Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus)
Colombia a Mega-diverse Country
A select group of nations makes up the megadiverse countries since they host the greatest diversity of life forms with almost 70% of the world's total species. Our beautiful and beloved country owns more than 62,800 species described in its territory so far, which positions it as the second most biodiverse country after Brazil with only one-seventh of its size.
Our species richness is amazing, we are the number one country in bird species on earth with more than 1,960 and 95 endemics to observe, in other words, almost 20% of the global diversity of birds inhabits this wonderful and magical territory; also number one in orchids and amphibians with 4.270 and 700 species respectively, moreover, Colombia is second in plants, butterflies and freshwater fishes, third in palms and reptiles and fourth country with more mammals species in the world.
This enormous biodiversity is due in part to its inter-tropical location, where the species richness is higher compared to mid and high latitudes (closer to the poles). In addition to this, Colombia has a very complex topography composed by the Andes that is divided into three cordilleras, oriented from south to north that separate from west to east the Chocó biogeographical region, the inter-Andean valleys of Cauca and Magdalena rivers, the eastern plains and the Amazon basin (see map at the bottom). This great variety of regions and ecosystems are some of the key factors that have promoted the origin of this huge amount of species throughout time.
Natural Regions of Colombia
The Andean Region has three cordilleras, the western, central and eastern Andes, each of them has unique physical peculiarities and endemism, also a wide variety of climates and ecosystems between 300 to 5.400 meters above sea level (990 to 17.700 feet) like tropical forests, oak forests, cloud forests and páramos, glaciers among others. It is one of the richest and most diverse regions on the planet with more than 15.400 species of plants, 980 species of birds, 760 of amphibians and reptiles and home of 330 species of mammals.
Chicaque Natural Park
The Caribbean region is located on the north side of the country, right on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, there you will find from desert areas, dry forest and tropical forests in the lowlands, to montane forests and páramos in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest coastal mountain range in the world and the largest center of continental endemism. In this region is possible to find around 5.460 species of plants, 920 species of birds of which 50 are considered regional specialties, 290 of amphibians and reptiles and 190 species of mammals.
Sunset from Camarones
CHOCÓ BIOGEOGRAPHICAL REGION
The Pacific or Chocó biogeographical region is a narrow area between the pacific ocean and the western Andes, where the Choco jungle abounds and is one of the richest regions in terms of biodiversity. Warm weather predominates and the rainfall is probably the highest in the world with more than 8,000 mm per year. In this region, we can find approximately 5.450 species of plants, 780 of birds, 330 of amphibians and reptiles, and around 190 species of mammals.
THE LLANOS (EASTERN PLANES)
The Llanos or Eastern Planes are located in the east side of the country, it is part of the Orinoco River basin and formed by extensive plains with more than 10 different types of ecosystems, including foothills, natural grasslands, and floodplains, with approximately 4.820 species of plants, more than 760 bird species that congregate by hundreds or thousands around wetlands, 200 species of amphibians and reptiles and 200 of mammals like jaguars, capybaras and giant otters.
Cravo Norte, Arauca.
The Amazon region is the largest and least populated region of Colombia, it occupies almost one-third of the country in the southernmost part and it has the largest extension of tropical rainforest with the best conservation status. The warm and humid climate predominates with abundant rains during the year.
This region hosts around 8.700 species of plants, 753 of fishes,
750 species of birds, 353 of amphibians and reptiles, and 212 mammals species; definitely an unmissable adventure for all nature lovers.