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Key Purchase for Colombia

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range located in northwestern Colombia rises from the Caribbean beaches upwards to 5,775 meters and covers all eco-zones from tropical rainforest to glaciers and majestic snow-capped peaks. This ancient and isolated massif pre-dates the Andes and is considered one of the America’s most important locations for biodiversity and endemism. Although only 6,800 square kilometers–smaller than the state of Connecticut–the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range boasts the highest concentration of bird endemism than any other place on the planet and is home to one of the planet’s highest concentrations of threatened and endemic birds, amphibians, and plants.

In early 2012, with support from our donors and a generous match from American Bird Conservancy, Rainforest Trust was able to assist our partner, Fundación ProAves, with the acquisition of a 604 acre property called “La Cumbre." “La Cumbre” stands out as by far one of the single most important areas within the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains as it contains an important concentration of Santa Marta Wax Palms and the largest breeding population of Santa Marta Parakeet (the most reliable place to locate this species) and core surviving area of forest for the Santa Marta Toro, a nocturnal mammal that had been thought to be extinct for over 113 years and was just rediscovered in 2011.