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Ischigualasto / Talampaya Natural Parks

Ischigualasto / Talampaya Natural Parks

These two contiguous parks, extending over 275,300 ha in the desert region on the western border of the Sierra Pampeanas of central Argentina, contain the most complete continental fossil record known from the Triassic Period (245-208 million years ago). Six geological formations in the parks contain fossils of a wide range of ancestors of mammals, dinosaurs and plants revealing the evolution of vertebrates and the nature of palaeo-environments in the Triassic Period.

Parcs naturels d’Ischigualasto / Talampaya

Ces deux parcs contigus s'étendent sur plus de 275 300 ha dans la région désertique jouxtant à l'ouest les Sierras Pampeanas du centre de l'Argentine. Ils renferment l'ensemble continental le plus complet au monde de fossiles de la période du Trias (de -245 à -208 millions d'années). On y trouve six formations géologiques contenant des fossiles d'un large spectre d'ancêtres de mammifères, de dinosaures et de plantes, qui témoignent de l'évolution des vertébrés et de la nature des paléo-environnements de la période du Trias.

منتزها إيشيغوالاستو - تالامبايا الطبيعيان

منتزها إيشيغوالاستو - تالامبايا الطبيعيان يمتدّ هاذان المنتزهان المتجاوران على أكثر من 275300 هكتار في المنطقة الصحراوية المشرفة على غرب السييرا بامبياناس وسط الأرجنتين. وهما يشملان المجموعة القاريّة الأكثر تكاملاً في العالم من المتحجّرات التي تعود إلى فترة الترياس (من- 245 إلى - 208 مليون سنة). ونجد 6 تشكيلات جيولوجية تشتمل متحجّرات لمجموعة كبيرة من أسلاف الثدييات والديناصورات والنبات، ما يشهد على تطوّر الفقاريات وطبيعة العناصر البيئية التي تعود إلى فترة الترياس.

source: UNESCO/ERI

伊沙瓜拉斯托-塔拉姆佩雅自然公园

这两个公园相邻,坐落在阿根廷中部彭巴山 (the Sierra Pampeanas) 西麓的沙漠地区,绵延275 300公顷,保存有三叠纪(2.45亿至2.08亿年前)最为完整的大陆化石。公园内的六个地质层含有哺乳动物先祖、恐龙以及各种植物化石,反映了脊椎动物的进化过程以及三叠纪时期古代自然环境。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Природные парки Исчигуаласто и Талампайя

Два близко расположенных парка, занимающих 275,3 тыс. га в пустынном районе на западной окраине гор Сьерра-Пампеанас в центральной Аргентине, являются местонахождением наиболее целостных ископаемых остатков наземной флоры и фауны, относящихся к триасовому периоду (245 - 208 млн. лет назад). Шесть геологических формаций в двух парках содержат окаменелые фрагменты различных предков современных млекопитающих, динозавров и растений, что помогает изучить эволюцию позвоночных животных и палеонтологическую среду в триасовом периоде.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Parques naturales de Ischigualasto / Talampaya

Estos dos parques contiguos se extienden por una superficie de más de 275.300 hectáreas en la región desértica que limita al oeste con las Sierras Pampeanas del centro de Argentina. Las seis formaciones geológicas de los parques albergan el conjunto continental de fósiles más completo del mundo correspondientes al Triásico, el periodo geológico que se inició unos 245 millones de años antes de nuestra era y finalizó unos 37 millones de años después. Los fósiles comprenden una amplia gama de antepasados de mamíferos, así como vestigios de dinosaurios y plantas, que ilustran la evolución de los vertebrados y las características de los paleoambientes del período Triásico.

source: UNESCO/ERI

イスチグアラスト/タランパジャ自然公園群 

source: NFUAJ

Nationale parken Ischigualasto en Talampaya

Deze twee aangrenzende parken strekken zich uit over 275.300 hectare en liggen in het woestijngebied aan de westelijke grens van de Sierra Pampeanas in centraal Argentinië. De nationale parken bevatten de meest complete registratie van continentale fossielen uit het Trias (245 tot 208 miljoen jaar geleden). In de parken bevinden zich zes geologische formaties die fossielen bevaten van de voorouders van zoogdieren, dinosaurussen en planten. Hierdoor krijgt men een goed beeld van de veranderingen tijdens het Triastijdperk; de ontwikkeling die gewervelde dieren doormaakten en de manieren waarop de het paleomilieu veranderde.

Source: unesco.nl

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Ischigualasto / Talampaya Natural Parks © Philipp Schinz
Outstanding Universal Value
Brief synthesis 
Ischigualasto-Talampaya Natural Parks are located in the northern part of central Argentina comprised of two adjoining protected areas. These are Ischigualasto Provincial Park (60,369 hectares) in San Juan Province and Talampaya National Park (215,000 hectares) in Rioja Province, jointly covering 275,369 hectares west of the Sierras Pampeanas. The property is situated within Argentina's Monte ecoregion, a warm scrub desert along the Eastern Andean foothills. Against the backdrop of an attractive mountain landscape the property is a scientific treasure of global importance. It harbours the sedimentary Ischigualasto-Villa Union Triassic Basin, consisting of continental sediments deposited during the entire Triassic Period. This Basin boasts an exceptionally complete record and sequence of plant and animal life in the geological period from roughly 250 to 200 million years ago which represents the origin of both dinosaurs and mammals. Six distinct sedimentary formations contain the fossilised remains of a wide range of ancestral animals and plants revealing the evolution of vertebrates and detailed information on palaeoenvironments over the approximately 50 million years of the Triassic Period, and the dawn of the “Age of the Dinosaurs”. The ongoing scientific discoveries are invaluable for understanding palaeontology and evolutionary biology.

The property is located in an arid region in the rain shadow of the Andes. Further to the significance for research the property has important archaeological values, such as 1500 year-old petroglyphs. Exceptional landscape features include red sandstone cliffs reaching 200 metres in height in Talampaya National Park and, in Ischigualasto Provincial Park, white and multi-coloured sediments creating a stark landscape named “Valle de la Luna" or "Valley of the Moon”. The site has sparse desert vegetation, characterised by xeric shrubs and cactus, with interspersed trees. The desert environment contains several rare and endemic species of flora and fauna.

Criterion (viii): The property of Ischigualasto-Talampaya Natural Parks is of extraordinary scientific importance, providing a complete sequence of fossiliferous continental sediments representing the Triassic Period of geological history (c.250-200 million years before present), and revealing the evolution of vertebrate life and the nature of palaeoenvironments in the Triassic that ushered in the “Age of the Dinosaurs”.

Extending over the Ischigualasto-Villa Unión sedimentary basin, , the dramatic natural landscape of the property exposes six geological formations that clearly and exceptionally document the major stage of Earth’s history from the evolution from the mammal ancestors in the Early Triassic to the rise of dinosaur dominance during the Triassic. The rich diversity of fossils includes some 56 known genera and many more species of vertebrates, including but not limited to fish, amphibians and a great variety of reptiles and direct mammalian ancestors, including the early dinosaur: Eoraptor, and at least 100 species of plants together with abundant emphasis of the environments of the time. Together these remains provide a unique window on life in the Triassic Period, with many new discoveries still to be made.

Integrity
The property encompasses the surface expression of the Ischigualasto-Villa Union sedimentary basin, which fully depicts the Triassic Period in the Mesozoic Era, including all the key fossiliferous strata within its boundaries. It is a natural landscape with all its interrelated components - continuous sequences of rock outcrops, erosional forms, outwash areas and various depositional features present. Although most of the boundaries follow straight lines rather than topographic contours, this is not considered a shortcoming given the limited definition of catchments in the desert landscape. The formal protection status of both protected areas is an adequate legal recognition and framework of the property's geological and paleontological values.

The boundaries of the property were not designed according to ecosystem considerations so it is unknown to what degree the property contributes to the conservation of the El Monte ecosystem and its fauna and flora. Unlike the geological values, the ecological values are under certain pressure, for example from livestock grazing, alien invasive species and poaching.

Protection and management requirements
The property is publicly owned, has no permanent inhabitants and enjoys adequate legal protection. Both protected areas are appropriately zoned into areas ranging from strict protection to various forms of controlled use. Provincial legislation established Ischigualasto Provincial Park in 1971 and the contiguous Talampaya Provincial Park in 1975. Talampaya subsequently became a National Park in 1997, subject to national legislation as a unit of the National Protected Areas System. It is managed by the Argentina's National Park Agency APN through specialised technical staff and trained rangers. Central funding is provided for infrastructure and equipment and a regional APN office provides technical and scientific support. As for Ischigualasto, provincial legislation created an administration in 2004 as an autonomous entity under the provincial government. The law defines objectives and the role of a coordinator to be appointed by the provincial government. It also establishes a fund to be fed from the provincial budget, entrance fees and other revenue mechanisms to be developed. The property requires an adequate budget for staffing and management operations. It benefits from support from tourism organisations at provincial and national level and from research institutions. There is a need to ensure sufficient funding and staff in both protected areas. The continuity of the coordination across the two parks should be ensured regardless of legal differences, in particular in the realms of conservation, monitoring, law enforcement, research, community involvement, public use and tourism.

The strategic planning process is currently under way to update the Management Plan that was effective until 2007, so that the management objectives stated in the previous planning period can be reviewed.

Before road construction in 1979, the area was not easily accessible. Historic human use was restricted to indigenous resource use and more recently to episodic cattle drives and some coal mining in Ischigualasto. Livestock from adjacent communities and expanding mining activities made it necessary to demarcate the park boundaries to avoid possible ambiguity about the exact extension. The geological values are in a good state of conservation but permanent management and supervision of the scientific field work is required, and actions to prevent illegal collection are also required. Threats to the ecosystem include alien invasive species, feral livestock, and poaching. The promotion of tourism and recreation is a declared management objective with expected benefits in visitor education, conservation financing and income and employment opportunities in the adjacent communities. Building upon existing efforts, planning and management is needed to address the well-known undesired effects of tourism development in conservation areas, especially as most visitors accumulate in a few selected parts of the property, such as Valle de la Luna and Cañón de Talampaya (the Valley of the Moon and the Talampaya Gorge). 
Long Description

Talampaya National Park and the contiguous Ischigualasto Provincial Park straddle the border between the provinces of San Juan and La Rioja in north-western Argentina.

The Ischigualasto-Talampaya region is a desert area forming the western border of the Sierras Pampeanas of central Argentina.

The nominated site constitutes almost the entire sedimentary basin known as the Ischigualasto-Villa Union Triassic basin. It was formed by layers of continental sediments deposited by rivers, lakes and swamps over the entire Triassic period (245-208 million years ago). The sediments contain fossils of a wide range of plants and animals including the ancestors of mammals and dinosaurs. They constitute the world's most complete continental fossil record known from the Triassic, revealing the evolution of vertebrates as well as the environments they lived in during this period.

Some 56 genera of fossil vertebrates have been recorded from the area, including fish, amphibians, and a great variety of reptiles including the direct ancestors of mammals. Most of the fossils are found in the uppermost levels of the geological formations and consist almost entirely of archosaurs, including large herbivorous and carnivorous species, primitive crocodiles and primitive mammals about the size of a rat.

The river deposits include large areas of flood plains which indicate rapid flooding, probably after monsoon type storms. Lake and swamp deposits contain large amount of fossil plants, some of them forming coal seams and others preserved as mummification of actual species, an extremely rare form of preservation known from very few localities. Six geologic formations make up the Triassic basin, the earliest of which are the Talampaya and Tarjados formations, red sandstone that forms the impressive cliffs of the Talampaya National Park. The remaining formations are composed of lake beds, swamps, river channels and flood plain deposits. These formations contain the abundant vertebrate and flora fossils.

Today Ischigualasto-Talampaya has sparse desert vegetation characterized by xeric shrubs and cactus. The fauna is typical of the arid regions of western Argentina including several species regarded as being of special value because they are either endemic, nationally threatened or culturally valuable, including Andean condor, chestnut canastero, sandy gallito, puma, guanaco, mara and viscacha.

Before the Spanish conquest, the area was inhabited by several groups of aborigines, usually semi-nomadic hunters and gatherers. The cultural value of Ischigualasto-Talampaya is of great significance, even though a detailed study of rock art, artefacts and archaeological sites has only recently begun. The site lies on the southernmost area of late Inca influence. At Talampaya, many sites have been unearthed and are easily accessible. At Ischigualasto, six sites of rock art have been discovered. In addition, cave and rock overhang habitation sites, as well as burial sites, campgrounds and tool-making areas have also been found. It is possible to classify much of the rock art in terms of geometric figures, human figures and combined scenes.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC