Monday, August 10, 2009

Mapping the riches of the tropical Andes

Humberto Marquez in IPS via Tierramérica: The Ecosystems Map of the Northern and Central Andes could serve as a guide for environmental conservation of this South American area covering 1.5 million square kilometres and holding the world's highest concentration of biodiversity.

The tropical Andes, the stretch of the mountain range that includes the Central Andes (Bolivia and Peru) and Northern Andes (Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela), were dubbed the "global epicentre of biodiversity" by British ecologist Norman Myers.

The zone holds 45,000 types of plants (20,000 of which are endemic) and 3,400 vertebrate animal species (more than 1,500 of which are endemic) on just one percent of the planet's land surface, according to figures from Conservation International.

These riches "are distributed among 133 specific ecosystems that we have inventoried for our map of areas at more than 500 metres of altitude, of which 77 are in Peru, 69 in Bolivia, 31 in Ecuador, 22 in Colombia and 21 in Venezuela," environmentalist Eulogio Chacón-Moreno, head of the project in Venezuela, told Tierramérica.

The map, initially presented in April, was conceived as a tool to "identify gaps and priorities for conservation in the national agencies for protected areas, and to develop a set of indicators that allows us to assess the state of conservation of the Andean ecosystems," said Chacón-Moreno.

Such is the case of the "páramos", treeless high plateaus "with a high percentage of endemic species, unique diversity for the way the species interrelate, and a highly important source of freshwater," Vanessa Cartaya, of the regional Andean Páramo Project, sponsored by the Global Environment Facility, told Tierramérica…..

The tropical Andes in Bolivia, Rurrenabaque outside La Paz, shot by Warren H, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

[b]adobe photoshop cs4 portable, [url=]cheapest microsoft software[/url]
[url=][/url] android software store 2009 Mac Retail
discount software sites [url=]marketing software canada[/url] quarkxpress filemaker pro
[url=]software to buy uk[/url] buy mobile software
[url=]discount software house scam[/url] usa kaspersky
discounted software for non [url=]educational price software[/url][/b]