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Chilean Wetlands: an ecosystem of biodiversity

Chilean Wetlands: an ecosystem of biodiversity

By: Hernan Claro - 21 February, 2023

Chilean Wetlands

One of Chile’s characteristics is the wide diversity of wetlands that can be found all over the country. Let’s take a look at a few! 

There are 934 wetlands in Chile that are ecosystems that sustain the biodiversity of the areas where they are located.  They are vital for the flora, fauna, and microorganisms that thrive in them.   

 They are also important places of nature, freshwater reserves, and favor the hydrological and ecologic processes of the areas where they exist, mitigating floods in the mountain range and on the coast.  

 Chile Travel would like to invite you to get to know the wetlands of Chile, that would undoubtably be a nice surprise if you visit them on your next trip to our country. 

Flamencos in the Wetlands of northern Chile  

In the area of Antofagasta, specifically in the Atacama Salt Flat basin, you will find the Flamenco National Reserve that is divided in several sectors, including four wetlands that are home to species of flamencos.  

 Aguas Calientes Wetlands.  Photo: @mich_t87 

The Tara Salt Flat and the Soncor Hydrological System is home to the Phoenicoparrus jamesi and Phoenicopterus chilensis species. Phoenicoparrus andinus, can be found in the Barros Negros and Puilar lagoons.  

Another great wetland  is the Pujsa Salt Flat, with its beautiful fauna. It is also a migration site on the interhemispheric route for birds such as Baird’s sandpiper, tricolored sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers, little and great spotted sandpipers, among others. 

 The Aguas Calientes Salt Flat  is an enchanting place with an abundance of Andean flamencos among other species.  However, it’s not only thing that can be found in the wetlands, there is also an exuberant vegetation that is in stark contrast to the surrounding landscape typical of the Atacama Desert.   

Wetland swans of Biobio   

Biobío is located in the central-south of Chile.  It’s an extraordinary place with a patrimonial treasure of 10 urban wetlands. They are all between Talcahuano and Arauco, mainly in the coastal areas.   

Black-necked swans in the Rocuant Andalien Wetland @humedalpaicavi 

A diversity of birds concentrates here, which means that wetlands such as the Rocuant Andalien are of global importance as an ” Area of Importance for the Conservation of Birds “.   

This wetland is home to Black-Necked swans, the Coscoroba swan and the Swamp crow. 

Another outstanding place is Paicaví, located in Gran Concepción, an urban zone perfect for bird watching, where you can see the dancer, the kestrel and different species of herons.   

The Laguna Grande Los Batros wetland, located in the municipality of San Pedro de La Paz, is of the marsh type, meaning freshwater, and is home to 87 species of fauna.  

Nature Sanctuaries of Los Ríos  

In the south of Chile, specifically in the area of Valdivia in Los Ríos region, there are a network of wetlands including Angachilla and Llancahue.   

Little Duck Jergon in its Wetland home  @lilakossack 

Angachilla, declared a Nature Sanctuary, has four ecosystems vital for conservation.  These are palustrine wetlands, hualves or flooded, swampy forests, riparian forests and fluvial ecosystems.   

 Nearly 145 flora species and 121 fauna species can be found here, including the Chilean Frog, the Huillín, the small jergon duck, which feed on the algae of the wetland.   

 Llancahue wetlands, in the outskirts of the city of Valdivia, is also a Nature Sanctuary and one of the last ancient Valdivian Forest Reserves still in a good conservation state.   

 A great number of fauna species can be found here, such as the Mehuín green frog, the Darwin frog, black woodpecker, puma, pudú, güiña and little monito del monte.   

Both wetlands are easily accessible to visitors, making them an incredible place to connect with nature in Chile.   

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