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A closer look at “El Hualhual Forest” biodiversity

Actualizado: 23 mar 2022

The Hualhual Forest” is a 30 hectar habitat of Maulino Costero forest, a unique and threatened ecosystem. El Hualhual is situated on Estero Pullay Basin's head within the Cobquecura commune, in the central south-coast of Chile. With an estimated area of 200ha of Native Forest , the Estero Pullay basin represents a exceptional biodiversity reserve, it harbors over 3 species considered natural monuments by the Chilean national legislation and a variety of endemic and endangered species from every kingdom, however only the Haulhaul forest areas are being managed, studied and protected.

This ecosystem thrives on the Cordillera de la Costa, a mountain range along the Chilean coast which stands out by its biodiversity and endemism. It acts as a natural barrier for climate, natural genetic modifications and is a biodiversity hotspot for tree species.

El Hualhual Forest and its surroundings

No Buffer Zones, just conservation and production

The Bosque Maulino Costero has suffered permanent reduction and fragmentation of its territory over the last decades, mostly due to the wood and agriculture industry´s monoculture. With regards to Chilean national government regulations. Nowadays, this ecosystem is found mostly in isolated gorges under permanent perturbation threat.

Surrounded mostly by pine and eucalyptus monoculture, the Hualhual biodiversity thrives and regenerates in a hopeful way. Queule trees (Gomortega keule, an endangered, rare and one of a kind endemic chilean species) stands out by its unequal conservation condition and natural regeneration. It is considered as one of the only places in the world where successful natural reproduction of the seeds has been recorded, a real rare, unique and scarce green gem.

8 years old Gomortega keule in the forest, one of the only cases of successful natural reproduction in the wild.

Other than Queule, over 69 native vascular plants species have been recorded, of which 40 % of them are endemic of chilean forests, such as;

Copihue (Lapageria rosea), Pitra (Myceugenia exsuca), Cogüil (Lardizabala biternata) Chupon (Greigia sphacelata),, Avellano (Gevuina avellana), temo (Blepharocalyx cruckshanskii ), puya (Puya chilensis), Costilla de vaca , flor de la araña (Arachnites uniflora,), Naranjillo (Citronella mucronata), Laurel (Laurelia sempervirens), Violeta (Viola portalesia) and many more.

Greigia sphacelata, an endemic chilean perennal herb, use by local community for basketry and by its edible fruit.

Copihue (Lapageria rosea) chilean natural treasure, and part of chilean shield, represents the warrior spirit of the mapuche people.

El Hualhual forest shelters an enormous diversity of life. Over 40 native bird species have been identified, such as; the Tuqucure (Bubo magellanicus), Pitio (Colaptes pitius), Bilarin (Elanus leucurus), Chuncho (Glaucidium nana) Chucao (Scelorchilus rubecula), Fio-Fio (Elaenia albiceps), Chucao, Hued-Hued castaño (Pteroptochos castaneus) , Aguilucho (Genaroaetus polyosoma), Carpinterito (Veniliornis lignarius), Picaflor (Sephanoides sephaniodes), Rayadito (Aphastura spinicauda ) Churrin de la Mocha (Eugralla paradoxa).

Carpinterito (Veniliornis lignarius), on a Queule (Gomortega keule tree)

Some endangered fungis can be found, such as Loyo (Boletus loyo), also an endemic and rare snail; Caracol Negro (Mycrocyclis peruvianus), and endangered and endemic chilean mammals as Guiña (Leopardus guigna), Pudu (Pudu puda) and Monito del monte (Dromiciops gliroides) which are very hard to find.

Caracol Negro (Macrocyclis peruvianus)
Loyo (Boletus loyo) on El Hualhual Forest

With the joint support of Local NGO Costa Sur, the local government, Land owner/groove keeper, international organizations and local community, El Hualhual forest has become a reference for the community, with its fundamental actions towards encouraging landscape restoration within the territory:

Through the promotion of agroforestry systems, reforestation, research, ecosystem restoration, biodiversity preservation and environmental education. It has become a regularly visited natural attraction by the community, foreigners, students, kids, farmers, teachers, and researchers..

For more information on habitats, conservation actions, volunteering, research and more, join our community !

Be the godparent of a scarce, rare and unique tree! Adopt Queule and be part of ENTS

Ecosystem and El Hualhual Forest

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