but in the end the answer for a criterion ix or x site always seems to be Holocene!
Possibly - but understanding why in each case is part of the "fun" isn't it??
We currently have Pantonal (Crit 7, 9 and 10) down as Cretaceous. Does that "Superlative Beauty" Crit 7 make all the difference?
And Central Amazon (9/10) as Pliocene.
Also Los Katios (9/10) as Early Pleistocene (and Darien (7/9/10)
Discovery Coast (9/10) as Late Pleistocene
Atlantic Forest SE (7/9/10) as Paleocene
and others in Central America .. and what about Paraty and Ihla Grande inscribed simply on Crit 10 and assigned to Paleocene
Perhaps generally we (or at least "I"!) tend to assume that natural sites have been "unchanged" for much longer than they have actually been - even in tropical and equatorial regions, changes of climate (perhaps arising from changes many degrees of latitude away), sea level (the same), and the impact of man can, it turns out, be quite significant and can have brought about changes to flora and fauna which are perhaps not adequately recognised. I, for one, was surprised at the extent and posssible causes of the Natural make up of the Cerrado - in what I had always regarded as a "quiet" part of the World in "recent" geological and ecological times..
Are we/am I being too "strict" in insisting that, for natural WHS, the timeline period we assign should be that one in which the site's "inscribed values" emerged largely is they are today. And how much different can they have been for that not to be so important. What do you think? I have currently been considering the impact on Manu NP of the same changes in the Pleistocene as impacted and changed the Cerrado - is it inevitable (and "correct") that we will come up with the same answer??
I feel that, if having a Timeline at all is worthwhile for natural sites then it seems worth trying to understand the background for each of them - in the same way as we would try to understand the history of a cultural site. Even if we assign many of them to Holocene we can still try to understand and describe how that came about. But we can "drop" the idea as not delivering any value.
PS. It may be that S America is even "worse" than other continents for "Holocene" being the "go to" time period for sites inscribed on Floral/Faunal criteria. I copy this from Wiki
"At the end of the Pleistocene epoch, about 12,000 years ago, three dramatic developments occurred in the Americas at roughly the same time (geologically speaking). Paleoindians invaded and occupied the New World, the last glacial period came to an end, and a large fraction of the megafauna of both North and South America went extinct. This wave of extinctions swept off the face of the Earth many of the successful participants of the GABI, as well as other species that had not migrated."
(GABI = Great American Biotic Interchange")