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Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is a national park in the Cuban provinces of Holguin and Guantanamo. It has the name of the German scientist Alexander von Humboldt who visited the island in 1800 and 1801. The park is a Common Heritage of Humanity since 2001.
Due to its complex geology and varied topography, a great variety of unique ecosystems have been developed in the Island, which have given rise to one of the tropical island sites in the world with the greatest biological diversity. Many of the rocks in this environment are toxic to plants, so the species had to adapt to survive in these hostile conditions. This unique evolutionary process led to the development of many new species, making the park one of the most important sites in the Western Hemisphere for the conservation of endemic flora. 16 of Cuba’s 28 vegetation forms are found in this region.
Among the main endemic species of the park are the royal carpenter (almost extinct), the parrot, catey, hawk caguarero, almiquí (nocturnal insectivorous mammal), dracena, polymita, cateyes, jutía andaraz rodent). Also in the area live manatees, amphibians (especially a 1-centimeter frog), reptiles and fish.
The park also concentrates beautiful landscapes, broad-leaved forests and pine forests. The rivers of the park carry crystalline waters and the waterfalls are frequent in its channel.
The biodiversity and endemism levels of the Park are the largest in the Antilles and are among the highest in the world. This site is one of the main evolutionary centers, biogeographic bridge and site of myocene-pleistocene refuge (mainly in the glacial epoch) of the Caribbean and American biota. It is a representative example of a combination of neotectonic evolution under conditions of plataform development on old structures of evolution of arches of islands (oligoceno-quaternary) with base of transformed oceanic crusts (ofiolites), that have caused the formation of levels of plantation and crusts of Weathering.
The territory has exceptional examples of the development of karstic forms and systems (“pseudocarso”) on non-carbonated lithologies. One of the best and most complete examples of tropical neotropic tropical rain forests is evident. There are important (sometimes unique) populations of endangered species of flora and fauna, inhabiting three of the world’s smallest vertebrate species.