|Fossils Group||Invertebrates Group||Reptiles and Amphibians Group|
|Reptiles and Amphibians Group||Birds Group||Spiders Group|
COMMENTS AND CONTEXT
Villa de Leyva is a municipality located in the Colombian Andes in an inter-Andean dry valley in the Department of Boyacá, 180 kms. north of the countrys capital Bogotá.
In terms of natural ecosystems, the region has been transformed by men even before the first Europeans arrived at the American continent.
It is well known that Villa de Leyva is not a very rich place in terms of biodiversity in Colombia. But this place was chosen for the Biodiversity Day as a way to show the regions biological richness as part of a local process of knowledge. The municipality holds a great variety of ecosystems and offers the infrastructure required for such an event.
More than 800 persons among scientists, university students, children and members of the community participated in the Biodiversity Day. Split up in 30 groups and coordinated by 38 scientists and 45 supporting researchers, participants in this taxonomic marathon searched for species in six different zones of Villa de Leyva:
The results of the Biodiversity Day were surprising. Bringing together specialists around the search and identification of the regions species allowed to find a great quantity of species in a relatively poor and degraded area.
If this event had been done in another region of Colombia like the Chocó or the Amazonas the number of species found would have been much higher. But most other regions in the country do not offer the infrastructure that is needed for an event of these dimensions.
The taxonomic marathon had a great significance as a register of information for the region, but above all it has stressed out the enormous lack of knowledge that exists around the biological richness of the country. In addition the event showed the capacity and immense interest that is awakening in the country, and specially among the scientific community, to learn and inventory Colombias biodiversity.
The Biodiversity Day in Villa de Leyva was essential in order to accelerate a process of local knowledge and creating conscience about the region and its biological diversity. It was also a unique opportunity to bring together scientists and university students from all over the country, school children from Bogotá and Villa de Leyva and members of the community interested in learning about nature and Colombias biological richness.
The results of this biodiversity Day are even more interesting if one keeps in mind that the country still has a limited scientific capacity in terms of infrastructure, logistics and number of scientists. It is therefore key to emphasize that a group of only 38 scientists responsible for the coordination of the search and identification of species found 1.497 species.
Thanks to this first taxonomic marathon it was possible to promote the teamwork of scientists from all Colombia and bring the knowledge of these scientists to students, children and community members. Moreover the event publicized the biological diversity of the Villa de Leyva region and it became the beginning of a process that will continue next year with a biodiversity day that is going to take place on the countrys Caribbean coast in marine ecosystems.
Fossils | Beetles | Bees, Ants and Wasps | Butterflies | Flies, Bugs and Grasshoppers | Spiders | Macroinvertebrates |
Lichens and Mosses | Hepatic Plants | Vascular Plants | Pteridofites | Fungi | Birds |
Mammals | Reptiles and Amphibians | Fishes | Environmental Studies