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Biosphere, Fauna and Flora in Cuba Naturaleza
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Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, the most important protected area in Cuba

Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is the most important strictly protected area in Cuba as far as biodiversity is concerned. This area stands out not only because it has the highest richness and endemism in the country but also because it is currently the representative of the highest remnant of preserved mountain ecosystems in Cuba.

The "Alejandro of Humboldt" National Park, located in the counties of Holguín and Guantánamo, the Humanity Patrimony was declared in the XXV Meeting of the Committee of World Patrimony of the UNESCO, taken place in Helsinki, Finland, between the 11 and December of the year 16 2001.

Alejandro de Humboldt National ParkParque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt

The National Park "Alejandro of Humboldt is located the north of the oriental counties of Guantánamo and Holguín, occupying an area of about 700 square kilometers (around 70 000 hectares), it is the most extensive park in the national system of protected areas and the most important domestic as for biodiversity.

This park stores 24 percent of the species of the world flora, the biggest vegetable diversity in the Cuban archipelago and of the insular Caribbean. It possesses, at the own time, the biggest density in endemic species of the terraqueous globe, solely comparative with the Island of the New Caledonia, to the east of Australia.

Main nucleus of the Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve (it occupies more than half of their total area), the biggest and more valuable in 4 o'clock existent in our country, this ecosystem is, in view of the visitor, as a beautiful group of exclusive postcards of mountains, plateaus, plains, bays, very mighty rivers, keys, and coralline reefs.

The application of methods to avoid the erosion of the floors, for example, alive barriers, cárcavas correction, of inadequate, and other drainages, as well as the blockade construction, trails against fires in inaccessible places, with the purpose of preserving more than 14 000 hectares of practically virgin forests, are also part of the stocks that are executed in the park and for that which is had the population's contribution that inhabits the 22 tied communities with the Alejandro of Humboldt, 7 of those which are inside their limits.

As much for their abundance as for their diversity and endemism, in the properties of Humboldt they are located, on the other hand, the widest and rich species in the Cuban fauna. Among the strangest and valuable they are the real, almost extinct carpenter, if he is no longer, considered the bird of the virgin forests of Cuba, threatened to disappear the sparrow hawk caguarero, the almiquí, insectivorous mammal of night habits an alive fossil considered.

It possesses a 905 endemic species of the flora, that is to say, the third part of those reported in Cuba, and unique many of them of this area, also, of one of the biggest and more complex representatives in the pluvial forests of the Antilles, which are considered untouched practically by the man, precisely here the elements of the oldest flora in the island are located, with several relict like the dracaena cubensis and the tree Cuban dragon whose relatives are in the Canaries, Africa of the north and Madagascar. Also their mountainous system, the Sagua-Baracoa, is one of the oldest areas in Cuba, with prevalence of rocks in its strata that date of the Mesozoic era, according to studies carried out by experts.

On the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park can be found the world smallest bat (Natalus lepidus 2-3 gr.), the world smallest frog in the north hemisphere (Eleuterodactilus iberia., < 11 mm), the world smallest bird (Mellisuga helenae, 63 mm), and the world smallest scorpion (male) (Microtityus fundorai, 10 mm);one of the biggest insectivorous mammals (Solenodon cubanus, > 582 mm).

Such a wealth explains and it justifies the arduous and complex preservation work that guarantees the Cuban state, with the support, fundamentally financial, of non government organizations as the German Green Gold, in function of that which strengthens the infrastructure created in that park, divided for bigger effectiveness of the works, in 4 sectors (Cupeyal del Norte, Ojito de Agua, La Melba y Baracoa).

It has allowed it to conquer many inevitable tasks, among which can be mentioned the plantation of more than 60 hectares with species of trees in extinction danger, as the incense, zapotillo, tile and the ácana. Of equal is formed it makes treatment silvicultural to an area of similar extension where it was applied raleo, clean, aclareo and court to clean up, to mention some.

Of the jutía andaraz, an exclusive rodent of the oriental region, they also exist very peculiar populations inside the park. Even, during enough recent expeditions species were collected presumably of spineless new for the science. Some 25 species of birds were detected, included 18 only in the country, it was corroborated the existence of great quantity of reptiles and a dozen of species of amphibians and of a frog, especially grateful as second more small of the world (of about 10 to 11 millimeters in mature stage) that as it was known it had only been reported before on high iberia.

Ideal for the nature tourism, the humanity's ecological jewel takes, with justice, the illustrious German scientist's name (1769-1859) who for its contributions to the knowledge of our nature, the second discoverer of the island is considered.

 
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© 2017 Nigel Hunt