Many of you probably didn’t know that Colombia has the second largest biodiversity in the world, hosting almost 10% of the planet’s biodiversity. What does it actually mean? In this article we’re going to dig deeper into Colombia’s incredible nature; its colorful vegetation and wild fauna.
Colombia’s nature offers everything: wild rain-forests, deserts, white paradise beaches in the Caribbean and Pacific Coast, three chains of Andean mountains, valleys and flowing rivers. Its great weather conditions make it possible for Colombia to have a wide variety of different vegetation species. In fact, Colombia is home to over 130,000 species of plants. If you compare it to the 300,000 species existing in the whole world, you realize Colombia has almost half of them. And did you also know 10% of those species are native to Colombia?
Colombia’s national tree is the Wax Palm, which can only be found in the Cocora Valley of Colombia. It can grow to a height of 50 meters, making it the tallest palm specie in the world.
In total there are 262 different palm species in Colombia, most of them endangered.
Colombia’s national flower is the “Cattleya trianae” orchid, one of the 4,010 different orchid species in Colombia.
Because of the wide variety of floral species, flowers are one of the most important export products.
In the wild nature of Colombia you can find a wide variety of fauna as well. For birdwatchers Colombia is the perfect place to observe the colorful singing creatures, with 1,889 different bird species; which surpasses North America and Europe combined!
The national bird of Colombia is the Andean Condor, which is one of the largest birds on earth.
Besides the beautiful birds, Colombian nature is full of wild life. There are 479 different mammal species, 571 reptile species and 763 amphibian species living in the deep forests. 22% of the mammal species are endangered or critically endangered due to human activities, like forest destruction.
The man: a threat
Because of its richness, Colombian nature is threatened by many factors –mostly caused by human beings. The jungles of Chocó and Amazons are particularly affected by deforestation caused by timber exploitation. Gold mining has also been a growing problem, especially in Chocó area. Soil erosion in the national parks of Serranía de la Macarena and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is also a major problem caused by the chemicals used for the coca-refining process. Colombia also suffers from a high level of air pollution from vehicle emissions, especially in Bogota. Another issue is the preservation of wildlife. Illegal wild animal trafficking is a negative trend in Colombia, especially with sloths, that are being taken away from the forests and sold illegally as home pets for a low price.
As you can see, Colombia has an amazing biodiversity and great number of species.
Can you guess how many species are there in Colombia in total?
I will tell you: 54 871!
Preserving Colombia’s Biodiversity
Here at Palenque Tours Colombia we help protecting the great nature and wildlife of Colombia and shares its beauty through tourism.