Argentina: Page 4 of 8
White Tegu and a species of caiman. Other animals include the tapir, peccary, capybara, bush dog, and various species of turtle and tortoise. There are a wide variety of birds, notably hummingbirds, flamingos, toucans, and swallows.
The central grasslands are populated by the giant anteater, armadillo, pampas cat, maned wolf, mara, cavias, and the rhea (ñandú), a large flightless bird. Hawks, falcons, herons, and tinamous (perdiz, Argentine "false partridges") inhabit the region. There are also pampas deer and pampas foxes. Some of these species extend into Patagonia.
The western mountains are home to different animals. These include the llama, guanaco, vicuña, among the most recognizable species of South America. Also in this region are the fox, viscacha, Andean Mountain Cat, kodkod, and the largest flying bird in the New World, the Andean Condor.
Southern Argentina is home to the cougar, huemul, pudú (the world's smallest deer), and introduced, non-native wild boar. The coast of Patagonia is rich in animal life: elephant seals, fur seals, sea lions and species of penguin. The far south is populated by cormorants.
The territorial waters of Argentina have mammals such as dolphins, orcas, and whales like the southern right whale, a major tourist draw for naturalists. Sea fish include sardines, Argentine hakes, dolphinfish, salmon, and sharks; also present are squid and King crab (centolla) in Tierra del Fuego. Rivers and streams in Argentina have many species of trout and the South American golden dorado fish. Well known snake species inhabiting Argentina include boa constrictors and a very venomous pit viper named the yarará. The Hornero was elected the National Bird after a survey in 1928.
The National Parks of Argentina make up a network of 30 national parks in Argentina. The parks cover a very varied set of terrains and biotopes, from Baritú National Park on the northern border with Bolivia to Tierra del Fuego National Park in the far south of the continent (see List of national parks of Argentina).
The creation of the National Parks dates back to the 1903 donation of 73 square kilometres of land in the Lake District in the Andes foothills by Francisco Moreno. This formed the nucleus of a larger protected area in Patagonia around San Carlos de Bariloche. In 1934, a law was passed creating the National Parks system, formalising the protected area as the Nahuel Huapi National Park and creating the Iguazú National Park. The National Park Police Force was born, enforcing the new laws preventing tree-felling and hunting. Their early task was largely to establish national sovereignty over these disputed areas and to protect borders. Five further national parks were declared in 1937 in Patagonia and the service planned new towns and facilities to promote tourism and education. Six more were declared by 1970.
In 1970 a new law established new categories of protection, so that there now were National Parks, National Monuments, Educational Reserves and Natural Reserves. Three national parks were declared in the 1970s. In 1980, another new law affirmed the status of national parks - this law is still in place. The 1980s saw the service reaching out to local communities and local government to help in the running and development of the national parks. Ten more national parks were created with local co-operation, sometimes at local instigation. In 2000, Mburucuyá and Copo National Parks were declared, and El Leoncito natural reserve was upgraded to a national park.
The headquarters of the National Parks Service are in downtown Buenos Aires, on Santa Fe Avenue. A library and information centre are open to the public. The administration also covers the national monuments, such as the Petrified Forest, and natural and educational reserves.
The economy of Argentina is Latin America's third-largest, with a Very High Human Development Index and a relatively high GDP per capita. It is classified as an upper middle-income economy by the Wold Bank.
The country benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector and a diversified industrial base. Historically, however, Argentina's economic performance has been very uneven, in which high economic growth alternated with severe recessions, particularly during the late twentieth century, and income maldistribution and poverty increased. Early in the twentieth century it was one of the richest countries in the world and the richest in the Southern hemisphere, though it is now an upper-middle income country.
Argentina is considered an emerging market by the FTSE Global Equity Index, and is one of the G-20 major economies.
High inflation has been a weakness of the Argentine economy for decades. Officially hovering around 9% since 2006, inflation has been privately estimated at over 30%, becoming a contentious issue again. The government has manipulated inflation statistics. The urban income poverty rate has dropped below the numbers of the 2001 economic crisis Income distribution, having improved since 2002, is still considerably unequal. Argentina began a period of fiscal austerity in 2012.
Argentina ranks 100th out of 178 countries in the Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011. Reported problems include government corruption, lack of judicial independence, huge taxes and tariffs, and regulatory interference that undermines efficiency and productivity growth. The Kirchner administration responded to the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009 with a record public-works program, new tax cuts and subsidies, and the transfer of private pensions to the social security system. Private pension plans, which required growing subsidies to cover, were nationalized to shed a budgetary drain as well as to finance high government spending and debt obligations.
Manufacturing is the largest single sector in the nation's economy (19% of GDP), and is well-integrated into Argentine agriculture, with half the nation's industrial exports being agricultural in nature. Based on food processing and textiles during its early development in the first half of the 20th century, industrial production has become highly diversified in Argentina. Leading sectors by production value are: Food processing and beverages; motor vehicles and auto parts; refinery products, and biodiesel; chemicals and pharmaceuticals; steel and aluminum; and industrial and farm machinery; electronics and home appliances. These latter include over three million big ticket items, as well as an array of electronics, kitchen appliances and cellular phones, among others. The country's auto industry produced 829,000 motor vehicles in 2011, and exported 507,000 (mainly to Brazil, which in turn exported a somewhat larger number to Argentina). Beverages are another significant sector, and Argentina has long been among the top five wine producing countries in the world; beer overtook wine production in 2000, and today leads by nearly two billion liters a year to one.
Other manufactured goods include: glass and cement; plastics and tires; lumber products; textiles; tobacco products; recording and print media; furniture; apparel and leather. Most manufacturing is organized around 280 industrial parks, with another 190 slated to open during 2012. Nearly half the industries are based in the Greater Buenos Aires area, although Córdoba, Rosario, and Ushuaia are also significant industrial centers; the latter city became the nation's leading center of electronics production during the 1980s. The production of computers, laptops, and servers grew by 160% in 2011, to nearly 3.4 million units, and covered two-thirds of local demand. Another important rubric historically dominated by imports – farm machinery – will likewise mainly be manufactured domestically by 2014.
Construction permits nationwide covered nearly 19 million m² (205 million ft²) in 2008. The construction sector accounts for over 5% of GDP, and two-thirds of the construction was for residential buildings.
Argentine electric output totaled over 122 billion Kwh in 2009. This was generated in large part through well developed natural gas and hydroelectric resources. Nuclear energy is also of high importance, and the country is one of the largest producers and exporters, alongside Canada and Russia of cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope widely used in cancer therapy.
Science and technology
Argentina has three Nobel Prize laureates in sciences. Argentine research has led to the treatment of heart diseases and several forms of cancer. Domingo Liotta designed and developed the first artificial heart successfully implanted in a human being in 1969. René Favaloro developed the techniques and performed the world's first ever coronary bypass surgery.
Bernardo Houssay, the first Latin American awarded with a Nobel Prize in the Sciences, discovered the role of pituitary hormones in regulating glucose in animals; César Milstein did extensive research in antibodies; Luis Leloir discovered how organisms store energy converting glucose into glycogen and the compounds which are fundamental in metabolizing carbohydrates. A team led by Alberto Taquini and Eduardo Braun-Menéndez discovered angiotensin in 1939, and was the first to describe the enzymatic nature of the renin-angiotensin system and its role in hypertension. The Leloir Institute of biotechnology is among the most prestigious in its field in Latin America.
Dr. Luis Agote devised the first safe method of blood transfusion, Enrique Finochietto designed operating table tools such as the surgical scissors that bear his name ("Finochietto scissors") and a surgical rib-spreader.
Argentina's nuclear program is highly advanced, having resulted in a research reactor in 1957 and Latin America's first on-line commercial reactor in 1974. Argentina developed its nuclear program without being overly dependent on foreign technology. Nuclear facilities with Argentine technology have been built in Peru, Algeria, Australia and Egypt. In 1983, the country admitted having the capability of producing weapon-grade uranium, a major step needed to assemble nuclear weapons; since then, however, Argentina has pledged to use nuclear power only for peaceful purposes. As a member of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Argentina has been a strong voice in support of nuclear non-proliferation efforts and is highly committed to global nuclear security.
In other areas, Juan Vucetich, a Croatian immigrant, was the father of modern fingerprinting (dactiloscopy). Juan Maldacena, an Argentine-American scientist, is a leading figure in string theory. Argentine built satellites include LUSAT-1 (1990), Víctor-1 (1996), PEHUENSAT-1 (2007), and those developed by CONAE, the Argentine space agency, of the SAC series. The Pierre Auger Observatory near Malargüe, Mendoza, is the world's foremost cosmic ray observatory.
Despite its modest budget and numerous setbacks, academics and the sciences in Argentina have enjoyed an international respect since the turn of the 1900s, when Dr. Luis Agote devised the first safe and effective means of blood transfusion as well as René Favaloro, who was a pioneer in the improvement of the coronary artery bypass surgery. Argentina has three Nobel Prize winners in the sciences: Bernardo Houssay in Physiology or Medicine in 1947, Luis Federico Leloir in Chemistry in 1970, and César Milstein in Physiology or Medicine in 1984. Argentine scientists are still on the cutting edge in fields such as nanotechnology, physics, computer sciences, molecular biology, oncology, ecology, and cardiology, where Dr. Domingo Liotta created the first artificial heart in 1969, revolutionizing the heart transplant field.
They have also contributed to bioscience in efforts like the Human Genome Project, where Argentine scientists have successfully mapped the genome of a living being, a world first. Argentina has its own satellite programme, nuclear power station designs (4th generation) and public nuclear energy company INVAP, which provides several countries with nuclear reactors.
Other projects are focusing on IT, nanotechnology, biotechnology, helicopters, farming machinery and military defensive systems. Space research has also become increasingly active in Argentina. Established in 1991, the CONAE has since launched two satellites successfully and, in June 2009, secured an agreement with the European Space Agency on for the installation of a 35-m diameter antenna and other mission support facilities at the Pierre Auger Observatory. The facility will contribute to numerous ESA space probes, as well as CONAE's own, domestic research projects. Chosen from 20 potential sites and one of only three such ESA installations in the world, the new antenna will create a triangulation which will allow the ESA to ensure mission coverage around the clock.
Scientific Discoveries by Argentines:
• Juan Vusetich, Invention System fingerprint identification.
• Bernardo Houssay, Nobel Prize for Medicine for the role of the pituitary in the regulation of blood glucose.
• Luis Federico Leloir: Nobel Prize in Chemistry