Sierra Nevada De Santa Marta Natural National Park
Sierra Nevada De Santa Marta, Colombia
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The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Natural Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta) is Colombia's second oldest national park, established in 1964. It is located in the Cordillera Oriental range, between the departments of La Guajira, Magdalena and Cesar, in the mountain range of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. It is a sanctuary as well as a tourist attraction, because it offers different climate, terrain, flora and fauna environments, ranging from beaches to snowy mountain peaks.
It belongs geographically to the Amazon Basin, but it is hydrographically a part of the Orinoco River basin. Roughly 1.2 million people are dependent upon the freshwater supplied by important river such as Cesar, Don Diego, Palomino, Aracataca and Tucurinca. There are currently about 30,000 indigenous people of the ethnic groups Koguis, Arhuacos, Kankuamos and Wiwa living in the area. This park is also home to the remnants of the Tairona Culture. In 1979 the park was designated a Biosphere reserve by UNESCO.
It is calculated that the yearly average rainfall is 4000 mm at elevations of 500 m (1,600 ft) to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above mean sea level. The temperature varies between 0°C and 27°C.
The tropical rainforest is made up of perennial trees, with a canopy reaching between 30 m (98 ft) to 40 m (130 ft). There is a great variety and large populations of epiphytes and lianas, and more than 3,000 species of vascular plants are found in the area. The indigenous peoples the make an alcoholic beverage from fruits of the palm Attalea maripa found at the lower elevations.
Of Colombia's 340 endemic species, 44 are found in the park, for example seven species of endemic hummingbirds. Of the 3,057 endangered species, 44 are found here. The area is home to 440 species of birds, including Black-fronted Wood-quail, King Vulture, Andean Condor, Santa Marta Warbler, Santa Marta Parakeet. Mammals found in the park include: tapir, cougar, jaguar, squirrel, Transandinomys talamancae, otter, and brocket deer.
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