Chocó-Darién Moist Forests Ecoregion (Central/North America, South America)

Chocó-Darién Moist Forests Ecoregion (Central/North America, South America)

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 21:28
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The Chocó-Darién moist forests ecoregion extend along most of the Pacific coast of Colombia and extend north into Panama along the Caribbean coast. They are bounded to the east by the Andes. The region has extremely high rainfall, and the forests hold great biodiversity.

The Chocó-Darién moist forests ecoregion extend along most of the Pacific coast of Colombia and extend north into Panama along the Caribbean coast. They are bounded to the east by the Andes, which separate them from the Amazon and Orinoco ecoregions. The region has extremely high rainfall, and the forests hold great biodiversity.

The northern and southern parts of the ecoregion have been considerably modified for ranching and farming, and there are threats from logging for paper pulp, uncontrolled gold mining, coca growing and industrialization, but the central part of the ecoregion is relatively intact.

The major threat to this ecoregion is deforestation. About 30% of the 13,335 sq km (5,149 sq mi) of the ecoregion in Panama is protected to some extent though in Colombia the total protected area is under 3%. The 597,000 ha (1,480,000 acre) Darién National Park in Panama is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bordering this area in Colombia is the 720 sq km (280 sq mi) Los Katíos National Park. Also in Colombia can be found the Utria National Park, including a land and a marine sector, as well as the Sanquianga National Park and the Gorgona Island National Park.

Annual temperatures average 23.6 °C (74.5 °F), ranging from a minimum of 18.6 °C (65.5 °F) to a maximum of 30 °C (86 °F). Annual rainfall is from 4,000 to 9,000 mm (160 to 350 in). The central region receives the most rain, in some areas as high as 13,000 mm (510 in). The north and south are comparatively drier and some parts have short dry seasons in January to March.v

There are at least 8,000 vascular plant species in the ecoregion, perhaps over 10,000, of which almost 20% are found nowhere else. There is a high diversity of fauna in the Chocó-Darién moist forests ecoregion, with many endemic species.