General information
Summary
Description
Threats
Recommended solutions
Conclusions
References

 

 

 

Description

 

Guatopo National Park is located in the interior range of the central part of the Cordillera de la Costa, on the border of Mirando and Guárico States. It includes all of Lagartijo, Taguaza, and Taguacita River Basins and parts of the Cuira and Orituco River Basins, which supply water to the city of Caracas and nearby towns in the Valles de Tuy (Tuy Valleys) and Central Highland Plains. There are three dams within the park, the Lagartijo, Taguacita, and Taguaza, and there are plans for one more dam on the Cuira River. The Guanapito Dam on the Orituco River is nearby. The park protects important humid forests and great biological diversity. 

 

Biodiversity

 

Guatopo is an important biodiversity refuge. The lush, evergreen montane forests grow tall and cover most of the park. In the lower altitudes of the park, there are submontane humid forests and semideciduous seasonal forests. On the mountaintops there are cloud forests. Guatopo harbors many threatened species including the jaguar, tapir, harpy eagle, and the northern spider monkey. Diverse species endemic to the Cordillera de la Costa are found within the park, such as a small palm called "palmito," the frog (Colostethus guatopensis), and birds like the groove-billed toucanet, violet-chested hummingbird, Venezuelan bristle-tyrant, rufous-lored tyrannulet and the handsome fruiteater. A new spider species, Schizomus yolandae, has been reported only in Guatopo.

 

Threats

 

Guatopo is one of the best-conserved parks in Venezuela; in fact, its successful management makes the park a model for the entire park system. Nonetheless, it is considered vulnerable because diverse threats endanger its protection and biological diversity in the medium term. Illegal hunting is one of the main threats, followed by illegal logging.   In the eastern section of the park, which was included in the protected area in 1985, agricultural development is a large threat because and  the inhabitants' relocation program was not fully implemented. Added to these problems is insufficient equipment and a budget that prohibits contraction of additional park guards.

 

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