In general, the park's biodiversity is not very well known. Nonetheless, there are several collections of the park's vegetation in the highest altitudes, which help to partially describe the flora.
Thirty-five plant species belonging to 22 families have been described for the subpáramo found on Cendé Peak (2,450 meters above sea level), of which the Gramineae and Pteridaceae (ferns) families have the most extensive coverage. Starting at 3,200 meters above sea level, species' richness declines and in Cendé Peak's páramo there are a total of 20 species belonging to 8 families, of which the Gramineae family dominates followed by Compositae and Iridaceae families (Santos-Niño et al. 1997).
Montane evergreen forests dominate the mountain slopes (photos © César Aponte)
Scrubby, drier forests of the Barbacoas sector contrast with the high, humid
forests found in the Buenos Aires sector (photos © César Aponte)
In the ecotone between the montane forest and the subpáramo (found at 2460 meters above sea level), patches of palms and bush-like frailejones are found (Ruilopezia sp.) (photos © César Aponte).
Dinira harbors the only páramo vegetation of Lara State. Because this vegetation is isolated from the rest of the country's páramos (in Trujillo and Mérida), it is quite possible that it has elevated levels of endemism. Among the known endemic species are Eupatorium larense (Asteraceae), Carramboa trujillensis, Libanothamnus griffinii, Ruilopezia lopez-palazii, Ruilopezia jabonensis, Carex larensis. and Miconia larensis, as well as some bromeliads and four frailejones species (Espeletia sp.) (Crespo 1999). The carnivorous plant, Drosera cendeensis, is endemic to the highest point of the park and is named after Cendé Peak.
Like the park's flora, little is known about the fauna. There are no bird, mammal, amphibian, reptile, or fish inventories for the park. Nonetheless, there is some existing information from unpublished collections or general sightings.
Dinira, along with Trujillo's páramos, is part of an important endemic center for birds (Cracraft 1985 and 1986). There are several specimens of the following bird species collected in the park's highest altitudes in Phelps Ornithological Collection: Mountain toucan (Andigena nigrirostris nigrirostris), Lacrimose mountain-tanager (Anigsognathus lacrymosus melanops), common bush-tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus), inca hummingbird (Coeligena bonapartei eos), collared inca (Coeligena torquata conradii), White-sided flowerpiercer (Diglossa albilatera albilatera), bluish flowerpiercer (Diglossa caerulescens saturata and Diglosssa caerulescens cerulescens), masked flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea cyanea), orange-throated sunangel (Heliangelus mavors), brown backed chat-tyrant (Ochthoeca fumicolor superciliosa), barred fruiteater (Pipreola arcuata arcuata), green-and-black fruiteater (Pipreola riefferii melanolaema), great thrush (Turdus fuscater gigas), glossy black thrush (Turdus serranus atrosericeus), strong-billed woodcreeper (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus), olive-backed woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus triangularis triangularis) and rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis costaricensis) (Miguel Lentino, personal communication).
Dinira is considered an important refuge for endangered species because of the presence of the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) (República de Venezuela 1996a, Rodríguez and Rojas-Suárez 1999). This species' critical condition persuaded the Venezuelan Government to declare an indefinite hunting ban (República de Venezuela 1996b), which prohibits bear hunting throughout the entire country.
Other fauna species found in the park and considered important because of their conservation status include the jaguar (Panthera onca) and rufous brocket deer (Mazama rufina bricenii).
During our field evaluation, we observed jaguarondi prints (Felis yaguaroundi), and later residents of nearby towns confirmed their presence in the park. They also showed us a jaguarondi skeleton collected years ago. In addition, after speaking to the rural farmers in the region we concluded that pumas (Puma concolor) are probably in the park.