Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Los Haitises National Park

Los Haitises National Park is a national park located on the remote northeast coast of the Dominican Republic. It is a protected virgin forest with little road access. The number of tourists allowed is limited, but since 2000 it has been a relatively popular destination for ecotourism. Haitis (singular) means highland or mountain range in the Taíno language, although the elevation of the park's hills ranges from 30–40 m (98–130 ft). There is a multitude of caverns created by water erosion. Native Americans adorned these caverns with pictographs and petroglyphs. The culture or cultures which created these artworks remain unidentified, some of them possibly predating the Taínos.

 The park was created by Law 409 enacted June 3, 1976. It was preceded by a Reserva Forestal (Forest Reserve) called Zona Vedada de Los Haitises (Los Haitises Prohibited Zone), created by Law 244. In 1996, it area was expanded from 208 to 826 km2 (80 to 319 sq mi) by Decree 233. Its boundary, which has been redrawn on multiple occasions, is presently uncertain. The bulk of the park is located in the municipality of Sabana de la Mar, province of Hato Mayor, while the remainder lies in the provinces of Monte Plata and Samaná. Sabana de la Mar is the site of a visitors' center.

Despite advanced deforestation, the precipitation is still considerable, ranging from 1,900–2,000 mm (75–79 in) annually. The park is near the top rank in both annual total rainfall and annual number of rainy days among sites in the Dominican Republic.

The area was formed during the Miocene epoch of the Neogene period. Geomorphologically, it is a platform karst with dense clusters of conical hills of nearly uniform height (200–300 m/660–980 ft) in between which there are many sinkholes. The maximum dimensions of this platform karst block are 82 km (51 mi) east to west (from Sabana de la Mar to Cevicos) by 26 km (16 mi) north to south (from the Samaná Bay to Bayaguana). The hills of the interior have the same origin as the islets of the Samaná Bay. There is a multitude of caverns.

 Hydrographically, Los Haitises spans portions of two basins: in its western half, the lower basin of the Yuna River; and in its eastern half, a zone spanning Miches and Sabana de la Mar. The Yuna drains through two mouths: its own and that of the Barracote River. In addition to these two rivers, the park is traversed by the Payabo River, the Los Cocos River, the Naranjo River, and numerous natural channels including the Cabirma, Estero, and Prieto.

Los Haitises has two Holdridge life zones: humid subtropical forest (Bh-S) and very humid subtropical forest (Bmh-S). Broadleaf species in the park include "musk wood" (Guarea guidonia, locally cabirma santa), cigar-box cedar (Cedrela odorata), ceiba (Ceiba pentandra), West Indian mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni, Spanish caoba), cupey (Clusia rosea), and grandleaf seagrape (Coccoloba pubescens). There are many species of orchids. Los Haitises contains the greatest abundance of Caribbean mangrove, in which species like red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) predominate.

Origin : Wikipedia..

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