Preserving the Headwaters Forest in Córdoba, Argentina

Fundación Actividades Biosféricas is a partner of Acción Serrana, a coalition of institutions and individuals committed to the conservation and ecological restoration of the mountain ecosystems throughout the mountains of South America.

The Tabaquillos forests are vitally important for the health of the natural water system of the Córdoba province and central Argentina. The ecosystem function of Polyepsis australis woodland is associated with the health of watersheds, and is home to numerous endemic species in the region including the Andean condor, puma, red fox and Achala lizard. The area attracts many ecotourists, hikers, highliners and climbers each year. However, these native forests are highly fragmented and subject to extensive burning, livestock grazing, and clearing which changes their habitat characteristics, causes soil loss, affects the stability of steep hillsides and hampers natural regeneration. This project will restore over 100 hectares through planting 225,000 trees, fencing to keep out livestock, collecting over 3 million seeds for germination, maintaining nurseries, and carrying out environmental education with 15 schools, 500 students and 1500 community members. Fundación Actividades Biosféricas aims to replant 3 million trees this decade.

The Update

Halfway through the project, Acción Serrana reported that 5.1 million seeds had been collected in high-altitude forests. These were taken to 17 nurseries and 225,000 germinated successfully. These seedlings were then transplanted into individual plastic pots to continue growing and planting. Most of Accion Serrana’s reforestation campaigns are carried out during the rainy season, between November and February.

During the same period, 2 new nurseries were created in the communities and one nursery was repaired, thus increasing the seedling germination capacity. Four kilometers of fencing – providing protection from livestock grazing – was successfully erected in the area to be planted in the next stage of the project.

Eight separate education events were held, raising awareness among 419 schoolchildren and teachers about the importance of Polylepis australis, the biodiversity of the area and the importance of this restoration project. Additionally, 220 people participated in the planting of 250 seedlings in the Los Gigantes  area-  Pampa de Achala Provincial Water Reserve – as part of three educational events held in September 2023.