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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Bosawas Biosphere Reserve is located in the north of the country, next to the frontier with Honduras. Together with three neighbouring protected areas of Honduras ‘Río Patuca’ National Park, ‘Tawhaka’ Anthropological Reserve, and ‘Río Plátano’ Biosphere Reserve, it constitutes the so called 'Heart of the Mesoamerican Biocorridor', representing the largest protected area complex of tropical mountain moist forest north of the Amazon basin. The Isabella Mountain chain crosses the reserve from southwest to northwest towards the Atlantic plain. As a cluster of existing protected areas it includes the Saslaya National Park, a complex of old volcanic peaks as ‘Cerro Saslaya’ and other peaks with 1,594 meters above sea level. Numerous small streams cascade from the mountains into the Rio Wani, which is an upper tributary of the Rio Prinzapolka. This is a hilly area, covered with tropical humid forest, tropical cloud forest and pine savannas. The biodiversity is extremely rich, with many rare or endangered species. There are more than 130,000 inhabitants (1998), mostly farmers, who live in the extensive agricultural frontier areas. The indigenous Mayangna and Miskitu groups live essentially from subsistence agriculture (maize, beans, rice, cacao, tuber), domestic animals raising and traditional medicine practices in their collective territories. The expansion of colonization with its temporarily and unproductive agricultural systems threatens conservation of pristine forest ecosystems. The Bosawas law of October 2001 lays the basis for the institutional, regulatory, conceptual and participatory development of Bosawas. Within this framework, the reserve’s Management Plan was elaborated in a participatory process involving the various stakeholders at the local, national and regional level, giving the conceptual and operational references to implement the strategy of sustainable land use.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forest
  Major habitats & land cover types   Tropical humid forest dominated by Dialium guianensis, Ampelocera hottlei, Pseudolmedia oxyphyllaria etc.; pre-mountainous tropical very humid forest characterized by Dialium guianensis, Pouroma bicolor, Ocotea paulli etc.; low mountainous very humid forest
  Location   14°00'N; 85°00'W (central point)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   2,181,500
  Core area(s)   329,800
  Buffer zone(s)   523,700
  Transition area(s) when given   1,328,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +30 to +1,650
  Year designated   1997
  Administrative authorities   Ministerio del Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARENA) Comunidades Mayangnas/Miskitu
  Brief description   Climatic parameters
Mercury contamination
Taxonomy of vascular flora and insects
Natural medicines
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, contaminants, heavy metals.
  Biodiversity   Flora, invertebrates/insects/spiders, natural medicinal products, taxonomy.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Angela Yadira Meza Vargas
Directora de la Reserva de Biosfera Bosawas
km. 121/2 Carreterra Norte, Frente a corporacion de zonas francas, Apartado postal n°5123
  Telephone   (505) 84362065
  Fax   (505) 22632370

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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