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Delta del Paraná Biosphere Reserve, Argentina

The Lower Parana River Delta is an extensive system of wetlands. This type of ecosystem has attracted increasing interest due to the recognition of its multiple functions. It is also now recognized that these areas are highly sensitive to alterations and that, at the same time, they are and have been subject to different types of human intervention that interfere with their functioning and place them at a high level of criticality.

Designation date: 2000


Regional network:  Red de Comités y Reservas de Biosfera de Iberoamérica y el Caribe (IberoMAB) 

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 88,714 ha

    • Core area(s): 10,694 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 15,463 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 62,557 ha 

    Location: 38°06´24´´S - 58°47´04´´W

    Administrative Authorities

    Gabriel Tato
    Director de Medio Ambiente
    Madero N° 1218
    San Fernando, Buenos Aires, C.P 164

    Tel.: (54.11)  4580-5732


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    Ecological Characteristics

    The reserve area is an example of a freshwater tidal wetland which implies the need to preserve the hydrological regime that determines the main ecological characteristics. On the other hand, the fact that it constitutes a growing delta also makes it necessary to preserve the sedimentary dynamics to ensure the permanence of natural geomorphological processes, while its relationship with sea level and the possible global trend of sea level rise make the preservation of sites for long-term monitoring indispensable.

    Likewise, conservation in this area also acquires importance given the biogeographical uniqueness and ecological richness of the Paraná Delta. The biogeographical uniqueness is due to the penetration of species of flora and fauna of subtropical lineage, through the fluvial corridors of the Paraná and Uruguay rivers, which coexist with elements from temperate latitudes, thus forming a typical deltaic pattern of communities and giving the area a high specific richness.

    Finally, it is important to point out that both plant and animal species are found in the area, reaching their southern limit of distribution, which also generates interest from the point of view of genetic variation conservation.

    The existence of a wide mosaic of diverse environmental conditions and, therefore, of different types of habitat, allows a great richness of fauna elements and through the analysis of habitat suitability, it is favourable for different species of fauna: Marsh Deer (Blastocerus dichotomus), Common Wood Pigeon (Penelope obscura), Giant Otter (Lutra longicaudis), Wild Cat (Felis geoffroyi) and Capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris).


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Four categories of producers can be distinguished on the basis of the land area: a) those of up to 50 hectares, which represent 62.4% (mainly dedicated to mining and forestry activities, with almost exclusively family labour and little technological inclusion); b) those of 50 to 200 hectares, 29.8% (dedicated mainly to forestry activities, with temporary labour and machinery); c) those from 200 to 1000 hectares which are 6.3% (generally combining forestry production with livestock, with permanent and temporary salaried labor and a higher degree of technology); and d) those of an area larger than one thousand which are 1.5% (mostly devoted to forestry for paper pulp, with salaried labor, a high degree of technology and management systems, generally associated with paper processing companies installed in the area). 

    When the Biosphere Reserve was created, tourism was an insignificant activity due to the difficulty of connecting the area with the population centers, the slowness and inconvenience of moving around the river, and because of the infrastructure offered in accordance with the profile of Mini-tourism found in the First Section of Islands, near the Luján River. These were very low impact ranges, both because of the activities that were developed and because of the few visitors that frequent the islands of San Fernando. There were no programmed excursions, except for those of social tourism that are concentrated in the Municipal Center of Arroyo Felicaria. 


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    Last updated: May 2020