|Biosphere Reserve Information|
The Baconao Biosphere Reserve is situated in the Neotropics Province of greater Antilles, at the south-eastern region of Cuba, between Santiago de Cuba and the province of Guantanamo including three well defined biogeographic zones: the ‘Meseta de Santiago’, the ‘Sierra de la Gran Piedra’ and the ‘Meseta Santa Maria de Loreto’.
It comprises rainy mountain forests, cloud forest, evergreen mesophyl sub-mountain forest, and evergreen microphyl coastal and sub-coastal xeromorphic bush forests, with pine forests and column cacti. Coastal rocky and sandy habitats, mangroves and cave ecosystems are considered other major habitats. High biodiversity in flora (1,800 reported species) and fauna and many threatened endemic species as bats, spiders and insects’ species living in natural caves are reported (46.6% of ornithofauna).
More than 38,000 people (2001) live in the buffer zone and the transition area, working in tourism, forestry, cattle raising and in agro-ecosystems with coffee, fruits and ornamental flowers. Around 96,360 national and 275,366 foreign tourists visit annually this area. With 13 touristic accommodation’s centres, one museum and 3 camping grounds in the reserve, almost 90% of the population benefits from this activity. One of the more interesting aspects of the biosphere reserve is its important archaeological site that determined three ancient native cultures: ‘Siboney’, ‘Protoagricultor’ and ‘agricultor’. It was the site of ancient immigrants coffee plantations (Haitian and French) that also influenced local practices on introducing species of plants for medicinal, food and ornamental purposes. 270 permanent and 80 foreign researchers have participated in research and monitoring activities, managed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) in several research and monitoring laboratories of the area. The most important is the ‘Centro Oriental de Ecosistemas y Biodiversidad' (BIOECO).
|Major ecosystem type||Tropical humid forests including coastal/marine component|
|Major habitats & land cover types||Coastal and sub-coastal xeromorphic bush forest with tree and column cactii; coastal rocky and sandy habitats; mangroves; rainforest; cloud forest; evergreen forest; gallery and pine forest; agroecosystems with coffee, fruits etc.; forestry systems; cave ecosystems|
|Location||19°52' to 20°08'N; 75°16' to 75°46'W|
|Buffer zone(s)||51,870 (of which marine: 7,380)|
|Transition area(s) when given||27,680|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||0 to +1,123|
|Administrative authorities||Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente (CITMA) Ministerio de la Agricultura Ministerio del Turismo (MINTUR)|
|Last updated: 10/30/2007|