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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Situated on Guadeloupe Island in the Caribbean Sea, this biosphere reserve comprises two geographically separate sites. Basse-Terre comprises a tropical forest, located in the west of the island and watched over by the still active volcano of La Soufrière (1,467 meters above sea level). The tropical forest, which is completely uninhabited, is home to over 300 species of trees and bushes, in spite of the presence of man who, for centuries, has decimated numerous species.
Grand-Cul-de-Sac Marin, a vast bay of 15,000 hectares between Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre includes coral reefs, mud flats, sea-grass bed and mangrove forests, freshwater swamps forests and marshes. In the lagoon, sea-floor ‘meadows’ provide habitat to turtles and teem with fish. Giant sponges and soft corals, urchins and fish are abundant. The mangrove hosts many sedentary and migratory birds (pelicans, terns, moorhens, ducks, herons and kingfishers). Parts of the biosphere reserve also comprise a Ramsar site, designated in 1993.
The transition areas of the biosphere reserve include numerous small towns and villages with many tourist facilities. Some 225,500 inhabitants live permanently in the biosphere reserve and there are about 20,000 visitors per year only to the marine part of the area (2000). Threats to the biosphere reserve are hurricanes, tourism, anchorage on coral reefs, deforestation and water pollution. A management plan was implemented in 1998 with the objectives to maintain biodiversity and good water quality.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forest, coral reefs and mangrove forest
  Major habitats & land cover types   Dense tropical forest with Hymenaea courbaril, Byrsonima coriacea, Buchenavia capitata etc.; transition forest with Charianthus corymbosus, Inga martinicensis and Senecio lucidus; bush areas including Clusia mangle and Didymopanax attenuatus; savannah and peat bogs characterized by Lobeliaceae, Gesneriaceae, Polypodiaceae and Sphagnaceae; mangroves with Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa and Conocarpus erectus; freshwater swamp forest dominated by Pterocarpus officinalis; wet pastures; coral reefs
  Location   16°00' to 16°27'N; 61°27' to 61°48'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   69,707
  Core area(s)   16,330 (of which marine: 2,115)
  Buffer zone(s)   22,377 (of which mangrove: 5,000)
  Transition area(s) when given   31,000 (of which marine: 15,000, and lagoon: 10,000)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -100 to +1,467
  Year designated   1992
  Administrative authorities   Parc National de Guadeloupe
  Brief description   Coral reefs
Rain forest
Monitoring of birds
Monitoring and study on forest regeneration
Monitoring of illegal forestry in the core area
Evaluation of effects of management practices
Reintroduction/rehabilitation of species
Distinguishing man-made effects from natural fluctuation
Mapping of the different zones of the biosphere reserve
Mapping using GIS methodology
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, birds, coral reefs, forest systems, methodologies, reintroduction, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, sub-tropical and temperate rainforest/sub-tropical forest.
  Socio-economic   Forestry, monitoring methodologies.
  Integrated monitoring   Geographic Information System/GIS, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, management issues, mapping, planning and zoning measures/zonation.
  Contact address   Denis Girou
Parc National de Guadeloupe
Habitation Beausoleil Montéran
  Telephone   (590) (0) 590 80 86 02
  Web site
  Contact address   Bernard Patin
Réserve de biosphère de l'Archipel de Guadeloupe
Habitation Beausoleil, Montéran
  Telephone   (33) (0) 5 90 80 86 07
  Fax   (33) (0) 5 90 80 05 46

Last updated: 23/02/2007

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