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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Panama

LA AMISTAD

 
       
  General Description   This biosphere reserve is situated in the northwest of Panama, bordering Costa Rica and the Caribbean Sea. It comprises a variety of different habitats, ranging from low humid mountain forest to mangrove forest and coral reefs. In the highlands some important lagoons, have international recognition under the Ramsar Convention as habitats for migratory bird species. It’s also an endemic area of mammals, reptiles amphibious and fish. The unique volcano of Panama, Baru, is also situated in the area. In the low lands a variety of representative species of the Atlantic Panamanian mangrove associations are found, such as ‘orey’, ‘rafia’, and ‘cativo’, ‘sangrillo’ y ‘cerillo’ in the San-San Pond Sak wetland. Over 150,000 people live in the buffer zone and the transition area (1998). They live from agriculture, cattle raising, forestry, fisheries and ecotourism. Some indigenous ethnic groups as Ngóbe, Teribe, Buglé and Bribri live in the buffer area. They have conserved their language, cultures, traditions and religions. They also practice traditional forms of agriculture and subsistence hunting. La Amistad offers a considerable opportunity to promote sustainable development by using local resources: fish, flora, fauna, soil, water and landscape beauty. The high degree of under and non-employment, of critical poverty, the high percentage of illiteracy, infantile mortality and under-nourishment as well as the poor road system in the whole area underline the clear need to adopt development strategies to improve living conditions for the local people. This site forms part of La Amistad International Park with Costa Rica.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical humid forest / Mangrove and coral reefs
  Major habitats & land cover types   Coral reefs with 25 species of soft corals and 54 species of hard corals; sea-grass beds dominated by Thalassia testudinum, Syringodium filiforme, Halophila decipiens and Halodule wrightii; mixed inundated forest characterized by Campnosperma panamensis, Prioria copaifera, Pterocarpus officinalis etc.; mangrove dominated by Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa; humid tropical forest including Callophyllum brasilensis, Virola sp., Aspidosperma megalocarpon, Carapa sp. etc.; pre-mountainous and low mountain forest characterized by Cedrela odorata, Callophyllum brasilensis, Carapa guinensis; mountain forest with Podocarpus sp., Quercus sp., Alnus sp., Nectandra sp. etc.; humid and very humid low mountainous forest and very humid low mountainous forest dominated by Werneria nubigena, Escallonia sp. and Weinmannia pinnata; arable land with rice, corn, coffee, bananas, cacao etc.
  Location   09°05'N; 82°40'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   655,558
  Core area(s)   309,047 (of which marine: 19,438)
  Buffer zone(s)   253,713 (of which marine: 5,000)
  Transition area(s) when given   92,798 (of which marine: 10,000)
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -100 to +3,475
  Year designated   2000
  Administrative authorities   Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio Natural de la Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (ANAM) Administración Ejecutiva Regional del Ambiente de Darién


Last updated: 10/1/2007

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