Chilean Matorral

About the Area

The Chilean matorral represents the only Mediterranean scrub ecoregion in all of South America, and one of only five such ecosystems in the world. Home to a rich diversity of plant and animal species, there are high levels of regional and local endemism, particularly among plants.
Local Species
Many species of cactus grow throughout the Chilean Matorral including the Trichocereus litoralis. Nearly 1,500 species of plants are endemic to the region and these include the Pitavia, Valdivia, Gomortega, Tetilla, Lardizabala, Latua, and Jubea chilensis - the huge and locally distributed Chilean palm. Among the animals found here are several species of lizards, including various South American swifts of the genus Liolaemus.

Other animals include five endemic rodents, a species of mouse opossum, and 15 endemic birds, including three species of tapaculo birds, the Chilean mockingbird, the Chilean Tinamou, and the Giant hummingbird.

Threats
The ecoregion is threatened by conversion for agriculture, pasture development, frequent anthropogenic fires, exotic species, and grazing.

Resources

Size:
149,000 sq. km (57,000 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub

Geographic Location:
Southwestern South America: Central Chile

Conservation Status:
Critical/Endangered

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