Los Llanos / Llanos Ecoregion (South America)

Los Llanos / Llanos Ecoregion (South America)

Mon, 10/08/2018 - 20:17
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Los Llanos is a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela, in northwestern South America. It is an ecoregion of the flooded grasslands and savannas biome.

Los Llanos ("The Plains") is a vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela, in northwestern South America. It is an ecoregion of the flooded grasslands and savannas biome.

The Llanos have an area of approximately 220,000 sq mi (570,000 sq km) — a large elongated area 750-800 mi (1200-1300 km) long — delimited by the Andes Mountains to the north and west, the Guaviare River and the Amazon River basin to the south and the lower Orinoco River and the Guiana Highlands to the east.

The Llanos ecoregion extends in a gentle curve in a northeast direction, beginning at the foothills of the Oriental Andes of Colombia and extending along the course of the Orinoco River almost to its delta at the sea.

The ecoregion is located in a great depression, limited by the Andes in the west, the Venezuelan coastal range that isolates it from the Caribbean Sea in the north, and the Guiana Shield in the south.

This ecoregion has a typical savanna climate, with a well-defined wet and dry season and high temperature all year round. During the rainy season from May to October, parts of the Llanos can flood. This turns the woodlands and grassland into a temporary wetland, comparable to the Pantanal of central South America. This flooding also makes the area unique for its wildlife.

The area supports around 70 species of water birds, including the scarlet ibis. A large portion of the distribution of the white-bearded flycatcher is in the Llanos.