Northern Andean Paramo

About the Area

Situated at the northern end of the Andes, this Global ecoregion is made up of these terrestrial ecoregions: Cordillera Central páramo; Santa Marta páramo; Cordillera de Merida páramo; Northern Andean páramo.
Paramo-like formations occur on high isolated peaks and ranges, with this one being no different, located at elevations of about 10,000 feet (3,000 m), between low-lying montane forest and snow-capped peaks.

Paramo plants and animals display remarkable adaptations to the cold and dry conditions of high elevations. Many species are restricted to these habitats and this results in high local endemism, particularly on more isolated peaks.

Local Species
Selected species include Mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque), Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), Frailejon (Espeletia spp.), and Tyrian metaltail hummingbird (Metallura tyrianthina).

Threats
Frequent burning, grazing, development of forest plantations, and conversion of habitats for agriculture, threaten Paramo formations in some areas.

Resources

Size:
46,000 sq. km (18,000 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Montane Grasslands and Shrublands

Geographic Location:
Northwestern South America: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela

Conservation Status:
Relatively Stable/Intact

Quiz Time!

How is the flight of Andean condor different from other birds?

Answer:
With a wingspan of 11 feet, the majestic Andean condor can soar with hardly a flap of its wings, moving across the landscape at speeds of up to 34 miles per hour. To stay aloft, the condor searches out rising currents of air called thermals.

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