The Pampas (from the qu|pampa, meaning "plain") are fertile South American lowlands that cover more than and include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, and Córdoba; all of Uruguay; and Brazil's southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul. The vast plains are a natural region, interrupted only by the low Ventana and Tandil hills, near Bahía Blanca and Tandil (Argentina), with a height of and , respectively. The climate is temperate, with precipitation of that is more or less evenly distributed throughout the year, making the soils appropriate for agriculture. The area is also one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger ParanáParaguay Plain division.


The climate of the Pampas is generally temperate, gradually giving way to a more subtropical climate in the north and a semiarid climate on the western fringes (like San Luis Province and western La Pampa Province). Summer temperatures are more uniform than winter temperatures, generally ranging from during the day. However, most cities in the Pampas occasionally have high temperatures that push , as occurs when a warm, dry, northerly wind blows from southern Brazil. Autumn arrives gradually in March and peaks in April and May. In April, highs range from and lows from . The first frosts arrive in mid-April in the south and late May or early June in the north. Winters are generally mild, but cold waves often occur. Typical temperatures range from during the day, and from at night. With strong northerly winds, days of over can be recorded almost everywhere, and during cold waves, high temperatures can be only . Frost occurs everywhere in the Pampas, but it is much more frequent in the southwest than around the Parana and Uruguay Rivers. Temperatures under can occur everywhere, but values of or lower are confined to the south and west. Snow never falls in the northernmost third and is rare and light elsewhere, except for exceptional events in which depths have reached . thumb|250px|left|''Coxilhas'' (low hills covered by grasslands) in Morro_Redondo,_[[Rio_Grande_do_Sul_state,_[[Brazil.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Rio_Grande_do_Sul.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Morro Redondo, [[Rio Grande do Sul">Morro Redondo, [[Rio Grande do Sul state, [[Brazil">Rio_Grande_do_Sul.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Morro Redondo, [[Rio Grande do Sul">Morro Redondo, [[Rio Grande do Sul state, [[Brazil.]] Springs are very variable; it is warmer than fall in most areas (especially in the west) but significantly colder along the Atlantic. Violent storms are more common as well as wide temperature variations: days of can give way to nights of under or even frost, all within only a few days. Precipitation ranges from 1,200 mm (47 in) in the northeast to about 500 mm (20 in) in the southern and western edges. It is highly seasonal in the West, with some places recording averages of 120 mm (4.7 in) monthly in the summer, and only 20 millimeters (0.8 in) monthly in the winter. The eastern areas have small peaks in the fall and the spring, with relatively rainy summers and winters that are only slightly drier. However, where summer rain falls as short, heavy storms, winter rain falls mostly as cold drizzle, and so the amount of rainy days is fairly constant. Very intense thunderstorms are common in the spring and summer, and it has among the most frequent lightning and highest convective cloud tops in the world. The severe thunderstorms produce intense hailstorms, both floods and flash floods, and the most consistently active tornado region outside the central and southeastern US.


Human activity has caused major changes to the wildlife of the Pampas. Species such as the puma, rhea, and Pampas deer have lost their habitats especially due to the spread of agriculture and ranching. Herbivores of the pampas are the Pampas deer, gray brocket, plains viscacha, Brazilian guinea pig, southern mountain cavy and coypu. The biggest predator of the region is the puma followed by the maned wolf, pampas fox, geoffroy's cat, lesser grison as well as the omnivorous white-eared opossum and molinas hog-nosed skunk. Bird species of the pampas are ruddy-headed goose, pampas meadowlark, hudsonian godwit, maguari stork, white-faced ibis, white-winged coot, southern screamer, dot-winged crake, curve-billed reedhaunter, burrowing owl and the rhea. Invasive species include the European hare, wild boar and house sparrow. File:Venado-Campo-UY-Ozotoceros bezoarticus.jpg|Pampas deer File:Lycalopex gymnocercus.jpg|Pampas fox File:Greater rhea (Rhea americana).JPG|Rhea File:Southern screamer (Chauna torquata).JPG|Southern screamer


Historically, frequent wildfires ensured that only small plants such as grasses flourished, while trees were less common. The dominant vegetation types are grassy prairie and grass steppe, in which numerous species of the grass genus ''Stipa'' are particularly conspicuous. "Pampas grass" (''Cortaderia selloana'') is an iconic species of the Pampas. Vegetation typically includes perennial grasses and herbs. Different strata of grasses occur because of gradients of water availability. The World Wildlife Fund divides the Pampas into three distinct ecoregions. The Uruguayan Savanna lies east of the Parana River, and includes all of Uruguay, most of Entre Ríos and Corrientes provinces in Argentina, and the southern portion of Brazil's state of Rio Grande do Sul. The Humid Pampas include eastern Buenos Aires Province, and southern Entre Ríos Province. The Semiarid Pampas includes western Buenos Aires Province and adjacent portions of Santa Fe, Córdoba, and La Pampa provinces. The Pampas are bounded by the drier Argentine espinal grasslands, which form a semicircle around the north, west, and south of the Humid Pampas. Winters are cold to mild, and summers are hot and humid. Rainfall is fairly uniform throughout the year but is a little heavier during the summer. Annual rainfall is heaviest near the coast and decreases gradually further inland. Rain during the late spring and summer usually arrives in the form of brief heavy showers and thunderstorms. More general rainfall occurs the remainder of the year as cold fronts and storm systems move through. Although cold spells during the winter often send nighttime temperatures below freezing, snow is quite rare. In most winters, a few light snowfalls occur over inland areas. Central Argentina boasts a successful agricultural business, with crops grown on the Pampas south and west of Buenos Aires. Much of the area is also used for cattle, and more recently, to cultivate vineyards in the Buenos Aires wine region. The area is also used for farming honey using European honeybees. These farming regions are particularly susceptible to flooding during the thunderstorms. The weather averages out to be 60 °F (16 °C) year-round in the Pampas.


* ** Buenos Aires 17,196,396 ** Córdoba 3,683,937 ** Santa Fe 3,481,514 ** City Of Buenos Aires 3,068,043 ** Entre Ríos 1,360,443 ** La Pampa 352,378 * ** Rio Grande do Sul 11,247,972 * **All departments 3,518,552


Starting in the 1840s but intensifying after the 1880s, European immigrants began to migrate to the Pampas, first as part of government-sponsored colonization schemes to settle the land and later as tenant farmers "working as either a sharecropper or as paid laborers for absentee landowners"Meade, Teresa A. History of modern Latin America: 1800 to the present. Wiley Blackwell, 2016. in an attempt to make a living for themselves. However, many immigrants eventually moved to more permanent employment in cities, as industrialization picked up after the 1930s. As a result, Argentina's history of immigration in Buenos Aires Province is typically associated with cities and urban life, unlike in Entre Ríos Province and Santa Fe Province, where European immigration took on a more rural profile.

See also

* Dry Pampa * Estancia * Federal University of Pampa * Gaucho * Humid Pampas * José Froilán González - the "Pampas Bull" * Luis Ángel Firpo - the "Wild Bull of Las Pampas" * Médanos (dunes) * Médanos wines * Riograndense Republic * Southern Cone * Southern jaguar


External links

Encyclopædia Britannica: The Pampas
{{Authority control Category:Plains of Argentina Category:Plains of Brazil Category:Landforms of Uruguay Category:Grasslands of Argentina Category:Grasslands of Brazil Category:Grasslands of Uruguay Category:Regions of Argentina Category:Natural regions of South America Category:Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands Category:Ecoregions of Argentina Category:Ecoregions of Brazil Category:Natural history of Uruguay Category:Ecoregions of South America Category:Grasslands of South America Category:Plains of South America Category:Agriculture in Argentina Category:Climate of Argentina Category:Environment of Rio Grande do Sul Category:Landforms of Buenos Aires Province Category:Landforms of Córdoba Province, Argentina Category:Landforms of Entre Ríos Province Category:Landforms of La Pampa Province Category:Landforms of Rio Grande do Sul Category:Landforms of Santa Fe Province Category:Quechua words and phrases Category:Physiographic provinces Category:Neotropical ecoregions