Date created: May, 2007
Area: 1.940 hectares
Average Temperature: 82 °F
Ecosystem: Subtropical (cloud) forest
Weather: Warm and humid tropical
Altitudinal range: Between 600 – 1,500 AMSL
Key species: Helmeted Curassow (Pauxi pauxi), Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia castaneiventris), Blue-billed Curassow (Crax alberti), Saffron-headed Parrot (Pyrili pyrilia) White-mantled Barbet (Capito hypoleucus), Ash Habia (Habia gutti), and the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea).
Among the most important birds in the Reserve are the Helmeted Curassow (Pauxi pauxi) in a vulnerable state, the Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia castaneiventris), critically endangered, the Blue-billed Curassow (Crax alberti), critically endangered, the Saffron-headed Parrot (Pionopsitta pyrilia), in a vulnerable state, the White-mantled Barbet (Capito hypoleucus), in danger, the Ash Habia (Habia gutturalis), vulnerable, and the Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) Vulnerable, among others.
Likewise, the forests of the Reserve present a high diversity of mammals, among which are the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus), ocelots, monkeys, squirrels, armadillos, tamanduas (anteaters), deer and foxes.
The most predominant flora is the Brazil Beauty-leaf, abarco, tagua, strawberry tree, Wild Ackee (Cupania Americana) and puntes.
It is located in Cerro la Paz, in the Eastern Range of the Colombian Andes, in the municipalities of Betulia and San Vicente de Chucurí, department of Santander; an hour and a half from the urban area of the municipality of San Vicente de Chucurí and two and a half hours from the city of Bucaramanga. (See map).
The natural forests of the Agua de la Virgen area are sub-Andean forests described as hygrophytic or subhygrophytic (meaning they require an abundance of moisture) and equivalent to the montane and submontane ombrophilic tropical forest of the UNESCO classification (1973) and the humid, very humid and pluvial forests of the premontane and low montane from Holdridge (1967). They correspond to premontane, primary and secondary cloud forests, where the frequency of fog tends to raise the ambient humidity and decrease the evapotranspiration.
The Reserve is made up of conserved secondary forests and in an advanced stage of growth with a canopy that reaches 15 m in height and some trees exceptionally reaching 20 m, as is the case of barbatuscos (Erythrina sp.), Guamos (Inga sp.) and Sloanea sp. In general, the forests are dominated by a bamboo called locally “reed” or “common reed grass” (Rhipidocladum racemiflorum), which is the preferred feeding site for the Recurve-billed Bushbird. The most characteristic families observed in the understory are Bromeliaceae and Rubiaceae.