About Chile

Pehuenche Indians at a temporary summer house in the Monkey Puzzle forest, Araucania Region, Chile. rel=
Pehuenche Indians at a temporary summer house in the Monkey Puzzle forest, Araucania Region, Chile.
© WWF-Canon / Edward PARKER

About the country

Chile is a long, narrow strip of land located on the west coast of South America, bordered by the Pacific Ocean and Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Chile is made up of low coastal mountains, valleys, and deserts.
It sits on one of the world's most seismically active regions and is subject to violent earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activities. Chile has a high biodiversity and varied climatic conditions.

Nine of the Global 200 Ecoregions extend into Chilean territory: Atacama-Sechura Deserts, Central Andean Dry Puna, Chilean Matorral, High Andean Lakes, Humboldt Current, Patagonian Southwest Atlantic, Patagonian Steppe, Rapa Nui, and Valdivian Temperate Rainforests / Juan Fernandez Islands.

WWF is currently focusing its conservation efforts in one of its 9 global ecoregions: the Valdivian Temperate Forests.

The Valdivian Temperate Forests
The Valdivian forests are the only temperate rainforests in South America and it is the second largest of the 5 major temperate forest systems in the world. The forests support some of the longest-lived and largest trees on earth.

The Alerce tree (Fitzroya cupressoides) can reach heights of 375 feet and live for over 3,000 years. The Araucaria (Aracauria araucana), a species of Gondwanic origin, is nearly as long-lived and occurs only on the slopes of live volcanoes and on one point of the coastal range.

These native forests harbour an incredible wealth of wildlife including one of the world's largest woodpeckers; the world's smallest deer; a small tree dwelling marsupial ('mountain monkey'), considered by scientists to be a "living fossil", at least 58 bird species; and several rare carnivores, such as the southern river otter.

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