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Uruguay

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URUGUAY. (Repfiblica Oriental del Uru guay), smallest of the independent countries of South America, bounded on the north and northeast by Brazil, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean and the estuary of the Rio de la Plata, and on the west by the Argentine Republic. Its territory extends from lat. 30° S. nearly to lat. 35° S., and the location of its principal city (or, more pre cisely, of the cathedral at Montevideo) is given as lat. 34° 54' 33" S., and long. 58° 32' 32" W. Total area of the republic, 72,210 square miles (about 7,210 square miles more than the total area of New England).

Topography.— The most elevated point in the republic is somewhat less than 2,000 feet above sea-level; the so-called mountains ate, therefore, to be regarded rather as hills, which sometimes form chains—such as the Cuchilla Grande, which extends across the country, the Santa Ana range, between Brazil and Uruguay, the Cuchilla de Belen, and Cuchilla de Haedo, —but elsewhere give to the region, especially the northern districts, an irregular rolling or undulating surface. Forests or groves cover the hills in the north and generally extend along the banks of the numerous small streams (arroyos) and the larger water courses. The soil in the southwest is of uncommon fertility, being composed of detritus of great depth and rich alluvial deposits; the southeast and south have grassy slopes and good pasture lands, the hills here forming a bold line along the shore of the Rio de la Plata, but not extending to the Atlantic Coast. Important 'rivers, besides the great southern estuary, are the Uruguay, which rises in the Brazilian state of Santa Catharina, and has a course of about 1,000 miles; and the Rio Negro, which also rises in Brazil, and emp ties into the Uruguay after flowing toward the southwest for about 350 miles. The latter passes through the centre of the republic; the former marks the boundary with Argentina; both are navigable for vessels of light draught (Rio Negro 55 miles, Uruguay 200 miles), and even large steamships navigate the Uruguay up to Paysand6. There are several shallow lakes, or lagunas, near the eastern coast. The largest of these. Lake Merin (or Mirim), about 108 miles long by 14 miles wide, partly in Uruguay and partly in Brazil, is only of sufficient depth for navigation by the light-draught steamers that maintain communication between the towns on its shores.

Climate.—The southern part of Uruguay has a remarkably pleasant, temperate and healthful climate, resembling, and in evenness throughout the year outclassing, that of the Riviera of southern France and the northwest of Italy. Extremes of heat and cold are un known in that part of the country most subject to the climatic influence of the ocean and the great estuary. Naturally, such extremes are more marked in the northern inland regions, where the lowlands in summer are decidedly hot, the thermometer sometimes recording 100° F. The cold season brings frost or snow in frequently to the uplands. Taking the country

as a whole, we note as unfavorable phenomena the storm-winds called pamperos and hail storms that too often injure the standing crops. The average annual rainfall is about 37.19 inches; the average annual temperature, 62° F. or 63° F., approximately; the mean temperature of winter about 55° F., and of summer between F. and 73° F.

Fauna and The indigenous animal kingdom, although it includes 30 species of mammals, has only a few really notable repre sentatives. ((Those of most commercial value are the rhea, or American ostrich, and the fur seal. Both of these, until recently, were found in large' numbers, but, owing to the systematic pursuit of the rhea and the indiscriminate kill ing of the seal, both were threatened with ex tinction, until the government took measures to insure their preservation and increase. One may have some idea of the vast number of ostriches that roamed the plains of Uruguay in 1909 from the fact that, during that year, more than 50,000 pounds of ostrich feathers were exported to the United States and Europe." (Consult Zahm, J. A., Through South Amer ica's Southland, New York and London 1916). The seals in large numbers live and breed on the islands near the coast, especially the Lobos M and Castillos groups. More than three-fifths of the seals at these rookeries are of the fur bearing variety, and the islands are now strictly preserved, no one being permitted to land upon them except the sealers during the killing month. The number annually slaughtered for their oil and skins has ranged between 10,000 and 21,000 or 22,000. The mainland fauna in cludes the deer, otter, wild hog, carpincho, fox, ounce, wildcat, ant-eater, etc. There are over 500 species of avifauna, including the crane, stork, swan and wild turkey. In the work cited above, Dr. Zahm writes that, while tra versing the rich, undulating plains of Uruguay, (everywhere, within the field of view, there was a wealth of verdure and bloom that rendered the landscape as exquisite as a picture by a master"— the most conspicuous among flowers being the for morala ewhich carpets the land scape with glowing bands and patches of rich est purple. Go where one will, one finds massed banks of the blazing for morala flowers that grow in such profusion that they extinguish all competitors. Small wonder, then, is it that Uruguay has been called The Purple Land' " The area of forests is rela tively small — only about 1,650,000 acres. Their hard and durable woods are: The fiandubay (which, instead of decaying when buried in the earth, becomes petrified), urunday, lapacho, coronilla. espinello, quebracho, arazi, algarroba and lignum vita:. Among the softer are the willow and acacia. Native palms abound in the departments of Maldonado. Minas, Paysandfi and in valleys of the central and northern districts, and the poplar, pine, cypress, oak, eucalyptus, cedar, magnolia and mulberry have been successfully acclimated. Yerba mate is indigenous and 430 species of medicinal plants have been classified.

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