Discovering Colombia’s rare flora and fauna

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Colombia’s tropical rain forests have actually been vanishing quick. Since the 2016 peace offer in between the federal government and the Farc guerrillas much of the virgin jungle that was formerly off-limits due to dispute has actually now been sliced down, ruining whole communities. But now efforts are under method to conserve what’s left.

Earlier this year, and right before the coronavirus lockdown, I signed up with an exploration of leading botanists from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London into formerly uncharted rain forest in the Serrania de las Quinchas, as they looked for rare plant types, a few of them unidentified to science.

Colombia is the 2nd most bio-diverse nation worldwide afterBrazil It likewise has more bird types – 1,958 at newest count – than any other nation.

If there were a video game of Top Trumps for hummingbirds then Colombia would win hands-down. With its mountains, jungles and rain forests, this big South American country boasts a few of the world’s most vibrant flora andfauna Here is a little sample of what we saw.

Trekking into the remote Ranura Canyon in the Magdalena Valley with Kew Gardens scientists, in search of rare plant species

Trekking into the remote Ranura Canyon in the Magdalena Valley with Kew Gardens researchers, searching for rare plant types.

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Travelling on horseback was the only method for me, being wheelchair-based, to overcome the rough surface. Conservationists are hoping this mainly safe and uncharted part of Colombia could, with much better gain access to, end up being a prime location for eco-tourism.

The home of a hermit, hidden deep in the forest of the Serrania de las Quinchas.

The house of a hermit, surprise deep in the forest of the Serrania de lasQuinchas

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We invested the night here, on hammocks and bed mattress. The farmer who lives here alone is entirely self-dependent, raising his own livestock and pigs however likewise growing a kind of root veggie for food, which the researchers state they had actually never ever seen prior to.

The week prior to we arrived his kid was bitten on the foot by a poisonous fer-de-lance pit viper in the close-by forest. The farmer needed to bring him on his back to the closest roadway and they simply got him to a healthcare facility in time to conserve his leg from needing to be cut off.

Common Tody-flycatcher, Todirostrum cinereum

Common Tody- flycatcher, Todirostrum cinereum.

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A small and remarkably tame bird that measures up to its name. Its beak here was packed with pests it had actually simply captured. It was a familiar sight in the trees around the palm-thatch hut we oversleeped and among the very first birds to wake us up with the dawn chorus. (Note: absolutely nothing exceptional about this types, it was simply rather quite.)

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Amazilia tazacatl, feeding on Mexican sunflower.

Rufous- trailed hummingbird, Amazilia tazacatl, eating Mexican sunflower, likewise called”tree marigold”

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One of the most aggressive and territorial of Colombia’s 165 hummingbird types, it is understood to assault other birds and pests that it views as trespassers. At night it enters into a resting torpor to renew its high levels of energy.

Blue-throated Starfrontlet. A high-altitude Andes hummingbird found only above 2000m in Colombia and just across the border in Venezuela

Blue- throated Starfrontlet, Coeligena helianthea. A high-altitude Andes hummingbird discovered just above 2,000 m in Colombia and simply throughout the border in Venezuela, so recognized as a”near endemic”

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This is among 18 various hummingbirds to be discovered high in the hills above Bogota at the Observatorio de Colibr íes, where visitors can enjoy them sweeping through the branches while consuming breakfasts of mango, papaya and strong Colombian coffee.

The Executioner Wasp, Polistes carnifex. This terrifying insect has one of the most painful stings known to mankind.

The Executioner Wasp, Polistes carnifex.

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This frightening pest has among the most agonizing stings understood to humanity, even worse than the Bullet Ant and Asian GiantHornet One of the biggest neotropical wasps at 3cm in length, its name actually indicates “meat-maker” as it chews up its victim prior to transporting it back to the nest.

The TELEVISION biologist Coyote Peterson offered to be stung by one and stated later on that a hole decayed in his arm at the website of the sting. I photographed this one simply as it removed from a tree branch.

Cinnamon flycatcher, Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus. One of the most attractive and approachable birds of Colombia's high montane forest.

Cinnamon flycatcher, Pyrrhomyias cinnamomeus.

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One of the most appealing and friendly birds of Colombia’s high montane forests at about 3,000 m elevation. Found all the method down the western spinal column of South America its Latin name indicates”flame-coloured” This one was set down near a waterfall, making brief ventures into the spray of water to capture pests while calling loudly.

A strange and unidentified fruit from the Sapotaceae family

An odd and unknown fruit from the Sapotaceae household, one that consists of essential food sources in the kind of tropical fruits like the star-apple.

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This was among the brand-new, unidentified types discovered by the Kew Gardens botanists deep in the remote jungle of LasQuinchas The exploration leader, Mauricio Diazgranados, stated “the shape and texture of the fruit were very unusual”.

Red and yellow tropical flower. Palo cruz, Brownea macrophylla.

Palo cruz, Brownea macrophylla.

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The Kew Gardens researchers were enjoyed discover this unique flower growing on a river bank in the main MagdalenaValley The trees that produce it mature to 12 m high and their trunks are frequently plagued with ants. Locals state the flower has medical homes and among the huge expect sparing what remains of Colombia’s tropical forests is that their plants might include essential medical solutions.

All pictures based on copyright

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