In 2006, the world’s leading hummingbird photographer, Luis Mazariegos, visited La Mesenia, an isolated village in Colombia’s western Andes. He had no idea that besides taking a picture of the recently rediscovered glittering starfrontlet (Coeligena orina), he would find a place that hosts overwhelming biodiversity. The forests here, spanning altitudes from 1,700 to 3,170 meters (5,600 to 10,400 feet), are permanently covered in clouds due to high humidity and are home to 374 known species of birds, 183 mammals, more than 600 plants and 5,000 insects, and other invertebrates.
La Mesenia-Paramillo Nature Reserve in the Colombian Andes is attempting to stave off the threat by restoring 3,500 hectares (8,650 acres) of degraded land and connecting about 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of intact forest with the main Andean chain as a habitat corridor.
Read more about the wonderful work of The Hummingbird Conservancy and Save Nature in Western Andes on Mongabay.
Credit: Luis Mazariegos