"The biological richness found in the savannas, riparian forests, palm groves, rivers, and transitional forests, within the Andes, Llanos, Guiana Shield, and even the Orinoco delta, as a whole, could be greater for some biological groups than for the Amazon itself"
LASSO et al.
The Caño Mochuelo Reserve is an intersection of landscapes and ecosystems of immense wealth and biological value. Close to the Reserve there are four key areas located between the Andes Mountains and the Orinoco River. In some cases, these areas overlap with the expansion area that indigenous peoples have requested since 2011 and include natural corridors, rivers, streams, riparian forests, dunes, savannas, vast temporary wetlands that reappear every year with the rainy season, permanent lagoons, and moriche palms:
CASANARE'S FLOODED SAVANNAS
This is a particularly conserved region comprising the largest ecosystem of morichales in the department of Casanare, contiguous to the western boundary of the Caño Mochuelo Reserve. It encompasses the Ariporo River, the Pica Pico stream, and other minor creeks that are part of the ancestral territory of the Caño Mochuelo indigenous peoples.
Map of ecosystems
ARAUCA'S FLOODED SAVANNAS
These comprise an area that today is partially contained in the Cinaruco National Integrated Management District. It is a vast territory that includes estuaries, lagoons, and permanent and temporary wetlands that cross the border with Venezuela. It is crossed by rivers such as Cinaruco and Capanaparo, which are part of the collective memories of the Reserve's ancestral territory.
This corridor connects the foothills of the upper Meta River and the floodplains of the Cusiana River, in the southwest of the Reserve, with the Casanare, Bita, and Orinoco basins. The Reserve is located in the middle of a strategic fluvial intersection.
COCUY-CASANARE RIVER-META ALLUVIAL VALLEY CORRIDOR
This strip connects the Meta alluvial valley, through the Casanare river, with another section of the foothills and the Andean forests, to the northwest, in the Cocuy mountain range. The Reserve is the meeting point where this corridor meets the Meta-Casanare Corridor, forming a triangle of biodiversity.
The Orinoquia is the tropical humid enclave with the second highest value and ecological productivity on the American continent. Even though the region is key to conserving biodiversity, it continues to be one of the most threatened ecosystems and least protected in the country.
* *The information for prioritized geographic areas comes from Lasso, C. A., Usma, J. S., Trujillo, F. y Rial, A., eds., Biodiversidad de la cuenca del Orinoco: bases científicas para la identificación de áreas prioritarias para la conservación y uso sostenible de la biodiversidad (Bogotá: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, WWF Colombia, Fundación Omacha, Fundación La Salle e Instituto de Estudios de la Orinoquia, 2010); y Lasso, C. A. et al, Biodiversidad de la cuenca del Orinoco. Áreas prioritarias para la conservación y uso sostenible (Bogotá: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, 2011).
** Osorio-Peláez, C., Lasso, C. A., y Trujillo, F., eds., Aplicación de criterios bioecológicos para la identificación, caracterización y establecimiento de límites funcionales en humedales de las sabanas inundables de la Orinoquia (Bogotá: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, 2015).