Las Pampas, or The Pampas, is a huge plain that covers about 777,000 sq km, (300,000 sq miles). It expands from the Atlantic to the Andes Mountains in Argentina and Uruguay. The word pampas comes from the Guarani Indian word for level plain. The Argentinean pampas are home to the gaucho, or the original South American cowboy. The average temperature in the pampas is 18°C. It has a dry season in the summer and the wind is blowing most of the time.
There are many kinds of animal and plant life in the pampas. There are many birds such as the Double Collard Seedeater, the great Pampas Finch, the grassland Yellow Finch, and the Long Tailed Reed Finch. In addition to birds, several interesting mammals can be found in the pampas, such as the Geoffroy’s Cat, which has a gray coat and black striped legs and is almost invisible in the grass lands. The Maned Wolf has very long legs so it can see over the tall grasses. Also, you can find a llama-like guanaco that likes to hang out by ponds.
Frequent wildfires that race across the grasslands ensure that only small plants flourish; trees are rare. “Pampas Grass” (Cortaderia selloana) is the most well-known of the many grass species of the pampas. Vegetation typically includes perennial grasses and herbs, which vary depending on how much water is available in that particular area.
The humid pampas ecosystem is one of the richest grazing areas in the world. Because of its temperate climate and rich soil, most of the pampas has been turned into croplands. Unfortunately, livestock and farming have severely affected the pampas. Fertilizers and overgrazing are a serious threat to the pampas. It is now very difficult to find pampa that retains its original characteristics. It is considered to be one of the most endangered habitats on earth.
The pampas are most known as being the homeland to Argentina’s gauchos.