 2500 and above 5000 m altitude. It comprises a hydric network counting rivers, streams, glaciers, Andean vegas
, and underground springs. The area has extreme climatologic conditions characterized by intense cold, snow, drought and high radiation. These environmental conditions confer the site high ecological value because it supports an important group of fauna and flora including endemic species such as the small-tailed snake (Tachymenis chilensis)
as well as endangered species such as the matuasto (Phymaturus flagellifer)
, a large number of migratory birds and higher vertebrates.
The ecosystem in the Ramsar Site Juncal Andean Park is representative of the Mediterranean shrubland region; unique in South America and considered an endangered ecosystem by World Bank and WWF. Among its main threats are: extensive livestock rearing, mining and industrial development. The Juncal Andean Park lies within the “Mineral Cordillera” private area, where its main land uses are recreation, education and scientific research.