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Transcript of Tropical Andes
The Tropical Andes Hotspot is made up of the Andes Mountains of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and the northern tropical portions within Argentina and Chile. It covers 158.3 million hectares, an area three times the size of Spain.
The Tropical Andes Hotspot is the most diverse hotspot in the world, for species richness and endemic species. It contains about one-sixth of all plant life in the world, including 30,000 species of vascular plants, making it the top hotspot for plant diversity. It has the largest variety of amphibian, bird and mammal species, and takes second place for reptile diversity.
In the cloud forests, agriculture, deforestation, dams, and road building are the most significant threats. At higher altitudes, seasonal burning, grazing, agriculture, mining, and fuelwood collection have degraded the grasslands and scrublands of the puna and páramos. Extensive cultivation of opium poppy has led to the clearing of thousands of hectares of montane forests and the spread of chemical herbicides through rivers and streams that pose additional threats to plant and animal species, especially amphibians. Guerilla activities associated with this trade often make it difficult to sustain conservation activities in the area safely
The Tropical Andes climate is one of the most interesting climates in the world, it changes drastically throughout the region. In Ecuador there are some tropical rainforests and just a couple of miles away is a frosted peek. Another thing about the Andes Mountain climate is that the temperature changes drastically when you move to a neighboring country, such as from Colombia to Ecuador. In Colombia it rains often, but in Ecuador it is usually dry. The climate is split up in many different zones. Tierra caliente is the hot land, where jungles, fruit and crocodiles grow and live, but paramo (wasteland) is a hardy place where the only things that can survive are lichens and mosses.
The hotspot is known for its ecosystems services. The Andes Mountains are South America’s water source for both the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, the world’s largest and third largest rivers by discharge. Its rivers provide water for numerous cities, including 10 with populations greater than 500,000 and four of which are national capitals. Andean waters irrigate major agricultural regions of South America and provide a major source of power through hydropower for many of the hotspot’s 57 million citizens. Its forests store 5.4 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to the annual carbon emissions of 1 billion cars
The threatened yellow-eared parrot, yellow-tailed woolly monkey and spectacled bear are all endemic to the Tropical Andes.
The temperature here averages 21.8 °C. Precipitation here averages 2329 mm.