Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub

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Coordinates: 11°N 74°W / 11°N 74°W / 11; -74

Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub
Shiyakua Wajiira.jpg
Ecology
Biome Deserts and xeric shrublands
Geography
Area 150,000 km2 (58,000 sq mi)
Country Colombia, Venezuela

The Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub is a xeric shrubland ecoregion in Colombia and Venezuela, covering an estimated area of 150,000 km2 (58,000 sq mi). Rainfall varies from 125 to 1,000 mm (4.9 to 39.4 in), and the median temperature is 26 °C (79 °F).[1]

Setting[edit]

A wayuu rancheria. The wayuu people are the native inhabitants of the Guajira xeric scrub

The ecoregion occupies the Guajira Peninsula, the valley of Rancheria river and Guajira Department, covering parts of the northeastern coast of Venezuela. The valleys lie in the rain shadow of the surrounding Serranía de Macuira, which reaches an elevation of 900 m (3,000 ft) over sea level. These mountains trap some of the trade winds, causing mist. An important tourist destination in the area is Cabo de la Vela.

Flora[edit]

The ecoregion is dominated by thorny trees and succulents. Common species include Acacia glomerosa, Bourreria cumanensis, Bulnesia arborea, Caesalpinia coriaria, Copaifera venezolana, Croton sp., Gyrocarpus americanus, Hyptis sp., Jacquinia pungens, Malpighia glabra, Myrospermum frutescens, Opuntia caribaea, Pereskia guamacho, Piptadenia flava, Prosopis juliflora, and Stenocereus griseus.

Forests dominated by Lonchocarpus punctatus are often accompanied by Bunchosia odorata and Ayenia magna. Other forests exist in which Prosopis juliflora, Erythrina velutina and Clerodendron ternifolium are dominant. A variety of plant communities occur where two plant species are dominant. Examples include Astronium graveolensHandroanthus billbergii, Haematoxylum brasilettoMelochia tomentosa, Caesalpinia coriariaCordia curassavica, Bursera glabraCastela erecta, Vitex cymosaLibidibia coraria, Mimosa cabreraCordia curassavica, Bursera tomentosaBursera graveolens and Castela erectaParkinsonia praecox.[1]

Fauna[edit]

Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)

The ecoregion is notable for being the habitat of a large community of Caribbean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), besides a diversity of birds and bats.

Conservation[edit]

Most of the Serranía de Macuira lies within National Natural Park of Macuira. Nearby is the 80 km2 (31 sq mi) Los Flamencos Sanctuary, which is a center of plant diversity for species of Hechtia, Salvia, and cactus. Of the 2700 species found within, approximately 30% are endemic.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McGinley, Mark (2012-08-02). "Guajira-Barranquilla xeric scrub". Encyclopedia of Earth. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 

External links[edit]

  • (Spanish) Martha Ligia Castellanos, Luis Carlos Pardo L. 2000. Caracterización y primera aproximación a la determinación del índice de biodiversidad en los suelos de la cuenca del arroyo Mekijanao, Serranía de la Macuira, Alta Guajira. En: Juan Carlos Pérez (editor) X Congreso Nacional de la Ciencia del Suelo. Programa y resúmenes. El suelo un componente del medio natural. Medellín, Octubre 11 al 13 de 2000
  • (Spanish) Edith González, Gabriel Guillot, Néstor Miranda, Diana Pombo (editores). 1990. Perfil Ambiental de Colombia. Colciencias. Escala. Bogotá.