General information
Summary
Description
Threats
Recommended solutions
Conclusions
References

 

 

 

Cerro El Copey National Park is located in the highest mountain region of Nueva Esparta State, on the eastern side of Margarita Island. It was created in 1974 to protect an outstanding landscape feature harboring various plant communities, high levels of endemism, and the island's only permanent water source. Desert plains surround the park and in spite of its low elevation (1000 m), northeastern winds carry enough humidity to maintain evergreen forests and montane shrubs. Semi-deciduous and dry forests dominate the lower parts of the park, where plantations and local communities are already occasionally infringing on the park's boundaries. A proposal to double the area of the park was recently issued.

 

Biodiversity


Cerro El Copey is a significant area of species endemism. Four mammal subspecies have their principal natural refuge in this park. Four out of the 67 bird species living in the park are endemic to Margarita Island. Two vertebrate subspecies (one mammal and one bird) are critically endangered. Cerro El Copey's flora is very similar to that of the Coastal Mountain Range. There are reports of nine endemic species from different plant groups. Cerro Copey is named after a common shrub on the island (of the Clusia genus).

 

Threats


In spite of a good conservation status and reliable management team, the existence of Cerro El Copey National Park, is threatened by the serious budget crisis currently affecting INPARQUES. A summary of the primary threats to this protected area includes: insufficient personnel, lack of infrastructure, inadequate budget and research, presence of exotic species, poaching, rapid growth of the surrounding communities, land use changes, forest fires and incorrect zoning of the antenna area. For all these reasons, Cerro El Copey National Park is considered vulnerable.

 

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