Sierra de Bahoruco
– Conserving the Rich Forest Ecosystem of Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, Dominican Republic
Year: 2013 – 2015
Sierra de Bahoruco National Park is located in the south-west of the Dominican Republic and is one of the richest tropical highland ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola. The area is recognised as globally important from an ecological perspective, but also provides vital ecosystem services to local communities, such as the provision of food, water and non-timber forest products. In a country experiencing steady population and economic growth, supported by a strong tourism sector, the sustainability of such ecosystem services is critical. The forest also offers vital protection to lowland areas against landslides.
Strategically located as the central zone within the UNESCO Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve, Sierra de Bahoruco also forms a critical transnational ecological corridor with the Massif de la Selle mountain range in neighbouring Haiti. Designated as both an Important Bird Area (IBA) and Key Biodiversity Area (KBA), Sierra de Bahoruco supports an enormous range of unique and endemic wildlife, including the Endangered Hispaniolan Solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus), one of only two remaining solenodon species in the world, the Endangered Hispaniolan Hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) and the Minor Red Bat (Lasiurus minor). Threatened reptiles include the Vulnerable Rhinoceros iguana (Cyclura cornuta) whose populations on the island of Hispaniola have become increasingly fragmented owing to habitat loss and trapping for food and trade.
This project aims to strengthen the conservation of Sierra de Bahoruco National Park in the Dominican Republic to support the long-term conservation of the wider Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve.