11 Plants In Danger Of Extinction In Argentina

The plants in danger of extinction in Argentina constitute a group of species that are in risk of disappearing. That is, these species will disappear due to the destruction of their habitat, climate change and the action of man.

The Argentine Republic is classified as a megadiverse country, with approximately fifteen ecological regions, including three oceanic and the Antarctic region. Its biodiversity includes 9,000 species of vascular plants and 2,380 species of vertebrate chordates.

Araucaria angustifolia. Source: Adrian Michael [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Of the total land area, 7.7% includes 400 protected areas, being a world pioneer in policies to protect biodiversity. However, the lack of investment and the need for new land for agricultural production has influenced the efficiency of many projects.

Currently, preventive conservation measures have been established, such as the creation of natural areas for the protection of natural habitats. Likewise, legal measures – laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, resolutions – that prohibit the exploitation and extraction of protected species.

In this sense, actions have already been determined such as the creation of the San Antonio, Urugua-í and Somuncurá nature reserves in Río Negro; the main reason for its creation and operation being the preservation of endemic or threatened species in its environment.

These actions allow supporting the law that a few years ago determined Araucaria angustifolia (Pino Paraná) and Aspidosperma polyneuron (Palo Rosa) as provincial natural monuments . That is why protected areas are the best tool to ensure the protection of species.

Some of the plant species in danger of extinction in Argentina are mentioned below. You may also be interested in the endangered animals of Argentina.

Araucaria araucana

The araucaria or pehuén, also called araucano pine, is an arboreal species that belongs to the Araucariaceae family. It is an endemic plant of the Pehuén district in the subantarctic forest at the extreme northwest of Argentine Patagonia.

Araucaria araucana. Source: Vicente Fernández Rioja [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

It is an evergreen tree that can reach 50 m in height, with a straight, cylindrical and very thick stem -3 m wide-. The ramifications develop at the level of the crown arranged in whorls of five flexible branches perpendicular to the trunk and numerous needles.

This species is confined to the region west of Neuquen. It is currently considered vulnerable due to the deforestation of its natural habitat. In Argentina it is protected only in the Lanín National Park and the provincial reserves of Buta-Mahuida, Chafiy and Copahue-Caviahue.

Aspidosperma polyneuron

Species commonly known as palo rosa, perobá or common peroba. It is a timber plant native to the Atlantic forest in South America between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.

Aspidosperma polyneuron. Source: Ronmisiones [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

It is an emerging tree of great size that reaches 40 m in height, presents a dense crown that dominates the surrounding forests. Its fine wood is highly valued for its light cream or pink color; It is used in the manufacture of furniture and cabinetmaking.

It is considered a melliferous species, being very common in the Misiones region of Argentina. In fact, it was declared a national monument according to Law No. 2,380 of October 24, 1986. It is currently considered an endangered species.

Grindelia ventanensis

Called summit daisy, it is a flowering shrub plant belonging to the Asteraceae family. It is an endemic species of the Southern Sierras of the province of Buenos Aires, and it is located around the Somuncurá Plateau in Rio Negro.

Grindelia ventanensis. Source: Juanjlop [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

The plant is a creeping subshrub that reaches 30 cm in height, with vertical and ascending branches. It presents a bright foliage resulting from its high resin content, as well as an abundant yellow bloom that increases its interest as an ornament.

In its natural habitat it grows on stony, rocky, loose and humid surfaces with high solar radiation. It is frequently located over 900 meters above sea level.

It is currently considered critically endangered in extension, as it faces risks from the loss of its wild habitat. This species has a high economic potential as an ornament and for industrial use.

Pilgerodendron uviferum

Known as cypress of the Guaitecas, it is a conifer that belongs to the family of cupresáceas or cypresses. It is a tree that reaches 20 m in height, located in the Patagonian Andean forests from Neuquén to Santa Cruz in Argentina.

Pilgerodendron uviferum. Source: pellaea [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

It is considered the southernmost conifer, generally forming forests on the edge of lakes and swamps at 2,000 meters above sea level; it can achieve great longevity. At present it is classified as an endangered species due to the exploitation of its natural habitat and the intervention of man.

Schinopsis balansae

Species known as Chaco red quebracho, it is native to South America, appreciated for its wood and its high tannin content. The wood is reddish brown, firm, hard and heavy, with great resistance to humidity.

Stem cut of Schinopsis balansae. Source: Valerio Pillar [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

It is a large tree that requires high temperatures and abundant solar radiation for its development. They present an erect trunk with branching in the form of thorns, deep and pivoting roots; the crown is in the shape of an inverted cone.

It is characteristic of the Eastern Chaco region, between Formosa north of Santa Fe and northwest of Corrientes. It is considered an endangered species, however, in the last two regions mentioned it is classified as vulnerable.

Araucaria angustifolia

Known as Paraná pine, missionary pine, Brazil pine, cury or araucaria missionense, it is an arboreal species belonging to the Araucariaceae family. It is located in the south of Brazil, in Argentina in the province of Misiones, in Paraguay in the department of Alto Paraná and in Uruguay in the Sierra de los Ríos.

The seeds of this species are used by the natives of the area as a source of food and fat. Each seed measures 3-7 cm, the cones or cones reach up to 30 cm in diameter, obtaining between 20-120 seeds for each cone.

In addition, a worm called koro develops in the waste materials of the species. This larva is used by the natives as a source of protein.

It is a large tree that has seen its population drastically reduce in the wild in recent decades. In Argentina there are small remnants to the northeast of the department of Misiones; in the middle of the 20th century the populations covered 210,000 ha, currently they do not reach 1,000 ha.

Lupinus aureonitens

Commonly called the pampas lupine, it is an endemic fabaceae from the central region of Argentina along the Sierra de la Ventana. It is a herbaceous plant that grows in grasslands or fallows forming groups of 2-3 plants.

At present, the lupine is difficult to locate, being classified as a species with restricted distribution. Among the factors that influence its classification are habitat destruction, biological invasions, overexploitation and anthropic influence.

Prosopis affinis

Commonly known as carob, ñandubay or ibopé-morotí, it is a fabaceous species native to Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. It is a species threatened by the loss of its habitat, it grows in elevated areas or on hills in flat extensions or plains.

It is a timber tree that can reach 13 m in height, it has a short branched stem with a broad and irregular crown. The bark has grayish tones, rough, thick, with longitudinal cracks forming particular plates.

The strong and resistant wood of pink chestnut color is used to make elements placed outdoors. It is located in from Formosa to Corrientes, passing through Santa Fe and Entre Ríos, as well as in Córdoba where it is classified as vulnerable.

Phytolacca tetramera

Herbaceous or shrubby geophyte species of the Phytolaccaceae family known as ombusillo or ombucillo. Native to the southern cone of South America, it is listed as vulnerable northeast of Buenos Aires, from La Plata to Ensenada de Samborombón.

The ombusillo is included in the list of endangered species, due to the action of man and the reduction of its natural habitat. Associated with its condition as a dioecious species, it hinders its dissemination by fruits, which is limited to reproduction by root shoots.

One of the actions for their protection and conservation is the propagation of native plants in nurseries, and their reintroduction into new habitats. Entities destined for the conservation of the species have even been institutionalized in the province of Buenos Aires.

Plantago bismarckii

The Plantago genus comprises short flowering herbaceous plants belonging to the Plantaginaceae family and made up of approximately 200 species. The Plantago bismarckii or silver pinito is a representative plant of the province of Buenos Aires considered as vulnerable.

The various species of Plantago have been used ancestrally in traditional medicine as an astringent, antimicrobial, antihistamine, diuretic, expectorant and anti-inflammatory. Hence its eventual disappearance in natural environments, due to loss of habitat and uncontrolled harvesting.

Urostachys saururus

Herbaceous plant known as the quirquincho tail, it is a species belonging to the Licopodiáceas family. It is located in the southeast of Africa, some islands of the Atlantic and South America; in Argentina it is common in the high mountains of the Sierra de la Ventana.

It is a perennial xerophytic plant that grows through rhizomes that develop parallel to the ground. It has cylindrical and erect stems 1 cm thick.

It is a terrestrial species that develops in dry scrub and rocky montane environments. It is currently highly sought after for its aphrodisiac properties, which is why it is categorized as a vulnerable species.

References

  1. Database on Argentine plants (2018) PlanEAr. Endemic plants of Argentina. Recovered in: list-planear.org
  2. Chebez, Juan Carlos & Haene, Eduardo (1994) List of threatened plants in Argentina. 23 pp.
  3. Delucchi, Gustavo & Correa, Rubén Florestan (1992) Threatened plant species in the province of Buenos Aires. Environmental Situation of the Province of Buenos Aires; to. Resources and natural features in environmental assessment; year II, no. 14. Faculty of Natural Sciences and Museum. 38 pp. ISSN: 0327-5671
  4. Delucchi, G. (2006). The threatened plant species of the Province of Buenos Aires: An update. APRONA Bol. Cient, 39, 19-31.
  5. Plants in extinction (2016) Animals in danger of extinction in Argentina. Recovered in: dangerdeextincion.com.ar
  6. Protection of Biodiversity and its ecosystem services (2017) Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina. Recovered at: vidailvestre.org.ar
  7. Tedesco, Marcelo C. (2010) The list of 1,800 threatened plants in Argentina is official. Argentina Investigates: Scientific Dissemination and University News. Recovered in: argentinainvestiga.edu.ar

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