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The Endemic Plants of Chile – an Annotated Checklist

Region: Archipiélago de Juan Fernández (JF)

The Juan Fernández Islands are a small archipelago of three subtropical volcanic islands located 670 km off the coast of Chile. Robinson Crusoe Island, formerly known as Isla Más a Tierra, is the second largest (47.9 km2) with the peak of El Yunque rising to 915 m. Close by is the smallest island, Santa Clara (2.2 km2). The largest island, Alejandro Selkirk (49.5 km2), once known as Isla Más Afuera, is 180 km further west and rises to 1,268 m. The annual rainfall is 1081 mm and ranges from 318 to 1698 mm - elevations over 500 m can receive rain on a daily basis. At lower elevations on the western side of the islands of Robinson Crusoe and Santa Clara are typically very dry. The two larger islands have low altitude grasslands above which is evergreen montane forests with tree ferns. Of the 285 native plants species, 144 are endemic, 70% of which are unique to the island. Invasive non-native plant species, fire and grazing have degraded or destroyed much of the forests. Five species are now registered as extinct - Eryngium sarcophyllum, Podophorus bromoides, Robinsonia berteroi, Robinsonia macrocephala, and Santalum fernandezianum.

The highest peak of El Yunque on Robinson Crusoe Island
The highest peak of El Yunque on Robinson Crusoe Island

Endemic Taxa in Archipiélago de Juan Fernández (JF)

Regional Endemics, taxa only occurring in Archipiélago de Juan Fernández (JF)