Serrania de los Churumbelos
|Serrania de los Churumbelos|
|Protected area status||Parque Nacional Natural|
|Location||Cauca Department in Colombia|
|Created||Declared 30 August 2007|
|Admninistered by||Direccion de Parques Nacionales Naturales del minambiente de Colombia|
Serrania de Churumbelos Parque Nacional was declared on 30 August 2007 by the Colombian government; located in the Bota Caucana of southern Colombia. Three biological expeditions conducted rapid biodiversity surveys and conservation assessments in Serrania de los Churumbelos from 1998 to 2000. The results from the expeditions was published by Fundacion ProAves in Conservacion Colombiana in 2007. These studies raised interest in the region and laid the justification for the protection of this spectacular mountain range.
Serrania de los Churumbelos forms the southernmost spur of the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes, and is situated on the border of 4 distinct biogeographical regions: lowland Amazonia, the Eastern Cordillera, the Central Cordillera and the dryer Magdalena Valley.
The first studies of Serrania de los Churumbelos were carried out by Anglo-Colombian expeditions, "Colombia '98" and "EBA Project", initiatives of Colombian and UK students.
The mountain range was found to resemble the Northern Andeean and Amazonia North Ecoregions. Several new plant species were discovered . A total of 462 bird species were recorded in Serrania de los Churumbelos, with 246 species banded. Twelve threatened and near threatened bird species were recorded. It is estimated that the probable total bird species inventory exceeds 550 species: an exceptional diversity, making the Serrania a global avian "hotspot" and extremely important for bird diversity.
A total of 46 species of amphibians (30 spp.) and reptiles (16 spp.) were recorded, including four new species for Colombia and several potentially undescribed taxa. Mammals registered include Spectacled Bear Tremarctos ornatus and Mountain Tapir Tapirus pinchaque. 150 Lepidoptera (butterfly) species were recorded.
The two greatest human pressures infiltrating the Serrania appear to be along the Caqueta River - Miraflor - Piamonte - Puerto Bello road and the Pitalito - Mocoa road. Farming, hunting and cultivation pressures from environmentally poor crops such as coca and maize are the major threats to conservation in the region.
The steep sided slopes, combined with an extensive altitudinal gradient of Serrania de los Churumbelos have created a number of different ecosystems and micro-habitat zones throughout the area. The myriad of ecosystems and habitats helps explain to some extent the large scale spatial biodiversity of the Serrania. The existence of numerous range extensions in fauna and ecosystems typical of higher altitudes constitutes the Serrania de los Churumbelos as an area of high scientific interest.
A previously unexplored table top massif in the Serrania de los Churumbelos, reminiscent of the Tepuis, was explored in 1998 and named Alto Cagadero .
Conservation rationale for Serrania de los Churumbelos
There are strong biological justifications for the implementation of conservation measures. The Serrania de los Churumbelos encompasses a variety of ecosystems and micro-habitats, reflected in its high biodiversity. The eastern slope of the Andes has been subject to human population pressures and associated habitat degradation in recent years, but Serrania de los Churumbelos remained relatively intact having largely avoided the human impact that other regions have suffered. In recent years the mountain range has come under increased pressure with the completion of the Mocoa-Bogota highway, the proposed Puerto Asis-Florencia road, and the discovery and exploitation of petroleum and precious metals, all of which threaten an escalation in human encroachment.
Salaman, Paul & Donegan, Thomas M. eds. (2007): Estudios y Conservacion en la Serrania de los Churumbelos. Conservacion Colombiana 3. http://www.proaves.org/article.php?id_article=321
Nuevas Areas en el ano 2007 http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co/pnn/portel/libreria/pdf/NuevasAreas2007.pdf
Salaman, Paul & Donegan, Thomas M. eds. (1998): Colombia '98 expedition to Serrania de los Churumbelos. Colombian EBA Project Report Series 1. http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf/EBA_1_Churumbelos_report_1998.pdf
Donegan, Thomas & Salaman, Paul. eds. (1999): Rapid biodiversity assessments and conservation evaluations in the Colombian Andes: northeast Antioquia and higlands of Serrania de los Churumbelos. Colombian EBA Project Report Series 2. http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf/EBA_2_Churumbelos_report_1999.pdf
Salaman, Paul, Donegan, Thomas & Cuervo, Andres. (1999): Ornithological surveys in Serrania de los Churumbelos, southern Colombia. Cotinga 12 (1999): 29-39.
Huertas, Blanca, Arias John Jairo & Locarno-Pardo, L.C. (2003): Dung Beetles of the Churumbelos mountains, Cauca (Colombia 98 Expedition). Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. Univ. Caldas, 7: 215-228.
Arias John Jairo & Huertas, Blanca (2001): Diurnal butterflies of the Churumbelos mountains. Altitudinal distribution and species diversity . Rev. Col. Ent. 27 (3-4): 169 176.
National Parks site
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