Status and Trends of Biodiversity
The Republic of Argentina is classified as one of the world’s “megadiverse” countries. Argentina boasts some of the best varieties of ecosystems in the world: 15 continental zones, 3 oceanic zones and the Antarctic region are all represented in its territory. This diversity of ecosystems has led to large species diversity: 9,000 vascular plant species (30% endemics) and 2,380 vertebrate species of which there are 38 endemic species of mammals and 19 endemic species of birds. From this total, 529 species of vertebrates and at least 240 plants are threatened or face extinction. The main threats to biodiversity are conversion of natural land for agriculture and deforestation, however, alien invasive species, industrialization and urbanization are also great contributors to biodiversity loss. Notable advances have been made in regard to the sustainable use of species of wild fauna, biodiversity inventorying, implementation of the Global Taxonomy Initiative and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, and the development of the national Clearing-House Mechanism. Work being conducted on access to genetic resources, and the sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of these resources, is at present hampered by lack of agreement from different areas of government. The Argentinian government has recently pushed for increased intersectoral dialogue and agreements to further progress in implementing the Convention.
Number and Extent of Protected Areas
299 protected areas (6.3% of total land area), 11 Ramsar sites and 10 Biosphere reserves (Source: 2003 Earth Trends World Resources Institute Country Profile)
Percentage of Forest Cover
34% (Source: 2005 FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment) Monitoring reports are prepared on a continuous basis and available on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.