General information
Summary
Description
Threats
Recommended solutions
Conclusions
References

 

 

 

While there are several existing natural science studies of the area, more studies are needed in order to better understand the physical-ecological environment, which would in turn help to create proper zoning for the park. In addition, studies in other disciplines such as management, planning, and social science are needed.  

 

Surprisingly, there is a lack of information regarding the park's geology and its paleontological importance. No research has been conducted despite the area's reputation among geologists and paleontologists as a "fossil nursery" (Roberto Lozán and Vladimir Nesterovsky, personal commentary). Excavations in neighboring regions have resulted in globally important discoveries. In 1997, fossils of a giant ground sloth  (Eremotherium rusconii) were found close to the town of Barbacoas. This ancient relative of today's sloth weighed 3 tons (Matos 1997). In addition, they found remains of spears and other man-made projectiles more than 10,000 years old.

 

There have been several vegetative studies. The páramo and subpáramo of Cendé were characterized in Santos-Niño et al. 1997, and there have been other botanic collections, still unfinished, conducted by staff from the National Herbarium in several locations (Rodrigo Duno, Rina Ricardi and Wilmer Díaz, personal communication).

 

The distribution of members of the Asclepiadaceae family is known in a general and incomplete way (Morillo 1991), as is the structure and spatial inclinations of the vegetation of the páramo and subpáramo  (Santos-Niño et al. 1997). This is the extent of the vegetation studies; the other vegetation types within the park have not been studied.

 

The Vectors Biological Laboratory in Venezuela Central University's Tropical Zoology Institute completed an inventory of Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae) in 2002, in order to evaluate possible Malaria vectors (Hermes Piñango, personal communication).

 

In 1991, a preliminary geochemical evaluation was conducted in the upper basin of Tocuyo River, from its headwaters in Jabón to where it ends at Dos Cerritos Reservoir in Lara. The results show that some of the chemical indicators are above the average levels for South American Rivers and the researchers determined that this pollution comes from domestic waste and agricultural runoff found along the central stretch of the river (Pérez 1991), outside of the park, where there is greater human presence and more intense agricultural activity.

 

Currently, biologist Shaenandoa García is working to characterize the spectacled bear's (Tremarctos ornatus) habitat use. This species is considered endangered and its presence in the park is considered occasional (Goldstein 1993). Previous studies revealed the rural farmers' perceptions of the bear and their relation to it: They reported cases of bear hunting when supposedly, the bears had predated their cattle (Goldstein 1993).

 

Since 2001, thanks to the support of WWF-USA and FUDENA, an ecological corridor project is underway attempting to connect the national parks located in the Portuguesa Range (Yacambú, Terepaima, Dinira, Guache, and Guaramacal), in order to guarantee interconnection and genetic flow between these currently isolated areas. The project will allow for continued connectivity between the parks and creates the long-term framework for conserving their biodiversity. The direct project benefits include spectacled bear (a keystone species) conservation, protection of the upper basins of rivers that supply water to important regional towns and that are essential to the region's development, and creation and promotion of sustainable development alternatives for local people in the area (Fudena 2003).

 

The group "Grupo Ecológico y Excursionista Dinira" has been conducting security campaigns and implementing preventive measures in the park since 1999.  They also volunteer during Carnival and Saint's Week to help control the visitors that fill up the park's tourist installations.

 

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