Otamendi & Punta Lara natural reserves, the land of the Diademed Tanager
These two natural reserves are among the most biodiverse spots in Buenos Aires province. They give refuge to an important remnant of native flora and fauna.
Otamendi Natural Reserve is an outstanding place that preserves a huge wetland which still has the endangered Marsh Deer (Blastoceros dichotomus) among its fauna. It lays in the north of the province, near the city of Campana (about 70 km from BA city).
Many bird species are found in Otamendi, having the Diademed Tanager as a common resident. It's also a great place to watch the Scarlet-headed Blackbird and to hear the Red-and-white Crake, other reserve’s residents. The big specialty of Otamendi is the very rare Straight-billed Reedhaunter, an endangered species only found in this part of the province, some spots in the south of Entre Ríos province, parts of Uruguay and the southernmost tip of Brazil.
This, together with other birds such as the Blue-billed Black-tyrant, Dusky-legged Guan and the White-rimmed Warbler makes of Otamendi a great birding destination in the area.
Punta Lara Natural Reserve preserves the southernmost patch of riverside forest, with a very high biodiversity, especially of plants. But it mainly presents other habitats such as an important area of grasslands and wetlands. It's located near the provincial capital city of La Plata, about 80 km away from Buenos Aires. Among Punta Lara’s specialties is also the Diademed Tanager. A typical species of the riverside forest, finds its southernmost distribution limit in this area. Another remarkable bird is the Red-and-white Crake which can be heard and, with more luck, seen in the swamp of the reserve. The list of species is long and includes other rare birds such as the Bay-capped Wren-spinetail, Pipits and more.
Butterflies are abundant too, with the Argentine Flag Butterfly (Morpho epistrophus argentina) as one of the most attractive species.