The unknown Dom Rep: the preserved nature of the Cotubanamá National Park

Avatar photo

The southeast of the Dominican Republic is home to beautiful beaches, large areas of forest, mangroves, wetlands and other ecosystems whose preservation represents an important balance for the species living in Cotubanamá National Park.

The 791.9 square kilometers of Cotubanamá are located between the provinces of La Romana and La Altagracia. The area includes the paradise island of Saona with its 110 square kilometers, the maritime area surrounding the park and the Guaraguao-Punta Catuano National Recreation Area. About 69 families live on the island and were already residing in this area before it was designated a protected area. These families are distributed between the villages of Mano Juan, the most visited, and Catuano.

The Eastern Protected Area is one of the few areas of compactly preserved rainforest in this region. The publication adds that this protected area is home to great biological diversity, including large areas of forests, beaches, coastal areas, mangroves, bays, rocks, cliffs, wetlands and valuable enclaves with historical resources and cultural.

The latter includes numerous caves which preserve traces of the Tainos and their culture before the arrival of the Spaniards. Moist forests, dry forests and transitional forests between the two mentioned above have been identified in the national park. In 2022, the protected area known as Parque Nacional del Este was visited by 876,924 tourists, according to data from the Dominican Ministry of the Environment.

Several inventories carried out in the protected area indicate that the area is home to more than 500 botanical species, with a predominance of native species. The wildlife of this national park consists of hundreds of species, which are part of its nature. Among birds, approximately 112 species have been identified in the protected area, eight of which are endemic to the island and the Caribbean.

Catherine Mills Avatar