Development & Aid, Environment, Tierramerica - Ecobrief

Ecobreves – VENEZUELA: Scientists Call for Preservation of Forest Remnant

CARACAS, Nov 26 2012 (IPS) - Researchers at Venezuela’s University of the Andes are urging the government to adopt a management plan for the 7,000 hectares of the Caparo Experimental Station, the remnant of what was a forest covering millions of hectares in the country’s western lowlands less than a century ago. “We are calling for this remnant to be declared a National Park, and for a management plan to be established for the forest reserve in which it is located – decreed in 1961 with 175,000 hectares, but decimated by logging companies until the year 2000,” the researcher in charge of the station, Wilfredo Franco, told Tierramérica.

The forest’s deterioration is also due to “the roughly 10,000 people who have occupied it to carry out agricultural and livestock raising activities,” he added.

There are still 16 forest communities remaining in the station, with 191 tree species, 61 species of mammals, 248 of birds, 30 of amphibians, seven of snakes, numerous species of fish and insects, and a still undetermined diversity of microbes. This is what remains of what was once seven million hectares of forests in southwestern Venezuela and a roughly equal area in eastern Colombia.

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