Returning to Argentina

It has been a beautiful English summer, with lots of BBQs and time with friends.

The photographs we brought back from our first trip were great and one of the end products has been what I am calling a bio-montage. This is a compilation of ‘white background’ images as well as a panorama, more about this in another blog.



Southern Yungas biomontage



We are really longing to get back to South America and Argentina in particular, to see friends and continue with our ‘Search for Species’ in the Andes. This expedition will be longer and will stretch through the southern summer into 2015.

We will find some amazing wildlife and meet equally amazing people, so log into our blog periodically and now we have a Facebook group as well –  Proyecto de Animales Andinos


Burrowing parrots 2



Paula and I are off any day now,  winging our way towards Argentina.





Andes Ecoregions

The Andean Wildlife Project is to make a photographic record of  ecoregions within the Andes.  An ecoregion is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a distinct assembly of plant species and animals which give it a unifying character. The scale of an ecoregion is highly suitable for consideration for global conservation planning as it encompasses biogeographically related communities, not otherwise found at site level.


On this our first expedition into the Andes we visited two ecoregions.

The first was the moist and humid temperate Southern Yugas rainforests ( no 4 on the above map) our chosen site was the Alisos National Park near Concepcion.

The two groups of animals that were most conspicuous during our time their were the Parrots and the butterflies.  These are Red-mitred Parrots, there was a flock of about 300 of these birds in the valley where we camped.  The whole  group foraged together, noisily moving from one part of the valley to another.  Once settled in a suitable group of trees they quietened down for an hour or so and fed.

Alisos parrots 2

The weather that brings these rains to the forests comes off the South Atlantic in the summer. The clouds speed across the hot Chaco flatlands until they reach the foothills of the Andes, there they stop and it rains and rains and rains.

The Yungas forests cloth the eastern slopes of the Andes from north western Argentina through Bolivia and way up into Peru.

Below is a Helicoius butterfly, probably H melpomene,, the Postman butterfly a common mimicking species in the forests of Alisos.

Alisos butterfly

The second ecoregion we visited was the high Puna  (no 5 on the above map), specifically the Laguna Blanca National Park in Catamarca province at an elevation of about 3,500m.


Laguna Blanca in May

The animal that frequents these raw mountain plateaus were Vicunas.  These were mercilessly hunted several decades ago but protected areas have now brought this beautiful animal back from the brink of extinction.