Wildlife in El Calafate

wildlife in El Calafate

Los Glaciares National Park in El Calafate

In the National Park Los Glaciares it is possible seeing the natural environment of Calafate, besides enjoying an indescribable beauty, since it is home to many unique plant and animal species. Native species and others brought by man prospered in this region due to weather conditions and the protection of natural areas by declaring Natural Monuments by the municipality or by organizations such as UNESCO. In these areas you can make the observation of flora and fauna and appreciate each species.


They are the highest of our Patagonian steppe, silhouetted on the horizon is a card that identifies us. Usually measure up to 1.10 meters in height to the cross, have large eyes, long eyelashes and ears. In a male-dominated troop are all females and young of the year. They are territorial and signal their feces piled areas.
They have one brood per year. It may take quite a while without drinking, a feature that puts them in the camel family. It is the only one of its kind in the region. It can be found throughout Patagonia, from the coast to the mountains, and displays them easily from the road.

European hare

Like the rabbit, but with longer ears and brown coat, camouflageable with the steppe.
It grows to 70 cm long and weighs between 3.5 and 7 kg. It is usually see very often on the roads of the area. It was introduced in the early twentieth century and now occupies almost the entire country.
It is used as a resource for commercial and sport hunting, besides feeding many carnivore with whom they live. It is a serious problem for vegetation in many places.

Gray Fox

It is often found crossing routes, whenever you look very antención as moving at high speed. It feeds on rodents, birds, fruits, insects and carrion. It has reddish legs and flanks. Reaches 3 kg and meter in length, including the tail. Usually it has between 3 and 6 pups in the summer. No its territory overlaps with the red fox, but this one is moving, being more aggressive and voracious. It was long the favorite food of the puma, but intensive hunting for marketing your skin broke the ecological chain.


It is the only type of armadillo we can find in the area of ​​the National Park, you can measure about 45 cm and weigh up to 3 kg. It is diurnal, wine caves where it hides and hibernates, inhabits arid areas, feeding on insects, roots and carrion. Stop up to 3 pups at a time. There are other similar species in our country: armadillo, armadillo and armadillo are the best known. Its meat is highly prized by man field. Their only defense mechanisms are fully wound in his shell or buried quickly.

Zorro Colorado

Canid is the second largest in South America. It is reddish fur, especially in belly, legs and head. It grows to 1.3 meters and weigh up to 12 kg. You can live in the desert or in the forest. Their food are medium and small mammals, birds, fruit and carrion. Give birth to 5 pups at a time, often in caves dug.
Their only natural predator is the cougar, and now man field for their attacks sheep and the value of your skin.


It is related to the skunk, but totally carnivorous. It has short legs in relation to body length of about 45 cm long. When it is observed in the field, it’s basically black with a white spot along the back and tail, with a particular movement to move. It is often found in the wettest places in the area.

Pajonal Cat

It is similar in size to the wildcat. The coat varies according to the area, but generalemente has gray back and fluted legs, where are remarkable 3 or 4 dark bands. It has longer hair on the legs and armpits, the tail with incomplete rings. Their diet is similar to the wildcat, inhabiting open areas.

Eared bat boy

It measures about 24 cm in size, but only 6 cm body. It has narrow wings, soft, felposa, gray-brown skin, big ears. Hunting insects in flight and migrates to temperate winter or hibernating places.

Patagonian skunk

It is short legs and very sharp claws and teeth, which serve to procure their food: roots, insects and mammals. His coat is thick, black, with two white stripes on the back. It is known for the smell of urine, used as defense and can launch up to 4 meters away with high precision. It is nocturnal.


It is the largest feline bearing of our park, you can weigh up to 80 kg and measures 3 meters including tail. Has different colors: bay, gray, red and even black. The lone male covers large areas (40-60 km2) walking in search of food. The young are spotted early times, taking the color of adults to grow. They learn hunting techniques of his mother, based on major approaches its prey, because they do not have great speed to run. Their diet includes from small mammals to cattle and horses.
No natural predators, only the battle field man for attacking livestock. At other times each stay had a lion man (they were called lions in Patagonia, from the time of Perito Moreno) to hunt. His skin has no commercial value.


Slightly larger than a domestic cat, it prefers areas with tree or shrub vegetation. His coat is short with black spots, tail rings. It feeds on rodents, birds, amphibians, fish and medium mammals. The male covers large areas where several females live. In tree holes or natural caves stand up to 3 pups at a time.
Like the pampas cat, her skin is fine listed commercially.


It belongs to the family of deer can measure up to 1 m high on the cross, robust, large eyebrows. Its fur is dark brown, which varies with the season. The male has antlers that renews annually. It feeds both the forest and in the high meadows. They have one brood per year. Usually they form groups in winter, spreading early summer the females to give birth. It is in danger of extinction due to hunting, deforestation and diseases spread by domestic finances. It was declared a National Natural Monument and Provincial, with the aim of strengthening their protection. His sighting is highly unlikely due to the low density of the population. It is known that still occupy the area for traces found.
The most common birds


It is the largest of American birds (up to 3 meter wingspan), and is known for its majestic flight, gliding without flapping rarely, and can reach up to 10,000 meters high. His view is 8 times higher than the human, for this reason can detect their food even at high altitudes. The lower part of his body is completely black, the top of the wings is white as an adult. Juveniles are distinguished from adults by a necklace of white feathers, male and female by the crests and wattles on his neck. Plans in circles, intended to detect their food, consisting of dead animals in the steppe. You can eat many kilos of meat at once, gathering food for several days.
The end of the wings resembles a hand with fingers spread. Rarely poses visible or low places, since the height allows it to facilitate the start of his flight. It can be seen in the seam area Huiliche, Lake Rock and road to Upsala Glacier.

Aguila Mora

The color of their plumage varies with age: juveniles are mottled dark and white adults with gray chest.
Usually about 65 cm more male and female. It can be found posing in fence posts. It feeds on carrion and small animals. Make a slow flight, with glides high.


Like the ostrich, it is somewhat smaller than this, getting to measure 1 meter at most to his cross. It feeds on grasses and insects, although it is very curious, and having opportunity, usually swallow foreign objects. Against known customs, it is the father who incubates the eggs, their various females lay in one nest.
It is a typical inhabitant of the steppe, easily seen from the road like the guanaco. Not very confident, and when threatened his reaction is to flee, reaching 45 km / h.


They move in groups in the forest and are very noisy.
It is the only member of the parrot family that inhabits the area. They can be observed in the woods way to Moreno Glacier.


It usually feeds on dead animals on the road. By flying are very evident wingtips white. They perch on fences, roadside. Have a heavy flight, their legs are bright yellow and the body has black and white stripes.


They are usually seen in pairs or small groups. The male is white with dark wings, while the female is completely brown.
They are very similar to the geese. Graze edges of lakes or ponds, often they swim near the coast.
They are found in the park and all around lakes.
In winter they migrate to warmer areas.

Patagonian carpenter

They are usually found in pairs or family groups.
The male has a red head, while the female is identified by a roller. Both are black with a white spot on its back. In the forests, often heard knocking on trees, among which he moves seeking their food, consisting of larvae and small insects. He is confident, and knocking are easy enough to see in the woods.
Coffee hooded Gull
He is white with brown mask, beak and red legs. They are found easily in the catwalks of the glacier, and are also present in the area of ​​Lake Argentino, usually in areas of landfills.


It is small, and is characterized by jumping forward instead of walking. He has gray pompadour and cinnamon scarf. He is gentle and confident, very easy to see on the catwalk in front of the Moreno Glacier, but dwell in all the National Park area.


They are found in groups, and are identified by their colorful beak and long, colorful sound, similar to a horn. They are seeking to inhabit damp places, and in winter they migrate to warmer areas. They can be also found in Calafate, in the streets or parks downtown.


It’s another kind of carpenter, who looks for food in trees and soil.
He is confident, noisy and moving in groups.


It is small, restless and noisy. Usually see it in groups touring the vegetation in search of food. Its tail is divided and tan eyebrows stand.

Flora Forest

Park forests are populated essentially Ñires, Lenga, both of the family of the nothofagus. Interspersed and open areas of the forest, you can find notros and grasses.
Within the forest are shrubs like chilco, grill, chaura and shipwrights. And between annual cub goat and sweet peas are counted.
In the more humid areas there are cinnamon and cohiues, and some cypresses guaytecas considered especially valuable in the Park.
At the bottom of the forest ferns, mosses, mushrooms of different types and it is common to find fallen trees rotting, which provide abundant food to the ground.

Flora Ecotono

This vegetation occupies the transition zone between forest and steppe. It is basically composed ñires, located sparingly, on whose branches abound old beards and Chinese lanterns. In this area it becomes greener pasture and tender, replacing the hard bushes and coirones covering the steppe.

Steppe Flora

It is characterized by the almost total absence of water, as rainfall rarely exceed 300 mm annually. So the vegetation is adapted to extreme conditions, adding to the lack of water and important cold winds.
This adaptation is shown in several features, such as the appearance of spines to avoid being attacked by animals, the envelope shape and compact for greater strength, or low, to be less hit by the winds.
The Coirón and Calafate are the most abundant species from the east of the park, beginning to look increasingly like neneo shrubs, guanaco kills, and kills paramela black as it moves west. The flowers that stand out are the Topa Topa, geranium, Brad, easy to visualize for their intense colors, attracting the attention of bees for their pollination.
As for trees, only we find poplars and willows, introduced to wind curtains in the rooms.

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