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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Cinturón Andino Biosphere Reserve is located at the Macizo Colombiano, in the Andean Chain in south Colombia. It comprises three National Parks: the Cueva de los Guacharos National Park, the Purace National Park and the Nevado del Huila National Park. The Cueva de los Guacharos National Park comprises complex and special geological formations and caves created by the Suazas River .The relief is sloped, covered by humid and cloud forests. The biosphere reserve also includes the snowy peaks of the Nevado del Huila National Park that rises to a height of 5,750 meters above sea level.Vegetation ranges from sub hygrophyte to snow levels and includes cloud forest and high barren plains. The park is specially rich in birds, as the condor (Vultur gryphus) the Colombian national emblema, the real eagle (Accipiter collaris), and the danta (Tapirus pinchaque). The volcanic chain of Purace’s National Park includes seven craters, with sources of thermal waters, 30 lagoons and waterfalls and the Magdalena’s, Cauca’s and Caqueta’s river head as a fluvial star. Eight ethnic groups (Guambianos, Paeces, Yanconas, Kokonucos, Polindaras, Totares e Ingas) (2000), with their own culture and traditional practices, live in the Andean belt. Traditional, modern peasants, and ’colons‘ are engaged in different activities from agriculture practices to cattle grazing and also extraction of high-value timber, affecting the mountainous ecosystems. Destruction practices of ’illicit cultures‘ with herbicides provoke serious impacts on natural ecosystems, increasing social conflicts. Institutions, associations of indigenous peoples and peasants start to work jointly in regional planning efforts to manage sustainable agroecosystems, recuperate river basins, and implement indigenous ’life plans‘. The main goal of the biosphere reserve is to strengthen a Regional Sustainable Strategy and its institutional framework.
  Major ecosystem type   Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Northern Andean mixed mountain and highland forest; non-forest systems; agroecosystems
  Location   00°51' to 03°59'N; 75°16' to 77°22'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   175,300
  Core area(s)   175,300
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +1,700 to +5,750
  Year designated   1979
  Administrative authorities   Unidad Administrativa Especial del Sistema de Parques Nacionales Naturales, Resguardos Indígenas y las Corporaciones Autónomas Regionales (CRC, CAM, CORPONARIÑO, CORTOLIMA, y CORPOAMAZONIA)
  Brief description   Ecological investigations
Reintroduction of the Andean condor
Ethnic and cultural studies
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Birds, ecology, reintroduction.
  Socio-economic   Cultural aspects, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Gabriel Tirado
Unidad Administrativa Especial de Parques Nacionales Naturales
Carrera 10 No. 20 - 30
 Bogotá D.C.
  Telephone   (57.1) 3155583438 PBX 353 2400
  Fax   PBX 353 2400
  E-mail   Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta contact
  Web site

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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