About the Area
Found here are six endemic plant genera, usually represented by only a few species: Philippiella, Neobaclea, Xerodraba, Benhamiella, Eriachaenium, and Duseniella.
Bird species include Rosy-billed pochard (Netta peposaca), Austral rail (Rallus antarcticus), and the endemic Magellanic plover (Pluvianellus socialis).
Mammals found among these habitats include two Opossums (Thylamys pusilla and the endemic Lestodelphys halli), four endemic Tuco-tucos (Ctenomys spp.), Guanaco (Lama guanicoe), Gray fox (Pseudalopex griseus), Mountain lion (Puma concolor), Pampas cat (Oncifelis colocolo), and Patagonian hare (Dolichotis patagonum).
Overgrazing and associated erosion, desertification, government-sponsored predator control (e.g. foxes), indiscriminate use of poisons, conversion for agriculture, introduced herbivores, and burning are major threats.
487,000 sq. km (188,000 sq. miles)
Temperate Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Argentina and Chile
What kinds of opossums are found in this ecoregion?
Two unusual opossums inhabit the Patagonian Steppe. One is the tiny dwarf mouse-opossum, which has a body length of only 4 inches (10 cm)! The other is the rare Patagonia opossum, so poorly known that most records of it come from the remains found in regurgitated owl pellets!