Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Bolivian Colorada lagoon



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Bolivian Colorada lagoon

The Colorada lagoon is a salt lake characterized by shallow waters, located in a protected area of ​​Bolivia. Visited by flamingos and tourists alike, it remains at risk of drying out due to rising temperatures.

This would cause a change of migratory route for the flamingos that stop here before moving north. Located at an altitude of 4278 m, its dimensions are approximately 10.7 km long, 9.6 km wide, with a coastal perimeter of approximately 35 km and a total area of ​​54 km².

It has an average depth of only 35 cm, while the maximum depth is about 1.5 m. In the north-eastern and south-eastern part of the Colorada lagoon, various deposits of borax emerge, whose white color contrasts with the reddish-orange color of its waters, which derives from the deposition of red sediments, the presence of microorganisms and the pigmentation of some algae.

The Colorada lagoon is part of the Los Lípez wetland, included since 1990 in the list of protected areas by the Ramsar Convention. The overall area of ​​the protected site was extended on 13 July 2009 from 513.8 km² to 14,277.17 km² to also include the nearby endorheic, hypersaline and brackish lakes of the Andes known as Lagunas de colores.

The Colorada lagoon, with its mineral-rich waters, is an important mating and breeding site for the James flamingo which is particularly abundant here, as well as other less common species such as the Andean flamingo.

Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Kirkjufell, Iceland

Mount Kirkjufell, in Iceland, poses risks: as temperatures rise across the Arctic, faster than any other area on the planet, all of Iceland, its glaciers and mountains are grappling with the prospect of a future without ice.

It is a 463 meters high mountain located on the north coast of Iceland, on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, near the town of Grundarfjörður located in the fjord of the same name, is part of the Vesturland region.

It is considered the most photographed mountain in the country and was one of the filming locations for season 6 and 7 of the Game of Thrones television series. The name in Icelandic comes from its resemblance to the shape of a church tower, while in the past Danish navigators used to call it Sukkertoppen, meaning sugar top.

Its peculiar shape is due to the action of glaciers that eroded its walls. At the time, it must have looked like a nunatak, a rocky summit rising above an expanse of ice.
At the foot of Kirkjufell is Kirkjufellfoss, a small waterfall compared to others in the country, but undoubtedly essential to create the magic that surrounds Kirkjufell.
The fastest and easiest way to reach Kirkjufell is to rent a car.

Both the mountain and the Kirkjufellfoss waterfall are located on the edge of highway 54, after the town of Grundarfjörður. Although there are several itineraries that allow you to climb the mountain, always under the supervision of a guide from the area, most tourists prefer to stay at the foot of the Kirkjufell to contemplate one of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Iceland.

Covered for 10% by glaciers, Iceland is made up of the mountains of the mid-Atlantic ridge and has a surface formed by rocks of volcanic origin, mainly basaltic. Much of its territory is occupied by mountains that reach moderate heights and is characterized by vast plateaus.

The coasts, rich in inlets and deep fjords to the north, are sandy and low to the south and here are concentrated the arable areas, which are in total about one fifth of the surface. Finally, it must be said that the country hosts the largest glacier on the continent, the Vatnajökull and is the second largest island on the continent.

The morphology of the Icelandic territory has undergone important changes initially due to a worsening of the climate that occurred about 9 million years ago and then due to the last glaciations that shaped the landscape with fjords, valleys with a typical U-profile and mountains partly covered by glaciers. Not surprisingly, due to this double peculiarity, Iceland is often called the island of ice and fire.