Invasive plant species
Taraxacum officinale is a very common invasive species of plant because they reproduce asexually and genetically. In 2005 a team of researchers found this species in the Andes, proving that mountain plants are in fact vulnerable to alien species when they were thought to be resistant before.
The Andean Condor is an endangered bird in the Andes mountains. It has low mortality and reproductive rates, so humans threaten its existence. Farmers mistakenly kill them for killing their livestock, and pesticides have gone up the food chain, drastically decreasing their numbers.
The alpaca- Its thick fur helps the alpaca live at high elevations and keep warm. It is an herbivore, and its stomach absorbs 50% more nutrients from plants than sheep, making it easy to live where there is poor quality grass (high altitudes with less oxygen and nutrient rich soil)
The Vicuna- A member of the camel family, the vicuna is a small animal specially adapted to high altitude environments. It has a thick, dense, warm coat of fur to protect from cold weather, and a long neck to spot predators over rock. It's teeth never stop growing, helping the animal eat the tough grass found at higher elevations.
The Chinchilla- It's fur gets thicker and denser the higher the altitude, and its ability to climb, jump, and cling to rock help it to escape predators easier than on flat ground.
Wild Potatoes- Found in the alpine biome, they grow best in the dry southern area of the Andes. Short hairs on the potatoes help collect water and they grow low to the ground to avoid harsh weather conditions.
Puya raimondii- The largest herb in the world, Puya Raimondii survives up to 13,000 feet and can be found in the Alpine Region. It has large leaves all connected to a single stem that water runs too, so it can survive during times of drought.
Polylepis Forests- This tree genus grows best at high altitudes, they grow contorted and twisted due to the harsh environment they are growing in. Their bark is layered with thin, reddish sheets to resist the cold, wet, windy environment.