Soberanía National Park (Parque Nacional Soberanía)
is a national park in Panama near the banks of the Panama Canal in the provinces of Panamá and Colón, some 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Panama City. The Chagres River runs through the park.
Established as a national park in 1980, the park covers 55,000 acres (220 km2). The park is popular with birdwatchers due to the abundance of bird species in the park. Some 525 bird species are found here, including motmots, toucans, trogons, flycatchers, antbirds, woodpeckers, tanagers, and hawks. Among the rare bird species in the park are yellow-eared toucanets, crimson-bellied woodpeckers, sirystes, and rarely seen harpy eagles. Some of the best birding in the park is along Pipeline Road. Pipeline Road extends for several miles and passes through old-growth and secondary forest. Birds are best spotted here in the early morning.
The park's 105 species of mammals include white-faced capuchin monkeys, mantled howler monkeys, Geoffroy's tamarins, two-toed sloths, three-toed sloths, anteaters, coatis, and agoutis. Green iguanas are also found in the park.
Visitors to the Soberanía National Park can also explore the Las Cruces Trail (Camino de Cruces). This historical trail dates back to the 16th century and was used by the Spanish to transport gold. Parts of the trail are still lined with old stones that once marked the trail's original path.
The land that is now the Parque Municipal Summit was originally included in this park, but was turned over to Panama City in 1985.
Darien National Park
Forming a bridge between the two continents of the New World, Darien National Park contains an exceptional variety of habitats – sandy beaches, rocky coasts, mangroves, swamps, and lowland and upland tropical forests containing remarkable wildlife. Two Indian tribes live in the park.
Darien National Park extends across some 575.000 hectares in the Darien Province of Southeastern Panama. The largest protected area in Panama, Darien is also among the largest and most valuable protected areas in Central America. The property includes a stretch of the Pacific Coast and almost the entire border with neighbouring Colombia. This includes a shared border with Los Katios National Park, likewise a World Heritage property. From sea level to Cerro Tacarcuna at 1,875 m.a.s.l., the property boasts an exceptional variety of coastal, lowland and mountain ecosystems and habitats. There are sandy beaches, rocky shores and mangroves along the coast, countless wetlands, rivers and creeks, palm forests and various types of rainforest, including the most extensive lowland rainforest on Central America's Pacific Coast. The property is also culturally and ethnically diverse, as evidenced by major archaeological findings, as well as Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples of the Embera, Wounaan, Kuna and others living within the property to this day. Darien National Park was groundbreaking by explicitly including a cultural dimension in the management and conservation of a protected area.
The large size and remoteness across a broad spectrum of habitats favour the continuation of evolutionary processes in an area of both cultural significance and exceptional diversity of flora and fauna with a high degree of endemism in numerous taxonomic groups. With future research likely to lead to further discoveries, hundreds of vertebrates and thousands of invertebrates have already been recorded. Among the impressive 169 documented species of mammals are the critically endangered Brown-headed Spider Monkey, the endangered Central American Tapir, the vulnerable Giant Anteater and near-threatened species like Jaguar, Bush Dog and White-lipped Peccary. The more than 530 recorded species of birds include the endangered Great Green Macaw, the vulnerable Great Curassow and a major population of the near-threatened Harpy Eagle. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/159 For more information.
Chagres National Park
The Chagres National Park can be found in the country of Panama, located between the Province of Panama and Colon, in the Eastern sector of the Panama Canal. The Chagres National Park has a total surface of 129,000 hectares.
The park contains tropical rain forests which is teaming with natural beauty, including stunning vistas, abundant tropical flora, and significant amounts of wild life. There are 900 or so endemic plant species, more than scientists have been able to identify and name. Of the 114 mammal species in Chagres National Park, four occur nowhere else. Bird watchers have identified 396 species in the park. There are 95 varieties of reptiles in the park (three endemic) and 79 kinds of amphibians (four endemic). http://www.chagresnationalpark.com/ For more information.
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