Lago Puelo National Park

Lago Puelo National Park

Infobox_protected_area | name = Lago Puelo National Park
iucn_category = II

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location = Chubut Province, Argentina
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area = 276.74 km²
established = 1971
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governing_body = Administración de Parques Nacionales

The Lago Puelo National Park is a national park of Argentina, located in the northwest of the province of Chubut, in the Patagonia. It has an area of 276.74 km². It was created in order to protect its wonderful landscape and the Valdivian flora, as an annex to the Los Alerces National Park, and declared National Park and independent reserve in 1971.

The protected area is named after the Puelo Lake, and belongs to the Patagonic forest and steppes and High Andes eco-regions, with maximum heights of 200 m over sea level. The climate is cold and wet, with snowfall in winter. The valley has a trans-Andean connection and a particular microclimate.

The mountainous zone where the park lies was modified by the action of glaciers, which created many rivers and lakes, including the one (Puelo Lake) that gives the park its name. The rivers of the region show high levels of glacier sediment (silt), which gives Puelo Lake its blue color.

Some of the flora of the park belongs to the Valdivian rain forests (avellano, tique, lingue, ulmo). It also includes the ciprés de la cordillera, the coihue, the lenga, the radal, and the arrayán. The "rosa mosqueta" is an exotic plant.

The fauna includes the "pudú", the "huemul", the red fox, the cougar, and the "coipo". Among birds we find the "huala", the "pato vapor volador", the "bandurria", the "pitío" and the "zorzal patagónico". The lake features native fish such as the "perca", the "peladilla" and the "puyén grande", and foreign species of trout.

The first settlers of the region were hunter-gatherers who lived in the steppe and employed stone tools to hunt guanacos. There are cave paintings within the park, apparently showing representations of paths into the forest. Nowadays Mapuche communities live in the eastern part of the park.


* [ Administración de Parques Nacionales] - National Parks Administration of Argentina (in Spanish and English)

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