Nature of Jardines del Rey, Ciego de Ávila Flora and Fauna of Jardines del Rey, Ciego de Ávila The local flora of Ciego de Ávila shows specimens of high ornamental and timber value. The fauna is abundant, especially the birds, boasting one of the region's largest pink flamingo colonies. The Jardines del Rey archipelago, a set of cays at the north of Ciego de Avila, has the resources it needs to be in balance with the environment and gives a huge potential for eco-tourism. Read More... Ciego de Ávila displays natural resources of high value and great multiplicity of flora and fauna, with more than 200 species of birds and 340 of botanical varieties. The nature of Ciego de Ávila has gifted capricious formations with original beauty, such as reefs, virgin beaches, seabed, coral reefs, coastal landscapes and lagoons, paradise of large numbers of endemic birds. Beaches in Jardines del Rey The beaches in Jardines del Rey (Cayo Coco y Cayo Guillermo) are the favorite among tourists who enjoy in family, by the security that represents their isolation and the warm and low depth waters; also, an ideal place for lovers of romantic and charming landscapes, the adventurers eager for walks for the nature and for nautical sports and all who enjoys fun and discover. The adjacent sea of Ciego de Avila is formed by some cays that extend from the north of Cuba, the province of Matanzas to a Camagüey. It’s a chain of cays parallel to the beach, composed by more than 2,500 islands and islets. Coco Cay, with 370 square km of extension, that is attached to earth by a road above the sea of 17km length; It has 22 km of beaches, famous always for the green-blue water tone and the white tone of the sand. Guillermo Cay with 13 square km, offers 6km of beaches, raising its name with the natural jewel of the Caribbean: Playa Pilar. Protected Areas in Jardines del Rey, Ciego de Ávila Pilar Dunes (Highlighted Natural Element). Surface: 38, 40 h. Totally terrestrial. It’s located to the north of the municipality of Morón, in the province of Ciego de Ávila, in the west side of Guillermo cays, forming part of Sabana-Camagüey archipelago. Is the nuclear zone of the Buenavista Biosphere Reserve and integrates with the Ramsar Site with the same name. There are prominent mounds of stabilized sand or dunes, which do not migrate, some researchers point out as the oldest of the northern cays of Ciego de Ávila. It is the system of dunes of greater height of the country, of up to 14.7 m. On top of these great mounds of excellent quality sand, grow mainly species such as Coccothrinax litoralis palm, endemic to Cuba. Cayo Guillermo, where this area is located, has a high tourist demand precisely because of the quality of its beaches and the high degree of naturalness it preserves, values that visitors can appreciate or enjoy through different tourist activities. Jardines de la Reina (National Park). Surface: 217 036, 00 hectares, from these 16 079, 00 are terrestrial and 200 957, 00 are marine. It extends from the Gulf of Guacanayabo to the Bay of Casilda, at the southern part of the island of Cuba. Its extension is of 360 km, formed by 661 keys corresponding to 3 groups of keys. In Jardines de la Reina have been identified 1615 species of marine invertebrates, among them 60 sponge species, 43 of gorgonians, 34 of corals, 19 of mollusks, 6 of echinoderms and 251 of fish. Among the reptiles stands out the presence of the population of iguanas, marine turtles, and American crocodiles; while between the mammals the most significant are three species: the tonina (a type of dolphin), the Atlantic spotted dolphin and sperm whale. This territory in Ciego de Ávila was dedicated by the admiral to her Majesty Isabel de Castilla on one of his trips around the island. It was inhabited by Cuban aborigines, who the admiral called Indian cays. Later on the region was frequented by corsairs and pirates and, in turn, was one of the routes for the human trade of African slaves. Such events make this area a site of high heritage and archaeological value. Services for the visitor: Scuba diving, Fly fishing, Life on board, Hiking, Wildlife watching. Center and West of Cayo Coco (Ecological Reserve). Surface: 36 040, 00 h., of which 17 855, 90 are terrestrial and 18 184, 10 are marine. The area is located in Coco Cay, at north of the municipality of Morón, to the center-oriental of the Sabana-Camagüey archipelago, in Ciego de Ávila. As for fauna with significant values are terrestrial mollusks, and a species of Arachnid Caribbiantes sp., New species for science. Form part of the general list: Amphibians, terrestrial reptiles, birds and the importance of the green carpenter, the cabrerito de la Ciénaga and the pechero, all considered endemic genera, which enhances the exclusivity of the avi-fauna of the region. In the reefs can be watched 95 species of fishes that belong to 31 families, which represents around 10% of the total species consigned for Cuban waters. The name of Coco Cay has been mistakenly associated with the tree of the family of palms. But the origin of the name of this singular island you can find a wading bird named white coconut (Eudocimus albus) by the color of its plumage, with a long, thin, curved beak, which inhabited the cay in large populations. The area has high potential for the realization of activities of eco-tourism, as bird watching and wildlife in general. Besides, the marine-coastal landscape values allow the practice of hiking and nautical tours. Services for the visitor: Hiking, equestrian tours. Ana María Cays (Wildlife Refuge). Surface: 19 100, 00 h., of which 980, 00 are terrestrial and 18 120, 00 are marine. It’s located at the south of the province of Ciego de Avila and occupies its territory in the municipality of Venezuela. They consist of very low flat reliefs, with swampy lowlands that are always flooded, which occupy more than 80% of the total of the cays and that present certain stability. There are reports of 24 families, 43 genres and 40 species of superior floras, being the best representations: Arecaceae; Fabaceae y Bignoniaceae. The greater endemism is located in the palmáceas. Its different plant formations are composed of several types of forests. The Ana Maria Gulf is an important fauna region. Stand out the marine invertebrates which form part of some of the threat categories: the mollusk (Strombus gigas) and (Crassostrea virginica) mollusks, considered to be endangered, included in the vulnerable category (VU). Between the marine species stand out the Mollusks and crustaceans, some of them as oysters, pink and white shrimp, lobster and blue crab. It is worth mentioning the presence of the conga jelly (Mesocapromys angelcabrerai), an endemic local of Ana Maria Cay. It is distributed only in red mangrove cays without land and its population is estimated in no more than 400 individuals, reason why it is threatened. This is the umbrella species that gives the area national significance. Knoll Cunagua (Fauna Refugee). Surface: 8 228, 00 h. Totally terrestrial. Can be found in the municipality of Bolivia, in the basin of the Yana. It constitutes in mainland, the most important natural reserve of the province of Ciego de Ávila. These limestone elevations occupy the north slope of the province and belong to the complex of isolated heights that are close to the north coast, keeping close geological, geomorphological and ecological relation with the coastal strip, next to the Jardines del Rey Archipelago. In the area there are 3 geological formations: Arroyo Palma Formation, to which the Cunagua Member belongs; Training Manajú and Güines. The flora reports 353 species that belong to 83 families of superior plants, with 265 genres. The 12.4% of the reported species are endemic. The known fauna so far shows 9 species of amphibians, 18 of reptiles, 141 of birds and 8 of mammals, being considered that, in general, the area represents 41.6% of endemism. Within the bird community there are 10 endemic species: catey, gavilán colilargo, omeguín del pinar, totí, paloma perdiz, sijú cotunto, sijú platanero, tocororo, cartacuba and carpintero churroso. Cunagua is an aborigine word that means flower of water, name of a chief from Yayabacoa, one of the most well-known inside the historiography of the province. There is an acceptable potential on level of all the area for the realization of the photo haunting standing out for its naturalness the area of Tres de Galán. The marked landscaping interest, especially on the north slope of the hill, is a good option for the contemplation of landscapes that sometimes feel its psycho-therapeutic action on the people who visit the place. The presence of some archaeological values and speleological, together with the high florist values, are elements that allow the practice of hiking. Services for the visitor: Jeep safari. El Venero (Fauna Refugee). Surface: 10 200 hectares. It’s located at north of the province of Ciego de Avila, in the municipality of Moron, Bolivia and Primero de Enero. It is informed by historians the existence of aboriginal groups dedicated to agriculture and pottery in the zone, locating at least four places with evidence of the presence of these groups. There’s potential in the area for bird watching, other animals and photo haunting, as well as other activities related to nature tourism or eco-tourism, standing out for its naturalness and particular beauty the grasslands of Ciénaga where the Crane is observed in its natural habitat. Reports say that until today there’s a total of 61 species. Endangered fauna includes: sparrow hawk, crane, and parrot. Rare species: marbella, cayama, yaguasa criolla, duck Bahamas, hawk, caraira, arrierito, sijú of savannah, tawny, carpenter scapulario, sinsonte prieto. The mammals are represented by 5 species, of which 2 are endemic to Cuba, the conga jutía, which is represented by small populations and a species of bat (Phyllops falcatus). Boquerón (Natural Highlight Element). Surface: 3, 190 h. Located at northeast of the Florencia town, between the rivers Jatibonico del Norte and the river Chambas in Ciego de Ávila. It has forms of scientific interest and recreational tourist activities, besides its values of fauna. Boqueron has a cave system of more than 4 km of galleries and salons of great beauty, with profusion of stalactites, stalagmites, sinter cloaks and subterranean lakes. These galleries and lounges are great for visitors on large tours. There are also references of the presence of conga and carabali conga species endemic to our country as well as bats (Noctilio leporinus mastivus and Natalus lepidus). Because of the ferocity of its lands, abundant waters, its forests and other qualities, this place was the preferred habitat of our aborigines to find here everything they needed for their subsistence. In addition to the intricacies of the place, it was safe refuge of the Spanish conquistadors. In the period of the wars of independence, this place served as an excellent shelter for the Cuban families who fled from the abuses and crimes of the Spanish columns. The Great North Humedal (Ramsar Site). Surface: 226 875 h. It’s located at north of the Province of Ciego de Avila, municipality of Moron, Bolivia and Primero de Enero, taking most of the beach part, the immediate maritime zone and adjacent keys. The wetland extends about 40 km into the territory of the large island, forming part of the largest river basin in the province (La Yana). For its richness of its marine platform and its scenic values, inside the wetland you can find one of the tourist polo more important of the country. We highlight the lagoons of La Leche and La Redonda as the main hydrology values on the wetland, building a natural lagoons complex, closely related, with a capacity of 210 million of m³ and ends at La Cuenca Subterránea of the north of Ciego de Ávila and the Los Perros Bay. When it comes to flora, are present in the wetland 82 families, 225 genres, 344 species and 48 endemic plants, 10 of them appear reported in the threatened or extinguished Cuban plants. Fauna is represented by 251 vertebrate species; 202 birds.