Bolivian Montane Dry Forests Ecoregion (South America)

Bolivian Montane Dry Forests Ecoregion (South America)

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 18:57
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The Bolivian montane dry forests ecoregion in Bolivia, on the eastern side of the Andes, is a transitional habitat between the puna grasslands higher up to the west and the Chaco scrub to the east. This dry region is characterized by steep hillsides, cliffs and valleys.

Bolivian Montane Dry Forests

The Bolivian montane dry forests ecoregion in Bolivia, on the eastern side of the Andes, is a transitional habitat between the puna grasslands higher up to the west and the Chaco scrub to the east.

This ecoregion is quite restricted, forming a transition between the Yungas and Puna zones in south-central Bolivia and just barely touching Argentina.

This dry region is characterized by steep hillsides, cliffs and valleys. These dry forests flank the slopes and valleys of the eastern Andes of Bolivia, extending as both large and small patches among valleys and between the high puna habitats and the lowland chaco.

The Bolivian montane dry forests ecoregion has very diverse microclimates, and species assemblages can differ from one mountain or valley to the next.

A variety of endemic birds are present in this region, including Bolivian Recurvebill (Simoxenops striatus), Bolivian Blackbird (Oreopsar bolivianus), and a number of finches including Citron-headed Yellow Finch (Sicalis luteocephala) and Warbling Finches (Poospiza garleppi and P. boliviana).

Other rare and endemic species include the Torrent Duck (Merganetta armatta), Wedge-tailed Hillstar (Oreotrochilus adela), Black-hooded Sunbeam (Aglaeactis pamela), and Carbonated Flower-piercer (Diglossa carboniaria).

Many strongly tropical species meet their southern limits of geographic distribution in this region. Additionally, the Felid diversity is apparently high here, with potential species including Puma (Felis concolor), Ocelot (F. pardalis), Pampas Cat (F. colocolo), Geoffroy’s Cat (F. geoffroyi) and Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi).

Unfortunately, much of the habitat serves as an ideal model of ecoregions that are largely altered by man. This region is heavily impacted by urban sprawl and the ramifications of an increasing human population; overhunting, conversion to agriculture, collection of wood for fuel and other impacts. Fragmentation of the remaining forests is thus the dominant threat.

A number of national parks protect a significant area of habitat, however more are needed in order to preserve this region heavily affected by urban expansion.