Birding sites Dominican Republic

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Del Este National Park

Del Este National Park attracts more visitors than all other Dominican national parks combined. Located in the southeastern corner of the island of Hispaniola, the park includes the offshore island of Saona, which comprises 30 percent of the park’s total area. Del Este is relatively isolated and has a rich cultural history, with pre-Colombian pictographs and petroglyphs of the Taino people found in underground caves throughout the park.
Vegetation surveys have found 53 species endemic to the Del Este area and 84 native to the Dominican Republic. There are four mangroves species in the park, and the trees provide important nesting habitat for the endangered white-crowned pigeon. Of the 144 species of birds found in the park, nine are endemic to the island and 11 endemic to the Caribbean region. Sensitive species include the Hispaniolan parrot, red-footed booby, herring gull, magnificent frigate bird, and the peregrine falcon.
The majority of Hispaniola’s mammals are represented within Del Este. The Hispaniolan solenodon, a small, shrew-like mammal, and the hutia, a large rodent, are both endemic to the Caribbean and threatened with extinction. In addition, there are rhinoceros iguanas, six species of snakes, ten species of lizards, and three species of crabs. Endangered marine species include the Caribbean manatee and loggerhead, green, and hawksbill turtles. The peninsula’s coastal areas feature intact mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and coral reefs—all key ecosystems of the Central Caribbean marine ecoregion.

Field guide to the Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti

Field guide to the Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti

The Dominican Republic and Haiti make up the island of Hispaniola, which is the second largest island in the west Indies, after Cuba.The Dominican Republic is a popular destination as there are several endemics on the island, one of which, the Palm Chat, is in its own unique family.In this book all 302 species known to have occured on the island are described and illustrated and information on the biology and ecology of the birds is also given.This is the first comprehensive field guide devoted to the birds of Hispaniola,providing new information from the author's personal research.
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Isla Cabritos National Park

The Isla Cabritos National Park in Lago Enriquillo -the smallest in the system between four and 40 m below sea level- is a unique environment. The original vegetation was lost either to timber collection or to the goats and cattle which once grazed there. New secondary vegetation has been identified including 106 species of plants, and 10 types of cactus. A large crocodile population, an endemic species of iguana, and other reptiles populate the island. 62 species of birds have also been identified: five aquatic, 16 shore, and 41 land birds. 45 of these are native to the island. Among the birds sighted or heard are the manuelito (Myiarchus stolidus) and the great hummingbird (Anthracothorax dominicus), the querebebÈ (Chordeiles gundlachii), best heard at dusk, and the cu-cú (Athene cunicularia) that sings at dawn and dusk, and nests in an excavated hole in the desert.

Jaragua National Park

Located in the extreme southwest of the Dominican Republic, Jaragua National Park is the largest protected area in the country. The park combines an array of terrestrial, coastal, and marine environments, two continental islands, and diverse communities such as dry forest and scrub on the southern slopes of the Bahoroco Mountains. The terrestrial portion of the park accounts for only one-third of the park’s area; 223,625 acres of protected waters extend out to sea just beyond Alto Velo Island.
Jaragua is home to many of the Dominican Republic’s endemic species, including 54 reptiles and amphibians. Many of these species have even more specific endemism with 36 native to Hispanolia, 26 to Jaragua, 4 to Beate Island, and 3 to Alto Velo. There are also many endemic mammals and 2 endemic iguanas. Many plants are endemic, including the shrub and the palm.
One-hundred thirty bird species -60 percent of the country’s total are found in Jaragua, with all of the country’s endemic species found within the park and the adjacent mountain ranges of the Sierra de Bahoruco. The park hosts the country’s largest population of flamingos, and more than half of the bird species are associated with aquatic environments. Jaragua provides the nesting ground for at least three of four species of marine turtles that can be located in the park’s waters: hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead and green. Jaragua also hosts some of the most important lobster habitat and fisheries in the country.

The Birds of Hispaniola ,Haiti and the Dominican Republic

The Birds of Hispaniola ,Haiti and the Dominican Republic

The Birds of Hispaniola
Haiti and the Dominican Republic
Allan R Keith, James W Wiley, Steven Latta and Jose Ottenwalder
Hispaniola, the island containing Haiti and the Dominican Republic, boasts 145 breeding species including three endemics. The checklist details the birds, plus offers sections on the general history and economy of the island; a detailed ornithological history; physical aspects including geology, geography & climate; botanical information; migration; zoogeography; conservation; and other taxa.

309 pages, 32 pp col photos, tabs, figs, plates.
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The Madre de las Aguas Conservation Area

The Madre de las Aguas Conservation Area is an aggregation of five Dominican Republic National Parks and one scientific reserve located in the island’s Central Mountain chain. With Armando Bermúdez, Juan B. Pérez Rancier (Valle Nuevo), José del Carmen Ramírez, Eugenio de Jesus Marcano (Humeadora), and Nalga de Maco National Parks, and the Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve, Madre de las Aguas covers about 5 percent of the land in the Dominican Republic and is home to many local stakeholders and small, rural communities. As indicated by its name, Madre de las Aguas (Mother of the Waters), is the source for most Hispaniolan rivers and supplies water to about 80 percent of the population of the Dominican Republic and most of Haiti.
The highly mountainous Madre de las Aguas contains the best representations of coniferous pine, montane broadleaf, and cloud forests on the island. The highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, rises to 10,125 feet from within the park. The rugged topography of the park contributes to the species richness and high endemism found here: over 90 percent of the amphibians and reptiles found in the area are endemic, along with 40 percent of plant species, 50 percent of butterflies, and 35 percent of its birds.

Hispaniolan pine, montane broadleaf, manacla palm, and cloud forests have been identified in Rapid Ecological Assessments as the highest priorities for conservation. These diverse forests are home to many unique species. About 90 percent of the conservation area's amphibian and reptile species, 43 percent of the butterfly species, 10 percent of the bird species, and 94 percent of the bat species are unique to this area. The endangered solenodon is a small shrew-like mammal found only on the island of Hispaniola. The rare hutia, a large rodent, can also be found in these forests. Of the 300 birds found in the Dominican Republic, 27 are found nowhere else in the world, including the Hispaniolan woodpecker and the narrow-billed tody.

About 40 percent of the Dominican Republic’s 5,600 plant species in Madre de las Aguas are found nowhere else in the world. Hispaniolan pine forest covers a vast part of this region. Manacla forest, named for an endemic palm tree, is critical in maintaining amphibian, reptile and bird populations. Cloud forest is also found in the conservation area and plays a critical role as the origin of fresh water for much of the country's river systems, while montane broadleaf forests provide protection to these waterways at lower elevations

Brown pelicans, nominate race. Jaragua Natioanl Park, south-western Dominican Republic, Hispaniola.Click the picture to see Father Sanchez's excellent web site

Brown pelicans, nominate race. Jaragua Natioanl Park, south-western Dominican Republic, Hispaniola.Click the picture to see Father Sanchez's excellent web site

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