My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!
Colombia is a country renowned for its biodiversity, where you can marvel at the wildlife inhabiting its various regions. In this blog, you will discover the types of species you can encounter in some golf clubs across the country.
As a golf-specialized travel agency, we offer personalized experiences in Colombia.
About Local Fauna in Colombian Golf Courses
Golf courses in Colombia vary based on their location due to the country’s diverse climate. Some courses are designed around natural areas, including native forests and specific animal habitats.
Certain animal species are tied to particular regions due to temperature and vegetation requirements, while others can adapt to varying temperatures across the country.
The presence of animals on golf courses varies by region, primarily due to Colombia’s thermal floors, which define temperature based on elevation above sea level in meters (masl).
These classifications are as follows:
- Warm (above 24°C): Below 1000 (masl).
- Temperate (17°C to 24°C): 1000 masl.
- Cold (12°C to 17°C): 2000 masl.
- Paramo (6°C to 12°C): 3000 masl.
- Glacial (below 6°C): Above 4000 masl.
Temperature plays a crucial role in shaping ecosystems and the types of life they support.
Regarding golf courses, a common characteristic is the presence of bodies of water and lush vegetation. In Colombian golf courses, you can often encounter the following animals:
- Birds: Birds are attracted to golf courses due to their bodies of water and vegetation. Examples include herons, ducks, geese, hawks, swallows, and blackbirds.
- Reptiles: The presence of reptiles can vary depending on the course, but those with bodies of water can be home to iguanas, lizards, and snakes.
- Small Mammals: Squirrels, opossums, and weasels can be found in these places, as the vegetation provides them with shelter and food.
- Amphibians: Courses with bodies of water can attract different species of frogs and toads.
- Fish: Some species, like tilapia, can be found in clubs with lakes and ponds.
Some golf clubs are located in wildlife-rich areas, and it’s not unusual to come across animals on the course. These golf courses are designed to serve as both golfing spaces and conservation areas, effectively preserving natural habitats without compromising the golfing experience for their members.
Wildlife You Can Encounter in Colombian Golf Courses
Now, let’s explore the animal species you can encounter on various golf courses in different regions of Colombia: the Andean Central region, the Coffee Triangle, the Caribbean region, and the western sector, or the Pacific region.
Región Central (Central Region)
This region is commonly known as the Andean region, where most of the country’s golf courses are situated, particularly in the cities of Bogotá and Medellín. Some of them are home to visible fauna:
Club Los Lagartos – Bogotá
This club borders the Córdoba Wetland in Bogotá, where various ecosystems and terrestrial plants have been found.
Species like the Andean frog, bell frog, and ground snake have been discovered here, as well as birds like the roadside hawk, white hawk, and yellow-billed cuckoo, among others.
Country Club de Bogotá
This course is located in Bogotá at an altitude of 2600 masl with an average temperature of 15°C, making it a cold climate.
Being a significant green area in an urban setting, it’s a habitat for various species, including birds like the oriole, eastern kingbird, cattle egret, and black vulture, among others.
Club Carmel – Bogotá
This club is also located in Bogotá at an altitude of 2600 masl with temperatures between 18°C and 20°C. Like other golf courses in Bogotá, it has structures that resemble natural habitats for both local and migratory birds.
Bird species identified here include the short-toed snake eagle, great egret, swallow-tailed kite, great-tailed grackle, American coot, and red-legged honeycreeper, among others.
Club Campestre Los Arrayanes – Bogotá
Situated on the northern highway in Bogotá at an altitude of 2600 masl with temperatures between 18°C and 20°C, this club boasts various types of trees, including arrayan trees, which provide shade and shelter for birds like copetones and blackbirds.
There are also artificial lakes that house domestic ducks, wild ducks, and ruddy ducks.
Club de Golf La Cima – La Calera
Located in the outskirts of Bogotá in the municipality of La Calera, this high-altitude course stands at 3000 masl with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 15°C, entering the paramo climate. As one of the highest golf courses in Colombia and surrounded by native forests, it is home to several local species both inside and outside the club.
Notable animals include the Andean bear, spectacled bear, puma, and birds like the Andean condor, Andean cock-of-the-rock, fluff-backed tit-tyrant, rufous-collared sparrow, magpie, and more.
La Pradera de Potosí – Sopó
Located in the Bogotá savanna, this club sits at an altitude of 2650 masl with temperatures typically between 18°C and 20°C, yet it has a cold climate. Inside the club, you can find bird species like blackbirds, tinguas, copetones, and mountain sparrows. Around the artificial lakes, there are frog and fish species like the captain fish and rainbow trout, along with land animals like opossums.
Mesa de Yeguas Country Club –Anapoima
This club boasts a tropical dry forest and is located in the municipality of Anapoima in Cundinamarca, at an altitude of 689 meters above sea level (masl) and a temperature of 25°C, falling into a warm climate category. Within its boundaries are ecosystems that serve as a refuge and habitat for species such as montane mice, opossums, bats, as well as reptiles like boas, iguanas, false corals, hunters, and lizards.
Likewise, the club’s lakes and wetlands are niches for species like amphibians, fish, and resident and migratory water birds. Some examples include the cattle egret, common blackbird, woodpeckers, canaries, etc.
Club El Rodeo – Medellín
This club is situated within the city of Medellín and stands at an altitude of 1486 masl with temperatures around 24°C, placing it within a temperate climate category. It features approximately 3000 trees of various species, both native and introduced.
The species that inhabit the club often coexist with members and staff, as the golf course imitates a habitat suitable for them. Among the birds you can spot are the kingfisher, giant tinkerbird, herons, parrots, macaws, black vultures, some duck species, and more.
Región Caribe (Caribbean Region)
This northern region of Colombia is known for its warm climate and is home to major cities like Barranquilla and Cartagena, where you’ll find the primary golf courses in the area.
Clubs where you can observe some species include:
Club Lagos del Caujaral – Barranquilla
This club, besides being an entertainment venue and a golf playing space, offers a birdwatching experience in its natural reserve. They conduct studies on various bird species, including herons. Some species you can see here are:
- Royal heron.
- Little blue heron.
- Little blue heron.
- Tricolored heron.
- Cattle egret.
- Striated heron.
Club Karibana – Cartagena
Club Karibana in Cartagena, apart from its distinguished golf course with a view of the Caribbean Sea, offers ecotourism services. You can also observe marine species due to its proximity to the beach.
The club is also situated in a native forest where species like howler monkeys, birds including parrots and toucans, reptiles such as iguanas and snakes, and the iconic yellow butterflies, as narrated in Gabriel García Márquez’s stories, can be found.
Región del Eje Cafetero (Coffee Axis Region)
The Coffee Axis region is characterized by its mountainous terrain influenced by the Central Andes, with a significant altitude above sea level. As a result, the fauna in the golf clubs is quite similar.
Among the golf clubs in this region are Club Campestre de Armenia, located at an altitude of 1475 masl, and Club Campestre de Manizales, situated at 1450 masl, with temperatures ranging around 20°C, classifying it as a temperate climate.
Bird species you can find include the Andean condor, pendulum bird, spotted-breasted woodpecker, and collared inca. Among the terrestrial fauna are howler monkeys, spectacled bears, and yellow-striped frogs.
Región Occidental (Western Region)
This region forms part of the Pacific in the southern part of the country and hosts some golf clubs. Specifically, the city of Cali has some of the most important clubs in the country, providing space for wildlife protection.
These golf courses include:
Club Campestre de Cali
This club is located within the city itself, the capital of Valle del Cauca, at an altitude of 1000 masl, which places it in a temperate climate category. It is characterized by having a natural reserve spanning some 130 hectares of tropical dry forest, housing over 150 tree species and more than 200 animal species.
Among the species found here are the black vulture, scarlet macaw, royal parrot, nine-banded armadillo, weasel, coati, and a variety of frogs, including the Colombian poison dart frog, coqui frog, false coral snake, as well as the blind snake and iguana.
Club Farallones de Cali
This club is located on the El Banco avenue in Cali, at an altitude of 1100 masl, with a temperate climate and temperatures ranging between 23°C and 28°C.
Within the club, more than 120 bird species inhabit trees, wetlands, and various spaces around the complex. Notable among them is the crimson-crested woodpecker. Terrestrial species include marsupials, anteaters, sloths, otters, iguanas, toads, and snakes.