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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Buenavista Biosphere Reserve is situated on the northern coast of Cuba, in parts of the Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus and Diego de Avila provinces, covering a total surface area of 313,502 hectares. The larger marine part includes coral reefs, rocky and sandy beaches, while the terrestrial part is composed of evergreen microphyllous coastal and subcoastal forest, mangrove forest, and matorral. The site has a high biodiversity of flora and fauna and many endemic (20) and threatened species. The Buenavista Biosphere Reserve has eleven core areas in two National Parks: Caguanes and Santa Maria Key and two Fauna refuges: west of ’Santa Maria‘ Key and ’Las Loras‘ key. These core areas contain extraordinary natural, historical and cultural values with 35 archaeological sites and caves with rural art and wall paintings. Some 25,524 permanent inhabitants (2001) live in the biosphere reserve in four towns and six rural villages. Their main economic activities are tourism, handicrafts, traditional medicine, apiculture, traditional agriculture (sugar cane), fishery, forestry and community agriculture. Tourism has a considerable development potential. Around 7,000 tourists visit the area annually and some of the main activities are hunting, fishing, beach tourism, diving and speleology. Conservation of traditional practices for the use of natural resources by local communities strengthens their cultural identity. Many environmental education programmes are carried out in the biosphere reserve. Several national and international scientific projects are being carried out and current research activities including hydro-meteorological parameters, conservation of beaches, as well as characterization and possible exploitation of water and therapeutic mud on small islands. UNESCO is providing a support for a research project on mangroves. It is twinned with Isla Contoy National Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.
  Major ecosystem type   Coastal and marine components / Mangrove
  Major habitats & land cover types   Evergreen microphyllous coastal and sub-coastal forest characterized by Amyris elemifera, Bursera simaruba, Coccoloba diversifolia etc.; temporarily inundated evergreen microphyllous forest dominated by Annona glabra, Bucida palustris and Saval parviflora; mangrove including Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Conocarpus erecta and Laguncularia racemosa; coastal and sub-coastal forests with xeromorphic matorral including Aloe barbadensis, Agave legrelliana, Brya ebenus etc.; matorral on sandy beaches with Bourreria ovata, Casasia clusiaefolia, Erithalis fruticosa etc.; halophile communities with elements of mangrove with species such as Avicennia germinans, Batis maritima, Conocarpus erecta etc.; rocky beaches with Jacquinia keyensis, Lantana involucrata, Rachicallis americana etc.; sandy beaches including Canavalia maritima, Chamaesyce buxifolia, Coccoloba uvifera etc.; semi-deciduous forest with Bursera simaruba, Cedrela odorata and Cordia gerascanthus; coral reefs
  Location   North: 22°46'N; 78°53'W
South: 22°08'N; 78°46'W
East: 22°35'N; 78°57'W
South: 22°25'N; 79°25'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   313,500
  Core area(s)   76,518 (of which marine: 58,099)
  Buffer zone(s)   19,570 (of which marine: 10,304)
  Transition area(s) when given   217,412 (of which marine: 156,148)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -1 to +336
  Year designated   2000
  Administrative authorities   Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente (CITMA)
  Brief description   Hydrometeorological parameters
Conservation of beaches
Characterization and possible exploitation of water and therapeutic mud on small islands ('cayos')
Characterization and management of fish associations
Characterization and management of threatened populations of marine vertebrates
Composition of communities living in the biosphere reserve
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Meteorology.
  Biodiversity   Beach/soft bottom, conservation, fauna, fishes, island systems/islands, natural resources, rare/endangered/threatened species.
  Socio-economic   Resource use.
  Integrated monitoring   Management issues.
  Contact address   Ernesto Pulido
Reserva de Biosfera Buenavista
Ministerio de Ciencias tecnología y Medio Ambiente
 Santi Spiritus
  Telephone   (53) 41327779

Last updated: 30/10/2007

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