Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Bolivia holds great contrasts from the topographic point
of view. The western part is occupied by the Andes, which
here reaches its greatest breadth, while the eastern part is
a lowland, Oriente, which covers about 2/3 of the
area of Bolivia.
A third landform region is the high plateau in the
southwest, Altiplano, between 3,600 and 4,000 m
above sea level, partially enclosed by both Andean chains.
Of these, the Western Cordillera has Bolivia's highest peak,
Sajama 6 542 m above sea level, while the Eastern Cordillera
is less dramatic but has several high volcanic peaks, such
as Illimani and Illampú. On the high plateau between them
lies Lake Titicaca (3,810 m above sea level), the highest
lake in the world with shipping and South America's largest
freshwater lake (8,100 km2); it is dewatered to
the drainless and salty Lake Poopós.
The eastern slopes of the Andes are divided by a large
number of river valleys, of which the lower ones are densely
populated. The area is called Yungas in the north and Valles
in the south.
The ground cover at Altiplano is thin, most consisting of
loosely consolidated clays, sand and gravel, in the southern
part salt-rich. In Yungas, the soil is strongly eroded,
while the Valles region has deeper ground cover. In most of
Oriente, the soil is nutrient-poor, alternately dehydrated
Bolivia is entirely within the tropical zone, but the
climate holds great contrasts, mainly due to the elevation
differences. Altiplano is thus characterized by cold winds
and low rainfall, which mostly comes in the form of
thunderstorms during the high summer (December – January).
The temperature stays on average between 7 and 11 °C, but
the nights are cold and in winter it can reach down to -20 °C. Lake Titicaca has an equalizing influence on the climate
in the northern part, and the strong sunshine in the clear
air can give a temperature of 21 °C during winter days.
In Yungas, on the other hand, humid air comes in from the
Amazon, giving an annual rainfall of 1,350 mm and an annual
average temperature of 16-19 °C. Valles has clearer and
drier air and is slightly warmer. On the low plains of
Oriente, the climate is hot, 23-25 °C in the south and 27
°C in the north, with 1,000 and 1,750 mm of precipitation
per year, respectively. Temporarily cold winds from the
south, which bring sand and dust, can lower the temperature
Plant-and animal life
About 2/5 of the land is wooded. The area in the far
north is covered by tropical rainforest with, among other
things. very palm trees. On the plains in the northeast, an
open tree and shrub saw takes over. In the Bolivian part of
Gran Chaco in the south there are deciduous forests of
varying appearance, in their places swampy, in other places
dense and lush, in some areas open and savanna. Along the
eastern slopes of the Andes between about 1,000 and 2,500
meters above sea level. grows a subtropical, moist forest.
Here you will find the valuable chin tree that provides
quinine. Higher up is a humid zone with high rainfall and
fog, where vegetation is quite dense but low-grown and among
other things. includes heather, myrtle, pineapple and
medinilla plants. Up on the high plateaus there is a sparse
vegetation with shrubs, which to the east turns into grassy,
steppe so-called Puna vegetation. Above 4,500 meters above
Bolivia's rainforests are rich in species. Many monkeys
are found here, such as tamarins, skull monkeys, capuchin
and crab monkeys, further jaguars, ocelot, lowland
tapestries, navel pigs and several large rodents, among
others. capybara. Among the birds can be seen ares and other
parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, kingfishers, king gams and
muskand. The arctic fauna in particular is hugely rich. In
the drier forests, cougars, belts and marshes are found. In
the Andes you will find vicunja and guanaco, Peruvian
huemul, guinea pig, chinchilla, viscachor, Andean condor and
many oven birds. Highly situated lakes, including Lake
Titicaca, houses a variety of waterfowl, i.a. dopings, coot
and flamingos, and a largely unique lower fauna, which has
developed in the geologically old lake.
Bolivia had 16 national parks in 2010, among others.
Carrasco Ichilo, Isiboro Sécure and Noel Kempff Mercado. In
addition, there were a number of so-called national reserves
and areas with other forms of protection, together
representing about 18% of the country's area.