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Colombian Flora and Fauna

Overall, Colombia is the second most diverse country in the world in terms of its concentration of flora and fauna species, and has the greatest concentration of species indigenous to a particular region. Indeed, 10 percent of the entire world’s species live in Colombia, many of which can be found in Parque Nacional Natural Amacayacu. Colombia even has the largest number of land mammals on the planet. This includes such creatures as jaguars, pumas, tapirs, anteaters, sloths, armadillos, monkeys and red deer–456 species total–of which 22 percent are at risk of extinction. Colombia is also home to the spectacled bear, so named because the light fur around its eyes give it the appearance of wearing glasses. It is currently being challenged both by habitat loss through deforestation, and hunters who seek its claws for alleged fertility and vigor.

In addition to mammals, reptiles and amphibians, Colombia is home to an almost uncountable number of birds like toucans, cockatoos, storks, cranes, parrots, vultures and hummingbirds. The largest avifauna is the Andean condor. Colombia’s waterways are populated by such notable swimmers as the huge yubarta whale along the Pacific coast and the predator piranha in the Amazonian rivers.

Colombia also has the highest concentration of diverse plants–over 130,000 species–including the highest amount of plant life–55,000 species—that is native only to its host country. Hot and humid regions in the Amazon basin give rise to high trees and dense vegetation, while coastal regions are home to mangroves. Foliage similarly varies according to climate throughout the country.

26 Sep 2011

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