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Central Andean dry puna

The Central Andean dry puna is an ecoregion located in the Andean High plateau, in South America. It is a part of the Puna grassland.


This ecoregion occupies the southwestern portion of the Altiplano and is located east of the Atacama Desert.

Salt Flats, locally known as Salares, are a characteristic feature of this ecoregion. Among the largest salares are Coipasa, Uyuni, Atacama, and Arizaro. Other major geographical features are the lakes Poopo and Coipasa, and the many volcanoes that tower over the altiplano, including Parinacota Volcano, Nevado Sajama, Tata Sabaya, Ollague, Licancabur, Lascar, Aracar, Socompa and Llullaillaco. In addition to, numerous and colorful small lakes and ponds dot this region. There are seasonal as well as permanent, and have different degrees of salinity.


Typical high Andean wetlands are the Bofedales. These marshy areas are characterized by the presence of cushion bog vegetation. The Yareta grows in well-drained soils. Grasslands are dominated by species of the genera Stipa and Festuca.

Central Andean dry puna is home to Polylepis species, including the Polylepis tarapacana, which is the woody plant that grows at the highest elevations in the world.


Camelids, such as llamas, alpacas, vicunas, are found in this ecoregion. Other mammals include the Cougar, Andean Mountain Cat, Andean Fox, and the Andean Hairy Armadillo.

Three of the six flamingo species inhabit here. They are Andean Flamingo, James's Flamingo, and Chilean Flamingo. Other remarkable birds are the Darwin's Rhea, Andean Condor, Puna Tinamou, Puna Teal, Puna Ibis and the Andean Goose.

Population and conservation

Animals and plants find refuge in the protected areas of this ecoregion. Those include:

Lauca National Park

Sajama National Park

Eduardo Avaroa Andean Faunal National Reserve

Los Flamencos National Reserve

Olaroz-Cauchari Flora and Fauna Reserve

Llullaillaco National Park


Central Andean dry puna (World Wildlife Fund)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Central Andean dry puna

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