(founded in 2016)
The OCA has supported Corporación Salvamontes since 2016 when we donated $13,500 towards the purchase of 343 acres in the central Andean cordillera north of the town of Yarumal.
We again supported Corporación Salvamontes in 2018 with a donation of $35,000. The reserves of Corporación Salvamontes include all three known sites of Dracula lemurella and many other endemic orchids of the region.
The several cordilleras of the Andes in Colombia harbor a number of endemic species as the Andes do everywhere in South and central America.
Corporación SalvaMontes is a coalition of people with special interests in orchids, birds, and magnolias endemic to their region north of Medellín near the town of Yarumal. Of special interest to the OCA, of course, are the orchids.. At least 38 orchid species are endemic to the region. The reserves are also of special interest for conservation of several magnolia species. One of these, Magnolia polyhypsophylla is known from only 39 individuals. Locally it is known as the ‘100 year fence post tree’; its rot resistance and likely over-harvesting may explain its current rarity. There are also at least 7 endemic birds and 12 endemic amphibians in the area. When one views the area from Google Earth, it is clear that there is a large virgin forest area between and surrounding the holdings of Corporación SalvaMontes.
At present Corporación Salvamontes is seeking funds to expand its holdings and to construct a research cum dormitory building to support further study of the area.
Corporación Salvamontes also plans to foster interactions with local residents to create a more conservation aware community in the area.
Through funds donated by The Pleurothallid Alliance, the construction of a research laboratory/dormitory has been made possible, and is now in the late planning stages.
The OCA is currently working with SalvaMontes to identify needs for specific funding in 2023.