Northern Andes Topography: Mt. Height: 7,000 km Mt. Width: 500 km Mt. Elevation: 6,982 m The Northern Andes Mountains stretches over 5500 miles from the southern tip of Argentina and Chile to the northern part of Columbia in South America. With many peaks and active volcanoes over 20,000 feet, including the highest peak Cerro Aconcagua (elevation 22,826, located on the Chile and Argentina border). This majestic region is second only to the Himalayas in size and average elevation. With the high snow covered mountains as a spectacular backdrop, fishing for trout and Atlantic salmon can be an unforgettable experience.
Northern Andes climate: The climate of the Northern Andes is very interesting. Most of the areas enjoy a mild tropical climate. The northern Andes are made up of three mountain ranges that spread out to catch and keep the moisture of the northeastern trade winds. This in turn gives a large amount of rainfall to the area. On the Pacific side of the mountain range, from the Isthmus of Panama to the equator, the Colombian Andes catch the southwardly winds, leading to rainfall almost every day. Argentinas eastern slopes are relatively dry. The region from the Gulf of Guayaquil through the Northern part of Chile (the west coast) is very arid. This stretch of land lies in the path of the trade winds. There the winds tend to come from the east and the southeast and drop the moisture level of the eastern slopes of the Andes.
Animals found there: Some animals:The mountain range ishome to a rich variety Andean condorof fauna and flora, with Llamaabout 30,000 species ofvascular plants, 1000 Alpacaspecies ofamphibians, 600 Chinchillaspecies of Vicunamammals, 1700 speciesof birds, 600 species of Spectacled Bearreptiles and 400 speciesof fish. Cougar Ocelot Opossum Coatimundi Guanaco
Unique Geographic features: Highest peaks in the Major Volcanoes: Northern Andes: Galeras Chimborazo = 20,703 ft Sangay Saru – Urco= 15,337 ft Antisana = 18,715 ft Nevado Del Ruiz Cotopaxi = 19,348 ft Corazon = 15,704 ft Illiniza South = 17,269 ft Pichincha = 15,986 ft Cotachaci = 16,199 ft
Issues or problems: A major conservation program in the northern Andes is the way for the region to solve many of the areas problems, environmental activists say. One environmental problem of the Northern Andes is the endangered species of the spectacled bear. There are only 5,000 such bears left in the region. As a result, they have been coming out of their usual habitat, attracted by crops & cows which makes them easier to be hunted in the Northern Andes. This region has been at the center of hemispheric conflicts concerning oil, coca production, drug trafficking, and paramilitary operations since the end of the Cold War. New roads have been built, which has encouraged landless farmers to settle forested areas and lead to more deforestation as they try to eke out a living. The expansion of local infrastructure such as roads, pipelines or hydroelectric projects is also putting pressure on the environment, while demand for clean water is increasing as population rises.
Vegetation:The vegetation of the Northern Andes is the wildpotato, and the polylepis forest.
Description of human cultures: Although the northern Andes of Ecuador are home to a great number of indigenous peoples, the rough mountain terrain of the region was less than accommodating for earlier cultures. Instead, the majority of ancient cultures first sprouted up on the coast, before progressing and expanding eastward into the sierras. Eventually, the Quitu civilization was established around modern day capital city of Quito. Near the end of the 1st century, the ever-growing Cara culture of the coast conquered the Quitus. The fusion of these two tribes would culminate in the creation of the Shyris civilization, named after the Shyri, the chief of the Cara people. The resulting Caranqui civilization—the remnants of which can still be seen near the modern day city of Ibarra—appeared around 800 A.D. and thrived until the 1470s when they were defeated by the Incan forces led by Huayna Capac. While the Inca did ultimately prevail over the Cara people, it should be noted that the battle raged on for no less than fifteen years. Legend says that Inca leaders tossed so many dead Cara bodies into a nearby lake that its waters turned red, which explains why the lake is today known as Laguna Yaguarcocha—the lake of blood in the language of the Incas.
Interesting facts:1) Andes Mountains stretch over a length of 7,000 km (4,400 miles), width of 200-700 km (120-420 miles). 2) The mountain range is at its widest between 18° to 20°S latitude. 3) The mountain range extends over seven countries - Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. 4) Andes Mountains make up the highest mountain range outside Asia. 5) The highest peak of the mountain range is Aconcagua, which rises to a height of 6,962 m (22,841 ft) above sea level. 7) Ecuadorean Andes are home to Mount Chimborazo, which forms the point on the Earths surface that is most distant from its center. 8) The islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, stuated in the Caribbean Sea - off the coast of Venezuela, are nothing but the submerged peaks of the extreme northern edge of Andes Mountains.