Protected areas of the Dominican Republic, Nature in the Pure State: a new book by José Manuel Mateo Féliz and Adolfo López Belando
The Dominican Republic has 120 Protected Areas, visited by almost 800 thousand people each year. Ecotourism attracts more visitors every day and benefits the communities where it develops.
The book Protected Areas of the Dominican Republic, Nature in Pure State is a general guide of these natural treasures, with detailed information and splendid photographs of the 59 of them that were constituted by the Sectoral Law of Protected Areas 202-04; The remaining protected areas will be the subject of a second part of the work.
It is the first complete scientific work on these national resources. The conservationist footprint of the authors is very marked and underlines – when necessary – the possible human traps that threaten or affect the integrity of this inestimable collective heritage.
The text states that the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) is made up of 14 Strict Protection Areas (with a total area of 43.904.83 km2); 30 National Parks (10,527.29 km2) and 28 Natural and Cultural Monuments (634.94 km2); 18 Wildlife Refuges (618.54 km2); 15 Natural Reserves (2,412.10 km2) and 13 Protected Landscapes (343.75 km2).
These areas conserve natural ecosystems representative of the various biogeographical and ecological regions; lands of special configuration or with geological peculiarities, especially beautiful landscapes; places for rest and shelters of native or endangered species. In addition, they protect remains or ruins of prehistoric or historical value; wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs with their fauna. A considerable part of these zones preserves the territories that host some of the main water sources of the Country, fundamental for agricultural, industrial, energy and tourism development.
Main Protected Areas of La Romana-Bayahibe
The Protected Areas protect the main natural ecosystems of the Dominican Republic – as are coral reefs – conserving their flora and fauna. The National Park of the East hosts a stable colony of bottlenose dolphins, which traces its routes between Isla Saona and the town of Bayahibe.
– National Park of the East, in the province of La Altagracia, hosts unique mangrove forests and numerous rare or endangered animal species – such as the manatee, different turtles and birds, the rhinoceros iguana, the solenodonte and the hutia, among others . In addition, it contains some 50 vegetal species endemic to the area of the same Park and almost 500 natives of the Country. The Saona Island, Cayo Catalinita and the area of the springs of Padre Nuestro (Bayahibe) are part of its territory. It has numerous caves with notable samples of rock art and archaeological remains of Taino culture.
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– Cueva de las Maravillas, in the province of San Pedro de Macorís, with 300 pre-Hispanic paintings, is a Natural Monument and is considered one of the most important rock art sites in the insular Caribbean.
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