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Fire destroys 253 has of the Páramo del Sol

Tuesday 9 March 2010.

95% of wildfires are caused by man, usually by misuse or careless handling of fire, both in agricultural activities or, as in this case, by tourist recreation or walkers irresponsibly leaving fires badly put out, combustible waste, cigarette stubs thrown away and lighted matches or glass.

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The environmental impact of this particular fire is huge, it attacked the source of the river and the gully of Santa Bárbara, which are the most important tributaries of water that supply the municipality and municipal water, likewise, in the Páramo del Sol live countless species of fauna and flora that are at some degree of risk, among these species there is the Dusky starfrontlet (Coeligena orina), the Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer (Diglossa gloriosissima) and Rusty-faced Parrot (Hapalopsittaca amazonina) the 3 endemic and endangered species. We estimate that more than 10% of the population of Paramillo Tapaculo’s habitat was lost with the destruction of some 50 has of habitat.

Likewise, the flora was affected and thousands of spectacled frailejones (Espeletia frontinensis) individuals and Polylepis trees were destroyed, not to mention the grasslands and wetlands that were lost and are of vital importance for the water regulation of the moor, besides it is natural habitat of wonderful mammals like the spectacled bear and deers.

According to the version of the Reserve rangers apparently approximately 2 has of the Dusky Starfrontlet Bird Reserve were affected, of the Fundación ProAves, which is regrettable since it is a reserve of the civil society linked to SINAP.

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Recovery. Taking into account the height of the moor, above 3400 m, and the climatic conditions, which means that growth is very slow, we believe the recovery process of this part of the moor will take more than a century.

Prevention. We would like to give an invitation to enjoy the moors and generally of nature, responsibly; our main recommendation is NOT to light fires.

Without fire there will be no fires. Besides, do not throw away lighted matches or cigarettes, nor plastic, paper, glass or any type of residue that serves as a concentrated solar radiation.

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