Cauca Valley dry forests
|Cauca Valley dry forest|
Endemic grayish piculet
|Area||2,800 sq mi (7,300 km2)|
|WWF Classification||Tropical Dry Forest|
The Cauca Valley dry forests occupies an area of 7,300 square kilometers (2,800 sq mi), extending in a long, narrow strip along the Cauca River. The Cauca Valley is nestled between the Cordillera Occidental and Cordillera Central in the northern Andes. These ranges create a rain shadow, which makes the Cauca Valley drier than the surrounding forests. The Cauca Valley dry forests lie below 1000 meters elevation; the higher slopes are occupied by the distinct Cauca Valley montane forests. Most of these forests have been cleared for agriculture over the years making it one of the most critically endangered ecoregions in Colombia. Laguna de Sonso Nature Reserve has a small area of protected forest.
The main plant communities are open woodland, deciduous dry forest, evergreen dry forest, riparian forest, arid scrub and wetlands. The natural vegetation has been almost completely displaced by human activities, chiefly agriculture.
The Cauca Valley dry forests have been mostly converted to agricultural fields. The city of Cali lies in the ecoregion.
- "Cauca Valley dry forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.