The demise of La Corona makes Venezuela the first nation in the Andes without a glacier. It won’t be the last.

CARACAS, Venezuela — The last of Venezuela’s glaciers has disappeared, scientists say, despite an unusual government effort to save it.

The demise of La Corona, downgraded to an ice field after shrinking from more than 1,100 acres to less than five, makes this South American nation the only one in the Andes range without a glacier — but it’s unlikely to be the last. Scientists, who long predicted the end of La Corona, say warming temperatures will render the entire Northern Andes, which snakes through Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador, glacier-free by 2050.


An aerial photo from 1977 shows all the glaciers of the Sierra Nevada range near Mérida, Venezuela. With the demise of La Corona, second from left, all are now gone. “We thought back then that the glaciers were eternal,” said Charles Brewer-Carías, a Venezuelan explorer, writer and photographer who has discovered at least 20 animal and plant species. (Charles Brewer-Carías)