RI 13 CUBA
Parque Nacional la Bayamesa
More than one thousand species of plants and a larger number of animals find refuge in the rough and beautiful landscape of La Bayamesa National Park. It comprises only 0.2% of the area of Cuba, it is protected by its difficult access. The Park native forest encompasses the largest contiguous area above 1,200 m altitude in Cuba. Intact cloud forests mantle its tallest mountain peaks, named after heroes in the nation’s struggle for independence.
Together with Turquino National Park, this area is the main center of biodiversity in the Sierra Maestra and one the principal within all the Caribbean islands. Many species restricted to the Sierra Maestra are found in Parque Nacional La Bayamesa Eleven species of endemic birds to Cuba are present, often in significant numbers (such as Cuban Trogon and Cuban Solitaire). The Park also shelters important populations of North American migrant birds, especially Black-throated Blue Warbler, and populations of many globally threatened plants and animals.
These natural treasures of La Bayamesa deserve to be studied and appreciated in their full magnitude. But it is one of the least studied national parks in Cuba, even though the information from such studies is crucial for the evaluation of conservation targets and for the development of effective management plans.
Photo by Laura Watson