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The genus Polylepis is endemic to the mountains of South America. Species of this genus frequently dominate the canopy of forests and shrublands whose conservation and restoration is a priority at a continental scale. The five species described for Argentina are distributed in the mountains central and northwestern Argentina. Their distribution, threats and conservation status are poorly described and the degree to which humans have impacted their cover, structure and distribution is controversial. We modeled the distribution per species. Models suggest an area of 14800 km2 environmentally suitable for at least one of the five species. We surveyed 490 plots of 3600 m2 distributed in 43 locations and for each species we describe the best preserved forests which could tentatively be used as reference sites when determining conservation and restoration goals. In three of the species we recorded fire evidences in over 60% of the visited plots. Soil erosion was evident in several localities and many forests presented low cover and structural complexity. Argentina provides good opportunities for the conservation and restoration of these forests as there still remain extensive forests, numerous relicts, and in many areas human impacts have been decreasing. It is important to reduce fire events, establish more and better protected areas, to have a better knowledge on the ecology of each species and to develop methods to restore forests, especially in northwestern Argentina.

A checklist of 136 species of diurnal butterflies present in mountainous environments of Central Argentina is presented. This was elaborated through different campaigns carried out the authors between 1999 and 2010, with comments on some limited and rare species present there. Some of them, endemic or with historic registers but apparently absent at present, including species associated with specific environments, as well as new registers for the study area. The need for a new in-depth survey to provide essential information in order to categorize the degree of conservation of various registered species, is discussed. This survey would also help determine the influence of anthropogenic activities on the diurnal lepidopterofauna, the importance of check lists in the process of environmental management and the need to promote new protected areas or the protection in real terms of those that legal protection at present.

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