USHUAIA - TIERRA DEL FUEGO
Tierra del Fuego is the ideal place to marvel at the perfect integration between man and its natural environment. Perhaps it is also the best place in the world to discover the southern beauty. That is why, Tierra del Fuego offers the visitor a wide and varied range of ecological shades which do not pass unnoticed to the scientific world either.
Tierra del Fuego National Park is the most outstanding point in the area. Its wooded area covers 63,000 hectares, 20,000 h of ñires and 43,000 h of lengas and coihues.
This Park is part of the Sub-Antarctic or Andean-Patagonian forests, which cover 2,200 Km of mountain range, from the province of Neuquén down to the Fueguian archipelago and it is the only National Park in Argentina that has sea coast for one of its natural boundaries. It offers historical and wild attractions, and borders with Chile to the West and the Beagle Channel to the South.
One of the main characteristics of the forests in Tierra del Fuego is the presence of peat mosses (Sphagnum magellanicum) made up of plant remains, mainly of bryophyta (mosses).
Peat mosses have a large capacity to retain water and therefore, are active originators of the environmental moisture. This feature is due to the absorbing properties of the Sphagnum moss.
Three main phytographic areas may be distinguished in Tierra del Fuego::
A) Northern: Mainly large prairies with an abundance of grasses, which make of this region an excellent cattle-raising area.
B) Central (transitional): Also prairies and the appearance of deciduous forest, mainly represented by the ñire tree.
C) Southern: Predominantly woods, with abundance of lengas and coihues. In this area, woods may reach a height of 600 meters above sea level.
The Fueguian fauna is also found throughout these three regions: northern, central and southern. There you may find mammals such as the guanaco and the red fox, both native species of outstanding characteristics.