RI 14 CUBA
Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt
Forests throughout the Insular Caribbean fell under the colonists’ axes and were converted to sugarcane, coffee, plantain, and cacao plantations. Now, original or slightly altered forests are extremely privileged. In eastern Cuba, the most extensive rainforests in the entire Caribbean are found in the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park.
The Park harbors unique and extraordinaire flora and fauna. There is still hope to find again Cuban Kites and Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, where it was last reported. The area’s pristine conditions allow the largest population of the almiquí, an endemic, insectivorous mammal, to survive, as well as endemic birds like Giant Kingbird and Bee Hummingbird, and it is a refuge to many migratory bird species (and individuals) from North America.
To add to its importance, the coastal border shelters manatees in the Bahia de Taco, you can find Polymita mollusks growing on limestones substrates, endemism levels can reach 70% in Yamanigüey, El Toldo, and Monte Iberia, and one of the most impressive features is the description of the Toa River as the most important source of fresh water in the Insular Caribbean, having the river’s tributary streams and rivers spring from the park.
Photo by Gerardo Begué