Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve: Duida-Marahuaca National Park (Venezuela)
The Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve is located in the Venezuelan Amazon. Duida-Marahuaca National Park, a national protected area that 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. Designated in 1993, it has a total area of 8,266,230 ha (20,426,300 acres).
The Biosphere Reserve contains three national protected areas:
- Duida-Marahuaca National Park
- Serranía de la Neblina National Park
- Parima Tapirapecó National Park
Altitude ranges from 0 - 100 m (0 - 328 ft) in the lowland plateau of the Casiquiare Canal, up to 3,000 m (9,842 ft) above sea level in the northeastern region of Cerro Marahuaca. It contains tropical rainforest with Ombrofilis wood.
Flora and Fauna
Habitats include lower montane rainforest with trees in the Clusia, Brocchinia, Ananas, and Pitcairnia genera, semideciduous rainforest with trees such as Pourouma guianensis, Brownea ariza, Alexa superba, Cupania scrobiculata, Campinarana dominated by Eperua purpurea and holding Eperua falcata, Peltogyne caatingae, and Aldinia discolor, lowland rainforest, and palm forest with Oenocarpus bataua and Leopoldonia piassaba.
Endangered mammals include Fernandez's sword-nosed bat (Lonchorhina fernandezi).
Venezuela's tepuys are the home of several endemic frog species. Sometimes these species are known from only a single tepuy. For example, 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 Biosphere Reserve's primary aim (created in 1992) is to secure the ancestral homelands and traditional lifestyles of the Yanomami and Ye'kwana indigenous peoples.
Duida-Marahuaca National Park
Duida-Marahuaca National Park, a national protected area that includes the Duida-Marahuaca Massif (Cerro Duida), lies within the Alto Orinoco-Casiquiare 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.