Martin Garcia Island

Birds and butterflies in Martin Garcia Island

Isla Martín García (Martin Garcia island) is a small but incredible place for any nature fan. It is located in La Plata river, close to the neighboring Country of Uruguay, and to the mouth of the river with the same name. It's a natural reserve with an important historic heritage since its strategic location.

Despite of its small size it presents an amazing biodiversity that makes it the most biodiverse spot in Buenos Aires province. Riverside and Espinal forests are very well represented with lush vegetation, big trees and many epiphytes. That's the reason for the high diversity of species in the island. A third inland ecosystem is the xerophytic vegetated dunes, that shows another type of flora and fauna because of the different humidity conditions (much drier than the forests near the river coast).

Regarding birdwatching this place has a lot to offer because of the features mentioned before. Among the most interesting species we could quote the White Woodpecker, Euler's Flycatcher, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-tyrant, Swainson's Flycatcher and the Gray-throated Warbling-finch, which is very common in the island.

Furnariids are common too, such as the Stripe-crowned Spinetail, Short-billed Canastero and Spix’s Spinetail. At night you could find the Tropical Screech-owl and, with a bit of luck, the Great Horned Owl.

In the trip to the island, while sailing through the many rivers of the delta and part of La Plata river, there are many aquatic birds like the Cocoi Heron, Southern Screamer, Coscoroba Swan and Black-necked Swan.

The island is a paradise for butterfly lovers too, with some species restricted to this place in Buenos Aires province (not found in the continent) and typical of the rainforest. It's a good spot to find the Argentine Flag Butterfly (Morpho epistrophus argentina), whose caterpillars are everywhere in the island until December, when the adult butterflies appear. Other remarkable species are the Eighty Butterfly (Diaethria candrena), the Sapphire Butterfly (Doxocopa laurentia) and many papillionids such as the Polysticto (Battus polystictus) and the Astyalos (Heraclides astyalus).