It is estimated that the number of interested birdwatchers in Colombia will rise to about 280,000. The country has 18.3% of the birds in the world and
Once again, the birdwatchers of the world will set their eyes on Manizales and Caldas. Around 600 birdwatchers will arrive in this region during the Sixth Birdwatching Congress, which will take place from November 1 to 6.
For entities such as the Caldas Economic Development Secretariat, the Caldas Hoteliers Association (Cotelco), and the Chec, which are part of the Avitourism Network, the objective is to show the 923 species that are estimated today in the department, and that they are equivalent to 48% of the species in Colombia.
The appeal also has to do with the fact that today a route through the central Colombian Andes is being built, which includes a sighting corridor in the Coffee Region, and that Manizales was left with the headquarters of the 2018 South American Bird Fair, enough reasons to "Birdwatchers" put their binoculars and cameras in this area.
The Birdwatching Network was created last December for public and private entities to promote Caldas as a nature destination. Below are some figures that represent bird tourism in the region.
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* Between 500 and 600 watchers are expected at this international meeting
*250 and 300 dollars ($730 thousand and $880 thousand) a spotter spends a day. He assigns them to the guide, food, lodging, transportation, among others.
* According to the Ministry of Economic Development, if only half of the birdwatchers arrive and they spend rationally, the estimate is that this sector will leave the region between $900 million and one billion.
The investment of Caldas and the National Tourism Fund (Fontur) for this meeting is around $500 million.
For the South American Bird Fair, in 2018, the goal is to bring in between $2 billion to the region.
* 76 million watchers in the world.
* 45 million bird watchers in the United States.
* 3.5 million viewers in the UK.
* 16 speakers, 9 of them international, 300 invited to special workshops and about 500 observers are expected at this meeting.
* 279,000, the number of birdwatchers in the world who plan to come to Colombia, according to the National Audubon Society, an American non-profit organization dedicated to nature conservation.
170 thousand will travel soon if the daily cost does not exceed 250 dollars, about $734 thousand.
* Colombia is defined as the second most megadiverse country after Brazil, due to its tropical forests, páramos and dry forests.
* 10 thousand 500 species of birds, there are in the world.
* Colombia has 1,921 species, 18.3% of the world potential.
* Caldas has 923 species, according to the 2010 census, 48% of the country's birds.
* 540 Manizales has, according to the census, 58.5% of the birds of the department and 28.11% of the country.
* Caldas has 22 endemic species, typical only of this territory.
* 34 are near endemic. They are in ecosystems between 170 and 5,400 meters above sea level.
* 78 species are migratory.
The purpose is to make a new inventory of birds, taking into account that of the 923 species estimated today in Caldas, at least 32 have moved to other regions due to weather conditions.
11 are the sites defined for sighting in Caldas in this Sixth Congress.
There are 165 species in the Cameguadua Reservoir, among the attractive sites to visit this year. For Chec's manager, Jhon Jairo Granada, this is the clear sign that behind the water come the birds.
* It is estimated that the eastern part of Caldas has the greatest potential for bird watching in Caldas.
Among the potential municipalities is Victoria, Charca de Guarinocito (La Dorada), and the jungle of Florencia (Samaná).
JUAN CARLOS LAYTON THE COUNTRY | MANIZALES