Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve (Colombia)

Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve (Colombia)

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 12:39
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The Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve is located at the Macizo Colombiano, in the Andean Chain in southern Colombia. It comprises three National Parks: the Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, the Puracé National Park and the Nevado del Huila National Park.

Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve

The Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve is located at the Macizo Colombiano (Colombian Massif), in the Andean Chain in southern Colombia. Its surface area is 175,300 ha (433,175 acres).

The relief is sloped, covered by humid and cloud forests and includes the snowy peaks of the Nevado del Huila National Park that rise to a height of 5,750 m (18,864 ft) above sea level.

Vegetation ranges from sub hygrophyte to snow levels and includes cloud forest and high barren plains. The park is specially rich in birds, such as the condor (Vultur gryphus) which is the Colombian national emblem, the real eagle (Accipiter collaris) and the danta (Tapirus pinchaque).

The volcanic chain of Purace’s National Park includes seven craters, with sources of thermal waters, 30 lagoons and waterfalls and the Magdalena's, Cauca's and Caqueta's river head as a fluvial star.

Eight ethnic groups (Guambianos, Paeces, Yanconas, Kokonucos, Polindaras, Totares e Ingas), with their own culture and traditional practices, live in the Andean belt.

Traditional, modern peasants, and 'colons' are engaged in different activities from agriculture practices to cattle grazing and also extraction of high value timber, affecting the mountainous ecosystems.

Cinturón Andino comprises three National Parks: the Cueva de los Guácharos National Park, the Puracé National Park and the Nevado del Huila National Park.

Cueva de los Guácharos National Park

Cueva de los Guácharos National Park is the oldest national park in Colombia and comprises complex and special geological formations and caves formed from the karstic zones of the Magdalena and Caquetá rivers. The relief is sloped, covered by humid and cloud forests.

Located in the western face of the Colombian Eastern Andean Range in the departments of Huila and Caquetá, the park covers an area of 9,000 ha (22,240 acres) and is intended to protect the cloud forest and páramo ecosystems.

This area hosts one of the last intact oak forests in the country, with the native oak species Quercus humboldtii (Bonpl.) and Trigonobalanus excelsa .

Nevado del Huila National Park

Nevado del Huila National Park's snowy peaks rise to a height of 5,750 m (18,864 ft) above sea level. The Nevado del Huila is the highest volcano in Colombia and is visible from the city of Cali.

Vegetation ranges from sub hygrophyte to snow levels and includes cloud forest and high barren plains. The park is specially rich in birds, as the condor (Vultur gryphus) the Colombian national emblema, the real eagle (Accipiter collaris) and the danta (Tapirus pinchaque).

Puracé National Natural Park

Puracé National Natural Park is located in the Andean Region of Colombia, southeast of the city of Popayán in the Cordillera Central range. The park includes seven craters, with sources of thermal waters, 30 lagoons and waterfalls.

Its main feature is the active stratovolcano Puracé. It is part of the Northern Andean Volcanic Belt. Four of the country's most important rivers originate within the area: Magdalena River, Cauca River, Japurá River and Patía River.

Over 200 orchids and nationally threatened species such as the Colombian Pine, Andean Oak, Wax palm tree are found in the park. It is home to over 160 species of birds, of which hummingbirds, ducks and birds of prey are the most dominate.

Several mammals are found in the park: spectacled bear mountain tapir, cougar pudú as well as the Andean condor, reintroduced in the 1990's. The lower elevation forests are home to four primates: woolly monkey, howler monkey, gray-bellied night monkey and tufted capuchin.