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Missionary Jungle or Paranaense: characteristics, animals and plants

One of the largest green masses on the planet is the Misionera or Paranaense jungle . It is the second largest biodiversity reserve in the American continent. Its biological diversity reaches more than 2000 species of flowers, 150 different plant species in just one hectare, a great variety of mammals, reptiles, insects and 400 species of birds.

In this AgroCorrn article we review the characteristics, animals and plants of the Misionera jungle . Discover it and you will be surprised!

You may also be interested in: Ecosystem of the jungle and its characteristics
  1. Characteristics of the Missionary jungle
  2. Missionary Salvage Plants
  3. Missionary jungle animals
  4. Conservation of the Misionera forest

Characteristics of the Missionary jungle

We begin by locating the Misionera jungle and talking about its characteristics , such as its extension, temperatures, rainfall and strata.

Location and extension

Until just a hundred years ago, this area extended over a million square kilometers uninterruptedly within the countries of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina , but today its surface has been reduced to about 54 thousand square kilometers, that is, , 20 times less surface than it had a hundred years ago. The reason is that it is one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world, due to massive logging and the exploitation of its fauna. In its territory, only 10% of its surface is protected, and sometimes that protection only exists on paper. At present, the jungle areas of this jungle are fragmented into isolated green islands by farms, pine trees, roads, cities that have been developed by the exploitation of the forest and its resources and by crop plantations.

Precipitation and temperature

The jungle is characterized by a high amount of rainfall throughout the year, with about 2,000 mm per year. It has a variable humidity between 75% and 90%, with dews during the night, and temperatures that go from 16ºC on average in winter and 25ºC on average in summer, reaching a maximum of 40ºC.

Strata of the Missionary jungle

We can divide the forest into three layers, with soils of reddish earth, where we find a large number of branches, decaying trunks, leaves, fungi, mosses and lichens. In this first layer, we find many ferns, grasses, grasses and small plants. In the understory we find various varieties of shrubs, reeds and tree shoots. Finally, in the highest or emerging layer you can see trees that reach heights of between 12 and 40 meters, and that struggle to reach the sunlight.

Missionary Salvage Plants

The Misionera or Paranaense jungle has a great diversity of flowers, particularly in the area of ​​Brazil, which has an average of up to 400 different species per hectare. In Brazil, the Paranaense jungle is located as an extension of the Amazon jungle, where it occupies up to 17 states.

There are about 200 varieties of trees , but the most prominent among the flora of the Misionera jungle are:

Lapacho negro (Handroanthus heptaphyllus)

The Black Lapacho is a tropical and subtropical tree that reaches up to 30 meters high and a maximum diameter of 1.5 meters.

Pino Paraná (Araucaria angustifolia)

This tree is the colossus of the Missionary jungle, reaching heights of up to 40 meters and diameters of 1.50. It has a glass in the shape of a parasol. This tree was declared a provincial natural asset in 1986, so its extraction is prohibited in the province of Misiones, Argentina.

Pink stick ( Aspidosperma polyneuron )

This is the tree that reaches the highest height in the jungle, reaching more than 40 meters and diameters of 1.60, but counting the straight pole 20 to 30 meters. However, its presence is currently scarce, due to indiscriminate logging, which is why it is protected in the Iguazú National Park.

Missionary jungle animals

This area of ​​the planet has a great and very diverse fauna, despite the exploitation it suffers, just like the Amazon rainforest. For example, it has up to a million and a half species of animals , including insects, although they are the most complicated to count. It is estimated that only 2% of the invertebrates that live in the world inhabit this place. It is also home to a great diversity of species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. Thus, up to 1,500 species and approximately half of the animal species of the Misionera jungle are endemic .


Within the invertebrates, we find a great diversity of spiders and butterflies in this jungle region. Learn more about the Characteristics of butterflies, where they live, what they eat, types and curiosities with this other post from AgroCorrn.


Among the bird species there are parrots or parrots, such as macaws that are in danger , there are also eagles and toucans, which are some of the most showy species of birds in the Misionera jungle.


There are also a large number of mammals such as bats, river wolves, otters, capybaras, foxes, otters, coatis (like the ones in the image below) or small rodents. There are monkeys such as the red carayá or the caí monkey, which are highly sought after by wildlife photographers.

We also find lemurs, anteaters and tapirs. Among the most exotic and difficult to spot are the jaguar or jaguar, the ocelot or the puma.

In this other article we will talk about Why the jaguar is in danger of extinction and in this other one about Why the ocelot is in danger of extinction , two of the emblematic species of the Missionary jungle.


Among the reptiles there are turtles, lizards, common alligators and alligators or Para alligators. Large number of snakes and vipers (including some highly poisonous), such as yaará or rattlesnakes.

Conservation of the Misionera forest

The Misionera or Paranaense jungle is a highly threatened ecosystem due to deforestation and exploitation of its fauna and water resources. For this reason, there are different projects to protect the jungle and its fauna.

For example, the World Wide Foundation For Nature organizes a protection project with multiple participating organizations such as non-governmental organizations, universities, technicians, local residents, or the government. Also, species such as the tapir , the anteater or the jaguar or jaguar have been protected since 1989 as a Provincial Natural Monument of Public Interest, which prohibits their hunting and possession throughout the territory of the province of Misiones.

If you want to read more articles similar to Missionary Jungle or Paranaense: characteristics, animals and plants , we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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