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Steppe mountains: flora and fauna

You may have read or heard about the steppe mountains. This ecoregion or large ecosystem, which has a great variety of flora and fauna thanks to its highly diverse ecosystems, deserves to be carefully analyzed.

Therefore, if you still do not know it very well and want to learn more about this ecoregion of Peru and, thus, discover the species of animals and plants that inhabit it, keep reading this AgroCorrn article, because here we are going to talk about what is the steppe mountains and its flora and fauna .

You may also be interested in: Flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands

What is the steppe mountain range

The steppe mountains is an ecoregion that is located in the mountain areas of the central Andes , especially in the territory of Peru. Next, to better explain what the steppe mountains of Peru are, we detail some of its main characteristics:

  • It is an area that has its origin in volcanic activity and that, in addition, usually suffers the effects of seismic activity.
  • It includes territories at an altitude of between 1,000 and 4,000 meters above sea level, and has quite extreme conditions due to the combination of its low rainfall, practically uninterrupted sun and very high or very low temperatures. As in many areas of this type, the climate is dry and hot during the day, and temperatures plummet as night falls.
  • In the steppe mountains of Peru, it is rare that the areas enjoy more than 400 mm of rainfall, with droughts that can last up to 8 months. Most of the rainfall that occurs, however, is concentrated in the months of December to March.
  • Geographically, we are facing a very steep terrain, with a large number of precipices and narrow valleys. Despite the absence of plains, the land is fertile and rich in minerals and nutrients, which is why the land does not desert.
  • This ecoregion is usually divided into four zones according to the altitude at which they are found, which are: high, medium, low and semi-desert.
  • The high steppe mountains are between 3,200 and 4,000 meters. It has a boreal climate, similar to that of tundra but with less humidity and it is very cold. To get to know it better, we recommend this other article about Tundra: characteristics, flora and fauna .
  • The middle steppe mountains are located between 2,600 and 3,200 meters. Because its height is still remarkable, its climate is also cold and its terrain is semi-desert.
  • The low includes the territories between 1,600 and 2,600 meters. It is an area that receives a little more humidity, which is why it is characterized as a sub-humid semi-desert area and its temperatures are less cold.
  • The semi-desert steppe mountains are between 1,000 and 1,600 meters. Its climate is mild, between temperate and subtropical, with high temperatures and low rainfall.

You can learn more about the Ecoregions of Peru and their characteristics in this other AgroCorrn post.

Steppe mountains: flora

The plants of the steppe mountains have had to adapt to its extreme conditions, having to be able to withstand both high and low temperatures. It has a large amount of herbaceous vegetation and some succulent plants capable of withstanding its drought conditions. Characteristic species of this ecoregion stand out, such as:

  • The yareta: a perennial that grows in areas of altitudes above 3,000 meters.
  • The tiaca: a tree typical of South America.
  • The huarango.
  • The white grass
  • Wild corn.

Apart from this vegetation, there are some grasses that are also common in the territory of the steppe mountains. However, the higher areas have less vegetation due to their conditions. Another curious fact about this ecoregion is that there the bushes rarely exceed one meter in height.

Fauna of the steppe mountains

As with the flora, the fauna of the steppe mountains has also needed to adapt to its extreme temperatures and dry conditions. Among the animals of the steppe mountains we can find:

Birds of the steppe mountains

  • The spectacular Andean condor: the largest bird in the world, which can reach weights of up to 15 kg. This majestic bird inhabits the highest areas of the Andes, where air currents allow them to glide with less effort. In this other AgroCorrn article we talk about why the condor is in danger of extinction .
  • The reddish hummingbird.
  • The basket of cacti.
  • The blue hummingbird.
  • The Andean parakeet.
  • The Andean kiula, which is a flightless bird. Discover more like this species in this other post about 10 birds that do not fly .
  • The Andean flamenco, which lives in the steppe mountains forming large flocks where there are courses or bodies of water.
  • The dwarf owl.
  • The quillincho or small red hawk.

Animals of the steppe mountains: mammals

You cannot talk about the fauna of the mountainous area without mentioning the mammals, since there are some that are very representative of the Peruvian fauna:

  • The Puma.
  • The Andean rhea.
  • The Wildcat.
  • The frontin or spectacled bear.
  • The deer.
  • The Andean fox.
  • The alpaca.
  • Vicuna.
  • The flame.

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