Formosa Natural Reserve
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In the western part of the province of Formosa (north of Argentina) lies the Formosa Natural Reserve, created for the protection of a representative sample of eastern Chaco. Created in 1968, the protected area includes 10,000 hectares of “dry chaco” eco-region, with a warm climate and some of the highest temperature on the continent. Summer rains fall regularly on the area, varying between 500 and 700 millimeters.
Formosa Natural Reserve
The nearest town is Ingeniero Juárez, 65 kilometers away, and the reserve is between the villages of El Yacaré and La Florencia. The reserve can be easily accessed from either Ingeniero Juárez or Formosa City, on routes 81 and 39, respectively.
The Teuco river borders the southern edge of the park, and the Riacho Teuquito, smaller but just as beautiful, runs along the northern edge. Along the banks of both rivers grows a dense scrubland, with a diversity of important flowers and other plants.
The only protected area of Palo Santo trees in the country is found within the Formosa Natural Reserve, in the flatlands between the two rivers. This tree is much sought after for its green, aromatic wood. Because of this, it is an endangered plant in many other parts of the country, but this reserve provides the needed protection to keep the species alive. The sparse understory includes plants such as ucle and cardoon cacti. The floodable areas of the reserve are home to different beautiful trees, such as the native willow and tessaria.
The fauna of the region of Argentina is just as fascinating as the flora, with the main mammal being the giant anteater, a species that desperately needs the refuge offered by the reserve. Other animals thriving in this much-needed protection are the guazuncho or corzuela parda, which can both be fairly easily observed within the ares.
There is also a diversity of colorful birds, including the turquoise-breasted “speaker parrot,” which is greatly desired as a pet; this reserve provides protection from poachers who collect the chicks to sell. Chachalacas and the white-breasted woodpecker are also common sightings in the reserve. Those speaker parrots also can be found in others national parks and natural reserves mentioned in this Argentina travel guide.
The area is also populated by the slow-moving chameleon, with its independently movable bulging eyes, long slender tongue and grasping tail. It often grows between seven and ten inches. Ducks, herons, bats and dozens of other interesting species also call the reserve home. While domesticated animals are banned from entering the park, there are plenty of available activities to do within the protected area. There is a designated camping zone, with bathrooms, and a 6,000 meter-long path called Monte Adentro, from which you can see a wide variety of characteristic plants and animals. It is possible to return via a shorter route, if desired. Foresters are available on-site to answer any questions you may have. Visiting this natural reserve should be taken into consideration if you’ re planning to travel north of Argentina.