Colombia: the paradisiacal dream of all the world’s biologists

In accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity, the term biodiversity refers to the variability of living organisms from any source, including terrestrial and marine ecosystems and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part. In simple words it is the variability in all the ways in which life expresses itself on the planet.

Animal and plant species and the ecosystems present in our country ratify the idea that Colombia, with only one percent of the planet’s territory, has a natural reserve which is fantastic because of the multiplicity and the possibilities of support for mankind.

And it is that Colombia is located in a privileged geographical and natural territory, that emerges from the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is located at the northwestern end of America (sic, note of the translator), serving as a meeting point for species that come from the North and South of the American continent. In addition, some parts of its territory were ‘refuges of life’ for many species during the glaciations of the planet.

Its surface of 1,142,000 square kilometers is crossed by the impressive Los Andes mountain range which divides into three branches, has the highest coastal mountain in the world, the imposing Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the beautiful Sierra de la Macarena.

According to altitude, Colombia has all climates, warm, temperate, cold and moor, and the fact of having rich soils of volcanic origin, blend to offer the most varied and exotic crops.

Its particular mountain system, having moors, snowy peaks, plateaus, rainforests and plains, its coasts on two oceans, extensive rivers that run through it and the fact of having a portion of the Amazon basin, determine the richness of flora and fauna and climatic variety.

It is a true paradise for biologists because it is one of the few places in the world where you can still find new species of flora and fauna, and that a large percentage of its territory still remains unexplored.

In the future biodiversity will be in the main differentiator of Colombia for its competitiveness at global level or bio trade, which is the set of activities of collection and production, processing and marketing of goods and services derived from native biodiversity. And the task of future generations will be the care of these resources, in its responsible exploitation and the awareness that it’s about sources of life, fundamental basis of our own species.

DATA OF COLOMBIA NATURAL WEALTH

  • It has greater biological diversity than Russia, a country 15 times larger than ours, or Australia, which is a continent.

  • It concentrates 10 per cent of the world’s biodiversity

  • It has 32 natural parks intended for the conservation of its rich biodiversity

  • It has three biosphere reserves and 54 areas of natural reserves. Choco is one of the most bio diverse places in the world because it is the rainiest region in the Western hemisphere.

  • It ranks first in the world in terms of bird diversity. It has around 1,800 species of the more than 9,000 that exist on the planet. There is from the small hummingbirds to the Osprey, with more than two meters of wingspan. That means that 20% of the planet’s known bird species fly the Colombian skies.

  • It has the largest number of species of diurnal butterflies in its territory (more than 3,500)

  • It is the place in the world where there are more species of amphibians (frogs, toads and salamanders). There are more than 700 species of toads, including ones as small as the tiny rain frog between 13 and 18 millimeters and the most poisonous frog in the world, Phyllobates terribilis, which produces venom that is deadly to humans.

  • 63 per cent of amphibians, 10 percent of the butterflies and 8 per cent of the birds are endemic, i.e., they live exclusively in Colombia.

  • There are 520 species of reptiles (snakes, turtles, lizards, iguanas) and it is the third country in the world with so many species.

  • It is the richest country in the world in palm trees, with 270 known species

  • It has the largest number of species of Anthodium and over 3,500 species of orchids have been reported.