GENERALITIES ABOUT COLOMBIAN BIODIVERSITY IN SANTANDER
The department of Santander is located on the eastern mountain range in the Northeast region of Colombia. It has an approximate extension of 30,500km2, about 2.6% of the total area of the country. Its territory stands out, among other things, for its variety of landscapes, thermal floors and temperatures, which make it a heterogeneous, rich and diverse department.
Due to its location, Santander is part of the hydrographic watershed of the Magdalena river basin and the Arauca river basin. In these slopes there is a wide variety of ecosystems of rivers, swamps, xerophytic forests (in the Chicamocha Canyon), wet dry (in the middle Magdalena basin) Andean, high Andean and páramos, which host diversity of biological species.
In this diversity there is a significant number of animal and plant species in different degrees of threat, due to hunting, the expansion of agricultural frontiers and the reduction of natural cover, whose losses between 2001 and 2015 have been calculated at 170,000 hectares of forests. In addition, 51.7% of the ecosystems are intervened with agricultural activities, 0.43% are urban and the rest are landscape expressions and natural ecosystems of succession.
In Santander, 15% of the biodiversity of the country's fauna is located, with endemic species distributed in a small geographic area of the Department. As for birds, endemic and almost endemic species of Colombia have been registered in some agroecosystems and others have extended their range of distribution to the Department. Of these species, six are in critical condition, five among birds, mammals and amphibians, in danger, and four, among birds and amphibians, in a vulnerable state.
This shows the importance of conserving natural ecosystems and, therefore, their biodiversity. This becomes more relevant if one takes into account that Santander covers two large areas of preservation: the natural park of the Serranía de los YariguÍes and the Flora and Fauna Sanctuary of Guanentá Alto del Rio Fonce. In addition, it includes other areas of high value for conservation, recognized under the figure of the DRMI (Regional District of integrated manajo) and its surrounding areas. The conservation of these areas, especially in the area of confluence between the Serrania del Perijá and the Cordillera Orientasl should be considered a priority.
Likewise, it is important to highlight the decisive action of citizens and environmental authorities to achieve the declarations of the different RNSC (Natural Reserves of Civil Society) that have been obtained in the last decade in the Department. Thanks to them you can guarantee the survival of countless species, not only birds, but also other organisms belonging to the Colombian Biodiversity, in some areas of the Páramo de Santurbán, the La Judía Hill, the Magdalena Medio marsh complex and the Chicamocha Canyon.
Bibliography: Colors in Flight Book - ISBN 978-958-8819-62-4 UIS 2017.