The Natural Environment of the Zapata Wetlands – Explore the Caribbean with Debbie

The Zapata Wetlands, in the south portion of the Matanzas province, is a genuine paradise for nature lovers.  more…

The Zapata Wetlands, in the south portion of the Matanzas province, is a genuine paradise for nature lovers. Over 4.5 square kilometers of surface are home to one of the most important marsh ecosystems in the Caribbean and Latin America. A safe haven for wildlife and floral species, this area combines marsh shrubs, rainforests, abundant precious woodlands and underwater rivers with singular life of their own, let alone breathtaking beaches of white sands. There are mangrove thickets and a variety of fruit trees that grow next wildflowers, such as orchids and mariposa, Cuba’s national flower. Cuban crocodiles are equally abundant, as well as other reptiles and amphibians. An assortment of bugs and insects –completely harmless- share this magnificent habitat with deer and boars that run through the tall grasslands.

Yet birds make up the largest chunk of species in these wetlands. There are over 250 in all, including Cuban dwarf spotted owls, hummingbirds, flamingoes, herons, cranes, egrets, hawks, ducks, geese, parrots, quails and lots other endemic and migratory birds. The Zapata Wetlands National Park was declared World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and Cuba’s first RAMSAR site.

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