Tropical dry forest for the Jaguarundi

Jaguarundi
Jaguarundi
Photo: Bodlina

Naturefund protects a tropical dry forest on the Pacific coast of Central America, together with ADECA, to preserve it permanently for nature. This forest is a unique and today a very rare forest biotope.

Basic data

Location

The dry forest is located in southwest Nicaragua in the Barranco Bayo ravine. There, the Grande de Carazo River flows through several ravines and is in the last two kilometres of its journey to the Pacific Ocean. Moist winds arrive from the east and empty themselves of rain in the mountains, which means that it is dry for nine months of the year here.

The area is part of a finca and has hardly been farmed, meaning that a tropical dry forest was able to remain. Although it is in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, it rarely rains here. Particular types of flora and fauna reside in this climate. Now Naturefund bought this dry forest and, together with ADECA, preserve it permanently for nature.

Size

90% of this area is dry forest, 10% is former maize fields and should be replanted in the long-term.

Wildlife

Jaguarundi, Ocelot, Gray fox, Ornate Wood turtle, Iguana, Boa constrictor, Nine-banded Armadillo, Common Opossum, Orange-fronted Parakeet and the beautiful Turquoise-browed Motmot, the national bird of Nicaragua.

Flora

Various cacti and Acacias, Jiñocuabo (Bursera simaruba), Caoba (Swietenia humilis), Palo Brasil (Haematoxylum brasiletto), Roble (Tabebuia rosea), Ceibo (Ceiba pentandra).

Special characteristics

Nicaragua forms a bottleneck, where biological diversity from North and South America meets. The dry forest biotope only occurs on the western American Pacific coast and contains a unique diversity of plant and animal species that are specific to this habitat.

This area forms an island between the nature conservation areas “La Maquina” inland and “Chacocente” on the south Pacific, and is an important part of a biological corridor that enables the migration of species from the South to the North.

History

The intensive use of the forests in the region has reduced the indigenous tropical dry forest to the small remaining area.

Since the mid-20th century the region has been used above all for the cultivation of wool and as pastureland. Since 1980, sorghum, sesame and tobacco have been cultivated for export and other areas used for cattle. In particular deforestation, erosion and the practice of monoculture planting, have led to serious damage to the soil.

Partner

For 20 years the local nature conservation and development organization ADECA, has been advocating the protection of natural diversity and environmental education.

During this time ADECA established the first ecological museum of its kind in Central America, in order to make people more aware of the biological diversity of Central America and in particular the rare dry forest on the Pacific coast.

Concept for protection

Naturefund and ADECA would like to replant damaged areas with indigenous trees.

In the long-term ADECA would like to open the area to ecotourism. We would also like to link the finca to other nature reserves. In addition the purchase of further areas and reforestation are under discussion.

 

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