Announcement: We have moved to a new server! Be aware that some things may not work fully yet. Thank you for your patience.
Espeletia, La Cocha Páramo, Colombia Espeletia grandiflora (front) and Espeletia hartwegiana (back) in a single scene. And likely quite a few other amazing plant species. Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Fall,Geotagged,Páramo,South America,World Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Espeletia, La Cocha Páramo, Colombia

Espeletia grandiflora (front) and Espeletia hartwegiana (back) in a single scene. And likely quite a few other amazing plant species.

    comments (8)

  1. Ferdy, do you know if this area is part of the Northern Andean páramo? Or, the Santa Marta páramo? Posted 7 months ago
    1. A simple question, but I struggled to answer it. It's definitely not part of the Santa Marta páramo because that is in the far north of Colombia and here we're in the deep south. I'm not exactly sure where the Northern Andean páramo starts but likely not here. This map calls our current location the Nudo de Los Pastos

      https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Distribution-of-the-high-mountain-localities-included-in-the-Colombian-Paramo-Vegetation_fig1_231316057

      That's the mountain complex name, but it doesn't look like a páramo name. Interestingly, it's where the Andes splits:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudo_de_los_Pastos

      Didn't know any of this lol.
      Posted 7 months ago
      1. Thanks for the effort - I couldn't find the answer either. It doesn't matter that much - I'm just working on a FB post for this photo and was just curious about the location. Posted 7 months ago
  2. Well, this was a looong post, but the páramos deserve the attention. From today's Facebook post:

    "No zone of alpine vegetation in the temperate or cold parts of the globe can well be compared with that of the Páramos in the tropical Andes.” “Nowhere, perhaps, can be found collected together, in so small a space, productions so beautiful, and so remarkable in regard to the geography of plants.” -Alexander von Humboldt

    The páramos are isolated ecosystems located high in the Andes mountains at altitudes between 2,800 and 5,000 m above sea level. They cover an estimated 35,000 square kilometers and have an island archipelago-like distribution. The environment is wet and cool with temperatures dipping below freezing at night and climbing as high as 16°C (60°F) during the day.

    These hauntingly beautiful places are the world's most diverse, high-altitude ecosystems. Páramos are biodiversity hotspots with a multitude of rare and endemic species. In fact, 60% of all species in this ecosystem are endemic! They are home to at least 5,000 plant species—at least 3,000 of which exist nowhere else on earth. They are adapted to withstand dramatic temperature fluctuations, low pressure, intense ultraviolet radiation, and strong winds. One outstanding plant, known as the frailejón, is a keystone species upon which other plants and animals depend for survival. There is also an impressive variety of wildlife like monkeys, jaguars, eagles, condors, and Colombian spectacled bears that call the páramos home.

    The páramos are the primary water source for the Andean lowlands. They act like a giant sponge that slowly releases water for use in irrigation, hydroelectricity, and as drinking water. This ecosystem is essential and plays a crucial role in sustaining the lives of millions of people. Furthermore, the amazing plants of the páramos provide other critical services, such as carbon storage and sequestration. This is an ecoregion that must be treasured and protected.

    Unfortunately, this incredible ecosystem is very vulnerable. The páramos are being threatened by climate change, mining, agriculture, and economic activities. Species that are restricted to high altitudes are also the most threatened due to the limited areas into which they can migrate when stressed by factors like increasing temperatures. They simply have nowhere to go, and thus can easily be put at risk for extinction. Sadly, the Andes are warming faster than any other place outside of the Arctic Circle.

    It would be naive to assume that what happens in the Andes will stay in the Andes. The páramos can be seen as a harbinger of environmental change, which means that what's happening there is a prelude of what's to come for other parts of our precious planet. Through the changes occurring in the páramos, we can predict how other areas on Earth will change as the global thermostat continues to rise. The páramos are a magnificent, global treasure, and they need to be preserved. {Spotted in Colombia by JungleDragon founder, Ferdy Christant} #JungleDragon
    Posted 6 months ago, modified 6 months ago
    1. Another high quality post. It must have taken a lot of time to compile it, because in my search I could only find small useful snippets and fragments of information, nowhere a clear story like yours. Epic writing as always, thanks so much! Posted 6 months ago
      1. Thanks Ferdy, it did take awhile - I had 11 pages of notes at one point ;P. It's such a cool ecosystem, which made it hard to consolidate the info! Posted 6 months ago
    2. Thanks for this F&C. I had never heard of páramos. What wonderful biological resources. Posted 6 months ago
      1. I had never heard of it either, but am so glad that Ferdy shared it with us! This is a place that I'd love to see. Posted 6 months ago

Sign in or Join in order to comment.

No species identified

The species on this photo is not identified yet. When signed in, you can identify species on photos that you uploaded. If you have earned the social image editing capability, you can also identify species on photos uploaded by others.

View Ferdy Christant's profile

By Ferdy Christant


All rights reserved
Uploaded Mar 9, 2019. Captured Oct 26, 2018 10:28 in Laguna de la Cocha-Santiago, Pasto, Nariño, Colombia.
  • iPhone XS
  • f/1.8
  • 1/4000s
  • ISO25
  • 4.25mm