Patagonia-Andean Subregion

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Patagonia-Andean Subregion


(also Chilean subregion), a subregion of the Neotropical zoogeographic land region. The Patagonia-Andean subregion occupies the southern and northwestern parts of South America. Its landscape differs sharply from that of the Guiana-Brazilian subregion: there are no large rain forests, and steppes, arid regions, and deserts predominate. The mountains—the Andes—are principally unforested. Some parts of the Andes are covered with arid forests, deciduous forests, or sections of rain forest (the western slopes in the north). There is a rather broad section of beech forest in the southwest. The mountain regions are alpine.

The fauna of the Patagonia-Andean subregion is rich but, unlike the Guiana-Brazilian subregion, lacks many groups and species associated with broad tropical rain forests and typical of the Neotropical region. Animals include the guanaco, vicuña, pampas deer, pudu, spectacled bear, pampas cat, maned wolf, chinchilla, vizcacha, mara, coypu, guinea pig, and great anteater. There also are two genera of armadillo and several marsupials, including some endemic species. Bats are not numerous. Endemic birds include rheas and tinamous. Also characteristic of the subregion are the American vulture, cariamas, and the sheathbills, as well as a number of hummingbird species. The reptile fauna is less rich. Amphibians include the interesting Darwin’s frog, which carries its young in its vocal sac.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.