Expedition to Guajira Peninsula, Colombia (1941)

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The Expedition to Guajira Peninsula of 1941 lasted around three months, with the group departing Santa Marta in March. Guajira is Columbia’s northeastern corner, and represents the northernmost portion of South America. Sparely inhabited and lacking roads, the expedition traveled by truck, and followed trails and paths along streams and river tributaries eventually reaching Riohacha. From there, the group entered the heart of the peninsula and began studying and collecting the wildlife of the region, principally birds. Members of the expedition included Alexander Wetmore (Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution), M.A. Carriker (Wetmore's Assistant), F. Carlos Lehmann V (Curator of Ornithology in the Instituto do Ciencias Naturales of the National University in Bogotá), and Teniente Alejandro Rubiano (Batallón de Córdoba of Santa Marta as government representative). Dr. Lehmann and Lieutenant Rubiano completed their work with the party in April, while the others continued farther into the forested region of the peninsula. Dr. Wetmore ended his involvement in mid-May and began his return journey. Mr. Carriker, whose expenses for this work in Colombia were paid by the W. L. Abbott fund of the Smithsonian Institution, continued in the field until late in June. He eventually reached the Sierra Negra in the northern section of the Perija Mountains, a region previously unknown to naturalists.


  • In Science Fields, The Science News-Letter, 40, 6 (Aug. 9, 1941) pp. 88-89. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3918143
  • Report on the progress and condition of the United States National Museum for the year ended June 30, 1941. United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1942

Date Range

1941 - 1941


  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Ornithology


  • Colombia
  • Santa Marta
  • Ríohacha
  • Serranía de Perijá
  • Guajira


Expedition name