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Top 50 - Latin America and the Caribbean [2020]

 
 
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Author Jurre
Partaker
#106 | Posted: 27 May 2020 15:22 | Edited by: Jurre 
Full Name of Site: Viruá National Park
Country: Brazil
TWHS? No
Short description of site: Viruá National Park is a Ramsar wetland that protects an area with very infertile sandy soil, periodically flooded, that has no economic value but has exceptionally high biodiversity. The park covers an extensive sandy plain, and holds the Viruá alluvial "megafan". Soils are extremely poor in nutrients and highly acidic. It is in the megadiverse "Campinaranas" ecological region, on the lower Rio Branco ("White River") within the Rio Negro basin. It covers a mosaic of forested and non-forested humid ecosystems, which are representative of a unique geo-ecological system in the Amazon, and play important roles in flood control, sediment deposition and other natural cycles. The many environments support high biodiversity, and the park is one of the main areas for studying campinarana. The Site presents exceptional levels of biodiversity, especially of fish with 500 species recorded, and birds with over 530 species recorded of which 28 are endemic. More than 2,000 plants species have been identified, and it is estimated that there are more than 5,000 in total, making it one of the most botanically diverse conservation units in Brazil.
Criteria: Natural

Resources: Viruá National Park (Wikipedia), Viruá National Park (Ramsar)

Author Jurre
Partaker
#107 | Posted: 27 May 2020 18:26 | Edited by: Jurre 
Full Name of Site: Utría National Natural Park
Country: Colombia
TWHS? No
Short description of site: The Utría National Natural Park is a representant of the Global 200 "Panama Bight mangroves" ecoregion and the "Panama Bight" Global 200 Marine ecoregion, which are not yet on the WHL. The subregion "Esmeraldas-Pacific Colombia mangroves", where the park is located, has the status "Critical/Endangered". The park contains diverse flora and fauna in a lush, mountainous rainforest environment with some of the highest rainfall in the world an also protects the coastal marine environment. It is known for visits by humpback whales, who give birth in the lagoon after which the park is named, and sea turtles who nest on the beaches. There are coral reefs along the shore that contain 11 of the 16 species of coral recorded in the Pacific region. About 81 species of mollusks have been reported and there are over 180 species of fish ranging from tiny goby fish to the huge whale shark. There are various medicinal plants, and seven of the ten species of mangroves found on the Colombian Pacific coast. Fauna in the forest include jaguar, cougar, white-lipped and collared peccary, mantled howler, black-headed spider monkey and giant anteater. There are many reptiles and amphibians, and about 380 species of birds in all strata of the forest, a very high level of diversity.
Criteria: Natural

Resources: Utría National Natural Park, Esmeraldas-Pacific Colombia mangroves, South American Pacific mangroves

Author Jurre
Partaker
#108 | Posted: 27 May 2020 20:03 
Full Name of Site: Amazon Reef
Country: Brazil
TWHS? No
Short description of site: The Amazon Reef is an extensive coral and sponge reef system. It is one of the largest known reef systems in the world, with scientists estimating its length at over 1,000 kilometres and comparable to the size of the island of Cyprus. The site would also be a representative of the "Northeast Brazil Shelf Marine" Global 200 Marine ecoregion. The reef's existence is unusual, as reef systems do not often exist in the mouths of larger rivers like the Amazon, due to the low salinity and high acidity, in addition to the continuous rain of sediments. The reef primarily owes its existence to its depth, as it is below the freshwater layer of discharge from the Amazon into the Atlantic Ocean. The majority of the reef is made up of beds of rhodolith, various species of red algae, which superficially resemble coral. While it has been described as "not having the biodiversity of some of the more prominent coral reefs of the world", 61 species of sponge and 73 species of fish, in addition to various coral and starfish species, have so far been identified as inhabiting the reef.
Criteria: Natural

Resources: Amazon Reef

Author Jurre
Partaker
#109 | Posted: 28 May 2020 09:48 
Even if it is officially the US, I would like to propose this site in Puerto Rico:

Full Name of Site: Arecibo Observatory
Country: US (Puerto Rico)
TWHS? No
Short description of site: The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in Puerto Rico. For more than 50 years, the Arecibo Observatory's 1,000-foot (305-meter) radio telescope was the world's largest single-aperture telescope. It is used in three major areas of research: radio astronomy, atmospheric science, and radar astronomy. The observatory has appeared in film, gaming and television productions, gaining more recognition in 1999 when it began to collect data for the SETI@home project. Many scientific discoveries have been made with the observatory: the discovery of the periodicity of the Crab Pulsar, the first binary pulsa and the first millisecond pulsar.
Criteria: Cultural

Resources: Arecibo Observatory

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#110 | Posted: 28 May 2020 15:19 
@Winterkjm... We need a summary :)

Author Jurre
Partaker
#111 | Posted: 28 May 2020 15:50 
Assif:
Name: Pomier Caves

I will second this: "largest collection of rock art in the Caribbean" + Taino are not yet well represented on the List

Author Assif
Partaker
#112 | Posted: 28 May 2020 16:10 
Jurre:
Full Name of Site: Arecibo Observatory

We have discussed it with other historic modern observatories, mostly Hale Telescope. I would second a serial nomination.

Jurre:
Full Name of Site: Amazon Reef

Coral reef are extremely valuable and underrepresented. I second this.

Jurre:
Utría National Natural Park

Probably better as an extension to Los Katios NP WHS.

Author Jurre
Partaker
#113 | Posted: 28 May 2020 16:53 
Assif:
Probably better as an extension to Los Katios NP WHS.

Not sure, as the Utria NP does also have a strong focus on the marine part, which Los Katios doesn't have.

Author Jurre
Partaker
#114 | Posted: 28 May 2020 16:54 | Edited by: Jurre 
Assif:
We have discussed it with other historic modern observatories, mostly Hale Telescope. I would second a serial nomination.

It's difficult making a choice for a serial nomination, also because Arecibo, a radio telescope, would be placed together with optical telescopes.

But if I would select a series, maybe these parts:
- Yerkes Observatory (USA)
- Meudon Great Refractor (France)
- Mount Wilson Observatory (USA)
- Atacama Large Millimeter Array (Chile)

But I feel any selection might feel random.

Author Assif
Partaker
#115 | Posted: 28 May 2020 17:00 
Jurre:
It's difficult making a choice for

I am also fine seconding Arecibo alone. Its interaction with the natural setting was revolutionary.

Author Jurre
Partaker
#116 | Posted: 28 May 2020 17:04 | Edited by: Jurre 
Assif:
I am also fine seconding Arecibo alone. Its interaction with the natural setting was revolutionary.

It is mainly that which makes this stand out in my opinion.

Author Jurre
Partaker
#117 | Posted: 28 May 2020 19:05 | Edited by: Jurre 
Full Name of Site: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Country: Costa Rica
TWHS? No
Short description of site: The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve consists of 6 ecological zones, 90% of which are virgin forest. and has a high biodiversity, consisting of over 2,500 plant species (including the most orchid species in a single place), 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects. Epiphytes, which make up 29% of the flora with 878 species, are the richest life form among species of flora in Monteverde. The Monteverde region is also known as the site with the largest number of orchids in the world. The total number of known species surpasses 500, and of these, 34 species discovered in the Reserve were new to science at the time of their discovery. Herpetofauna of the area is worth noting, with 161 species of amphibians and reptiles. On a global scale, the cloud forests of Monteverde are home to ten species of birds that are considered to be endangered by the organization Birdlife International, due to their very restricted habitat worldwide. The famed quetzal resides here seasonally. National Geographic has called the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve "the jewel in the crown of cloud forest reserves".
Criteria: Natural

Resources: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Monteverde

Author vantcj1
Partaker
#118 | Posted: 29 May 2020 21:56 | Edited by: vantcj1 
Rafabram:
Name: Las Pozas, Xilitla

I am definitely seconding this. As you said, the list doesn't have anything like this and from this period and type. It is a great example of concepts coming from surrealism and which came to fruition in a large, luxuriant tropical gardenscape.

mrayers:
Assif:
Name: Ciudad Perdida
Country: Colombia
TWHS: yes (147)
Description: Ciudad Perdida (Spanish for "Lost City") is the archaeological site of an ancient city in Colombia's Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

I would have proposed it, had I had the time in the last weeks to check the forum.
However, I am proposing an amendment to this site, to include the whole "Tayrona and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Parks and their archaeological sites" TLS, as a mixed site. I just think the site is stellar and totally Top 50 material, not only having the remains of Ciudad Perdida, Buritaca and several small and large archaeological sites, but being these representatives of the Isthmo-Colombian cultures being well inside these two big national parks.
Most importantly, these parks are a complex ranging from the Caribbean coastline to 5.770 meters of height, constituting the highest coastal mountain range in the world (comparing positively with the a-few-years-ago nominated and not inscribed Alps Maritimes) and home to a huge biodiversity coming from its diverse biomes (it is stated that the parks contain all the biomes existing in Colombia). As an example of that, just the SNSM park houses 628 species of birds, 120 of mammals, and 142 of amphibians and reptiles. The parks also house 4 indigenous groups that keep their ways of life, namely the Kogui, Wiwa, Arhuaco and Kankuamo.
Lastly, SNSM NP is also mentioned in the IUCN Comparative Study on Mountains as a priority site in the Neotropical realm.

Assif:
Name: Ometepe

I don't know if Top 50 (but out of my lack of enough information, not that the site may be great), but there should be definitely a WHS in that 276 km2 island (apparently the biggest island located in a freshwater lake), which also includes two volcanoes, the Concepción (1.610 m) and Maderas (1.394 m). The island is quite big and biodiverse, the archaeological sites are also of notice.
One of my best friends comes from that island, I just can't wait for the end of the current government in Nicaragua (and associated turmoil) to visit. It is a must visit in Nicaragua.

Author vantcj1
Partaker
#119 | Posted: 29 May 2020 22:01 
Jurre:
Full Name of Site: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Of course, as a Tico, I am neither proposing nor endorsing sites located in my country, but I think I can provide some insight into sites.

This proposed site had also been briefly mentioned in the last version of the Top50. It's just that the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, although very important in the study of cloud forests and their preservation worldwide (even more so for being a private reserve), is only 41,25 km2 (and only a part of the Arenal-Monteverde protection zone) and it covers heights 1200-1500 msnm on mostly the Pacific side, which are being increasingly affected by climate change, resulting in less cloud cover.

If it ever gets to be seconded by someone, I think it would be best to go for a larger area and a wider range, as Monteverde is in the middle of the Tilarán mountain range, where more contiguous reserves are located (refer to this map) namely:
-The Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve (77,99 km2, B01 in the map), much richer, diverse (covers from 800-1700 m on the more humid Caribbean side, mostly in San Ramón municipality) and which boasts a very important biological station of the University of Costa Rica which has helped identify several endemic species, like the Heliconia ramonensis. This station has (to date) determined that there are 1.012 species of angiospermas, 350 of birds, 57 of mammals and 35 of amphibians and reptiles.
-The Arenal Volcano National Park (119,44 km2, P01 in the map): besides the 7500 yr-old coned-shape volcano, there are several older cones (like Chato volcano, and Los Perdidos mounts), that show an evolution of the volcanic vent, moving from south to north. Currently inactive, the western and northern sides of the volcano are being repopulated by vegetation, after more than 45 yrs of strong activity. Regarding cloud forests, the eastern side of the volcano has some, but Chato volcano and Los Perdidos have much more.
-Most importantly, the Arenal-Monteverde Protection Zone (283,34 km2, Z01 in the map) that connects all these areas and includes reserves like the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, which is at a higher altitude than Monteverde (1600 to 1800 m) and has therefore been less affected by climate change. The whole protection zone ranges from 660 to 1.859 m and being more in the Caribbean side means it is wetter. This protection zone is part of the Three-wattled Bellbird Biological Corridor and its size contributes to it having a great biodiversity: 400 species of birds (1/2 of those in the country), 100 of mammals, 153 of amphibians and reptiles. The Pocosol lagoon, another volcanic remnant, is located there.
I hope this post doesn't look like a nationalist one, but I just wanted to tell that the site would be stronger if the whole compound of B01, P01 and Z01, including a wider altitudinal variation and a larger number of lifezones, is considered.

Author vantcj1
Partaker
#120 | Posted: 29 May 2020 22:04 | Edited by: vantcj1 
I am proposing the following site:
Full Name of Site: Pico da Neblina National Park-Serranía de la Neblina National Park, the Yanomami heartland
Country: Brazil, Venezuela.
TWHS? Partly, only the Brazilian side, under the name "Parc National du Pico da Neblina (Amazonas)"
Short description of site: The centerpiece of this binational complex are the Pico da Neblina (3.014 m) and Pico 31 de Março (2.993 m), the two highest mountains of Brazil and also considered as the highest tepuy in the world (as you may know, a part of the Guiana shield, one of the oldest geological formations in the world). The tepuy is divided in two by one of the deepest canyons in the world, that of the river Baría.
However, I propose this site for two reasons:
a) The 13.600 km2 Venezuelan reserve and the 22.524 km2 Brazilian side form a very large area of pristine Amazonian rainforest and are part of the Biological Corridor of Northern Amazonia. Its vastness contributes to its huge biodiversity and endemism, with a great diversity of rare and endemic plants (like the Neblinaria celiae bush and carnivorous plants) and a great potential for future discoveries of new species, given also the different altitudinal zones in the parks, from tropical primary forest to alpine meadows. Regarding the fauna, it is also reach, including endangered species such as the golden-backed uakari (a primate), the bush dog, the jaguar, the ornate hawk-eagle, the great black hawk, the Toco toucan, the Black Curassow, the Grey-winged trumpeter, the South American tapir, as well as several species of the Callicebinae monkeys. There is also a great variety of snakes, like the Emerald Boa, Lachesis Muta and Anacondas.
b) There is a richness of indigenous groups living in the parks, from the yanomami, tucanos, tuiúcas, desanos, baníuas, coripacos, carapanã, barés, tarianas, piratapuias, yepamasãs, cubeos e warekenas ethnic groups. The most distinctive of them are the yanomamis, which have kept to this day mostly isolated and have a distinctive type of settlements, made up of large and oval-shaped communal houses named shabono.
Criteria: Mixed
Resources: Parque Nacional Pico da Neblina (Brazil); Parque Nacional Serranía La Neblina (Venezuela); Yanomami people.

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 Top 50 - Latin America and the Caribbean [2020]
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