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Valdivian Rainforest Facts

The Valdivian Temperate Rainforest is a region of South America that encompasses parts of Chile and Argentina. The area is famous for its endemic plants, 150-foot tall trees, and its rare animal species.

Its characterized by dense understories of bamboos, ferns, and evergreen angiosperm trees.

The forest is richer in species than similar forests in North America.

Valdivian rainforest facts for Kids

  • The Valdivian Temperate has unique and rare plants and animals.
  • The rainforest is the third-largest in the world after the Amazon and the Congo.
  • The rainforest has a mild climate and temperature.
  • Temperatures in these areas are not extreme.
  • An endemic species of monkey puzzle tree grows here. 
  • The majority of plants are endemic.

Valdivian Rainforest Animals 

Some of the threatened mammals found in Valdivian temperate rain forests include the monito del monte, the southern pudu, the kodkod, and wild boars.

Monito del Monte

The monito del monte is an arboreal marsupial. They live in the dense forests of highland Argentina and Chile. They construct spherical nests of water-resistant colihue leaves and place them in well-protected areas of trees.

It’s a South American marsupial that is suspected to be ancestral to Australian marsupials. The monito del monte was found to be the last of a clade that included Djarthia about 55 million years ago.

Southern Pudu

The southern pudu is the world’s smallest deer. They are very small deer that nimbly climb on fallen trees, stand on their hind legs to reach favorite leaves or fruit, pause frequently to sniff the air for predators, and sound an alarm bark to escape.

In addition to fruits, berries, fungi, nuts, vegetation, and succulent sprouts, this herbivore eats ferns, vines, shrubs, and the leaves of small trees. Much of the water they need is obtained from the plants they eat.

Facts for Kids
Facts for Kids

Forest ecosystem

There are 4 main forest types in the Valdivian ecoregion, dominated by deciduous southern beech. The second forest type is Valdivian laurel-leaved forests, characterized by a variety of broadleaf evergreen trees.

In the Andes Mountains front, evergreen conifers dominate the Patagonian Andean forests, while deciduous Nothofagus scrublands appear closer to the treeline.

The northern half of the ecoregion is dominated by evergreen plants, and soils near the coast are more nutrient-rich than that inland.

The forest is influenced by the westerlies, which create rainfalls and fog near the coast. The temperature can climb to 16.5°C in the summer and drop to 7°C in the winter.