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El Yunque and it's Conservation Efforts

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by

Carlos Vega-Diaz

on 2 March 2014

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Transcript of El Yunque and it's Conservation Efforts

Sources
El Yunque National Forest
El Yunque is located in the Caribbean in Puerto Rico
Flora and Fauna
Flora
Tropical Ferns and Shrubs
Over 240 species of trees (26 of which are only found in Puerto Rico)
50 species of Orchids
There are many kinds of palm plants and trees in El Yunque, this adaptation helps them take in and store lots of water
Fauna
Puerto Rico's only native mammals are bats, which come in about 15 different species; most of the animals are birds and reptiles
El Yunque has several reptiles which include: Anoles, Iquanas, Frogs, and non-poisonous snakes
For birds El Yunque has: Guaraguao (Red-Tailed Hawk), San Pedrito Tody, Sharp-Shinned Hawk, the Broad-Winged Hawk, and many others
The most notable of all the animals would have to be the tiny coqui frogs which sing at night
Conservation
Endangered Animals
Puerto Rican Boa: the Boa is a brown colored snake that is about 1.8-2.7 meters in length, the snake is endangered and the authorities are now starting to take action to save the snake
Broad-Winged Hawk: the Broad Winged Hawk is a species of hawk native to Puerto Rico and in 1992 there were only 124 left, some organizations have attempted to stop the forest destruction and construction that have caused this bird's decline
Sharp-Shinned Hawk: Another hawk native to Puerto Rico that has become endangered due to nesting problems and habitat destruction; There are five mountain locations where efforts are being made to protect these birds
Why I Chose It and What Should Be Done
I chose El Yunque National Park as my site because my parents and the rest of my extended family was born in Puerto Rico. I actually have been to El Yunque about 4 times during vacations to the island, the last time was when I was 8.
El Yunque and it's Conservation Efforts
El Yunque's structure
El Yunque is divided into four sections
Dwarf Forest: top level of the forest, receives the most rain, misty, smaller plants
Palm Forest: Is just below Dwarf Forest and has a multitude of palm plants and trees
Wet Forest: contains several types of wet reddish canopy trees
Moist Forest: categorizes most of Puerto Rico and is the lowest level
Amazona vittata
The Puerto Rican Parrot, shown right, is the only parrot native to Puerto Rico
Unfortunately it is one the most critically endangered animals in the world and there was an estimated 20-26 in 2006 but now the numbers are around 300-500
To help the bird recover conservation sites have been built by Iquaca Aviary, Caribbean Wildlife Nature Refuge Complex, and in the Maricao State Forest
Forest Destruction and Conservation
Deforestation: this a played a major role in destroying much of the plants and animals living in El Yunque; Deforestation has been caused by demand for wood and the increasing population
Pollution: pollution to the forest is being caused by fossil fuels and trash from humans, another cause of pollution is deforestation which leaves the soil and ecosystem weak
Solution: the reason people can cut down the trees near El Yunque is that not all of the land has been purchased for protection , so anything can be done to it; some organizations are attempting to convince the government to pass laws that shall protect the unprotected areas without need to buy them
Flora and Fauna Pictures
Amazon vittata aka Cottora
I believe that more laws should be put in place to protect the land surrounding El Yunque as well, since deforestation in the nearby areas has hurt the edges of the forest. There have been many efforts and sites dedicated to bringing the endangered animal populations back up and preventing deforestation, but unless laws are put in place and enforced we shall accomplish nothing.
El Yunque is one of the oldest wildlife reserves in the Americas since it was set aside by King Alfonso the 12th of Spain in 1876.
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"El Yunque National Forest - About the Forest." El Yunque National Forest. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. <http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/elyunque/about-forest/?cid=fsbdev3_042958>.
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"El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico/animals/plants/puerto rican parrot picture." El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico/animals/plants/puerto rican parrot picture. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. <http://www.elyunque.com/elyunque.htm>.
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"Puerto Rican Coquí." Puerto Rican Coquí. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. <http://www.elboricua.com/coqui.html>.
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Ramirez, Jennie T.. "Flora." Flora. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. <http://cremc.ponce.inter.edu/yunque/flora.htm>.
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