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      Biosphere Reserve Information

United States of America


  General Description   Situated in the south-west of Puerto Rico, the Guanica Biosphere Reserve comprises coastal areas with several mangrove cays as well as subtropical dry forest. The biosphere reserve is managed as a multiple use area to achieve harmonious relationships between human activities and the maintenance of the natural ecological integrity. Monitoring, research, education and training activities are encouraged to support sustainable development in this part of Puerto Rico.
The Guanica forest serves the recreation needs of tourists and people living in eight near-by municipalities with a total population of over 330,000 people (1982). Of conservation concern is the large increase of visitors in coastal areas bringing developmental pressures such as residential and tourist housing projects, the expansion of the municipal landfill and loss of biological corridors. The intense use of coastal and marine ecosystems for recreation has accelerated damage to coral reefs from anchorage, land erosion and related sedimentation.
The challenge of the biosphere reserve is to educate the growing population to appreciate and maintain Guanica’s biological diversity. Several community-based projects were carried out with the involvement of different stakeholders in order to develop strategies that will economically benefit the municipality of Guanica and the region by means of sustainable development and conservation projects.
  Major ecosystem type   Marine archipelago
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Location   17°55'N, 67°05'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   4,000
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +228
  Year designated   1981
  Administrative authorities   Guanica Commonwealth Forest, Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources

Last updated: 11/03/2005

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