Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bird Biodiversity

Did you know that Colombia has the largest number of unique avian species in the world? With 1,871 different species, they rank #1 in avian biodiversity.

I am a statistic lover. So here are a few you can throw up on your personal blog or your child can write into their report on Colombia.

In 2009, there were 1871 unique, recorded avian species in Colombia. Of those, 1 has been declared officially extinct. Another 13 species are critically endangered, 31 are endangered, 52 are threatened, and 60 near threatened.

Currently, there are 15 avian preserves in Colombia. Three in Antioquia, 3 in Santander, and one each in Boyacá, Cauca, Magdelena, Meta, Nariño, Norte Santander, Quindío, San Andrés and Tolima.


A few months ago I wrote post about one of the 13 critically endangered species. You can read about it here:

http://raisingcolombiankids.blogspot.com/2009/06/indigo-winged-parrot.html


Today, I want to focus on the species we have lost. Known as the Zambullidor Bogotano (Colombian Grebe or podiceps andinus), it lived in the wetlands surrounding Bogotá and into the lakes and swampy areas of Cundinamarca and Boyacá (Altiplano Cundiboyacense). The species was lost as wetlands were drained and pesticides polluted the remaining water causing eutrophication. Eutrophication occurs when an increase in the concentration of chemical nutrients in an ecosystem increases the productivity of the ecosystem. This usually spawns an over production of algae and plankton and reduces the production of larger plants needed to sustain larger animal life.

Zambullidor Colombiano
Instituto Alexander Von Humbolt

While the species was still abundant in 1945, by 1968 there were only around 300 left. The last confirmed sighting was in 1977, and 2 exhaustive searches in 1981 and 1982 failed to find any sign of the species. Today, it is considered extinct.

WHAT can you and your family do to get involved in saving endangered birds in Colombia? Join FUNDACIÓN PROAVES, or better yet -- Foster a Nest. The cost per year is $85US. That is around $7 a month -- so forgo that Latte or Hamburger and help save a priceless treasure. It is easy. Just click here to learn more.



If you are a birder and plan to visit Colombia, you can get a copy of a Colombian Bird list current as of 2009, (to add to your life list) here: http://www.proaves.org/IMG/pdf/Aves_de_Colombia_2009-2.pdf

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