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Biosphere, Fauna and Flora in Cuba Naturaleza
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Viñales National Park on the Guaniguanico Mountain Range

The National Park Viñales is located in the western half of the Guaniguanico Mountain range in the Pinar del Rio province, it occupies an area of 21 600 hectares and it includes inside its limits to the low heights of the Sierra of the Organs.

These elevations, with a high grade of conservation of their natural state, are considered the formations domestic more important cársicas and in them different units of vegetation are developed among those that stand out the humid mesophyllous evergreen forest and the semideciduous mesophyll forest. They are plentiful in the area, the caves systems like that of Santo Tomás and that of Palmarito, two of the most extensive of the Latin America.

Viñales National ParkParque Nacional Viñales

Declared as Cultural Landscape for the UNESCO presents a heterogeneous and endemic flora as it is the case the ceibón (Bombax emarginatum), the Palmita de la Sierra (Gaussia princeps), the Oak Cayman (Ekmanhianthes actinophilla) and the Microcycas Calocoma, commonly denominated as "Cork Palm" (Palma Corcho), endemic of vat, it plants similar to a palm, of the families of the rutáceas considered by their antiquity like alive fossil, to maintain, their evolutionary characters defined in the Cretaceous. Also stores extraordinary you floristic value of some a thousand well-known species, of which are exclusive more than 30%.

The fauna studies in the Park have a great delay with relationship to the flora and the vegetation, due to the difficult access to the mogotes. It is considered that groups exist very well represented and with high endemic among those that stand out, the mollusks, the reptiles and the amphibians. The avifauna is very well represented by autochthonous species and of high endemic pancubano and of smaller restriction, although local endemismos cannot be mentioned.

A considerable underground fauna exists mainly with high endemic securities in the hot caves. The spineless ones have been little studied, but it is recognized in general that important endemic exists in the ants, butterflies and insects, even, new species for the science.

Their avifauna, represented for more than 30 species or subspecieses, it sustains this stamp engalanador: The Mellisuga helenae or "zunzuncito", The Priotelus temnurus or "tocororo", The Multicolored Todus or "cartacuba", The Miadestes elisabeth or "ruiseñor (nightingale)", The melodious Tiaris Canora or "tomeguín del pinar" and The Mimus polyglotos or "sinsonte (mockingbird)".

The superficial karstic relief that prevails in the National Park, together to the wealth in underground ways allows to consider it as the classic area of the study of the tropical carso of the planet, for the many manifestations of this relief; in their conical carso and of domes, they meet the big caves systems with great interest espeleológico: The Cave of Indian crossed by the river San Vicente, the Cave of The Cable, the Cave of the Sijú, and that of more interest, beauty and extension, Santo Tomás, great cavern with more than 45 Km of galleries; as well as others of interest and singularity, taking the visitor an impressive vision of the area, in their interior.

Many of the underground cavities pick up for the history, prints of clans indocubanos, which didn't build housings in this territory, but rather they were sheltered in these natural refuges. These aboriginal cultures have left their impronta in residuary with rudimentary utensils, cemeteries and some manifestations of the art rupestre.

Inside the National Park Viñales this The Valley of Viñales, one of the good known and attractive areas of Cuba, occupies an area of 111. 19 km², it has an exceptional landscape that among other characteristics, is unique for the spectacular combination of its natural beauty, preservation of the environment and the harmonious actions of men on small fruit crops, forage, and specially tobacco plantations, whose traditional methods for planting and production make Cuban cigars to be famous worldwide and known as top quality cigars.

 
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© 2014 Nigel Hunt