Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve: Duida-Marahuaca National Park (Venezuela)

Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve: Duida-Marahuaca National Park (Venezuela)

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 20:21
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The Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve is located in the Venezuelan Amazon. Duida-Marahuaca National Park, a national protected area which includes the Duida–Marahuaca Massif, lies within the Biosphere Reserve.

Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve

The Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve is located in the Venezuelan Amazon. The altitude ranges from zero mainly in the lowland in the plateaux of Casiquiare Canal, up to 3,000 m (9.842 ft) above sea level in the northeastern region (Cerro Marahuaca). It contains tropical rainforest with Ombrofilis wood.

Venezuela's tepuys are the home of a number of endemic frog species. Sometimes these species are known from only a single tepuy. Several frog species are only known from the summit of Cerro Marahuaca, including Pristimantis marahuaka, Metaphryniscus sosai and Myersiohyla inparquesi.

The Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve has a population of approximately 150,000 inhabitants, of which less than 10% constitutes indigenous groups. The primary aim of the biosphere reserve (which was created in 1992) is to secure the ancestral homelands and traditional lifestyles of Yanomami and Ye’kwana indigenous peoples.

Challenges and problems include the opposition of some local residents towards protected areas and the prohibition of mining and logging activities, the lack of effective mechanisms and technical experience for conservation and development programs, the need for a culturally sensitive and practicable management plan for the region and incursion into the region of illegal gold miners.

Duida-Marahuaca National Park

Duida-Marahuaca National Park, a national protected area that includes the Duida-Marahuaca Massif, lies within the Biosphere Reserve. The National Park has an area of 210,000 ha (519,000 acres).

Cerro Duida, also known as Cerro Yennamadi, is a very large tepui. It has an uneven and heavily-inclined plateau, rising from highs of around 1,300 - 1,400 m (4,300 - 4,600 ft) in the north and east to a maximum of 2,358 m (7,736 ft) on its southwestern rim. At its foot lies the small settlement of La Esmeralda, from which the mountain can be climbed.

Cerro Duida shares a common base with the much smaller (but taller) Cerro Marahuaca, located off its northeastern flank. Together they form the Duida-Marahuaca Massif. Both tepuis are entirely within the bounds of Duida-Marahuaca National Park.