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ISLA MARGARITA
Plants and Animals

Popular destinations VENEZUELA

Isla margarita

Plants and Animals

Plants

Despite the difficult climatic conditions, the vegetation on Isla Margarita is quite varied. The west and south are dry and have steppe-like flora. Here grow cactus species such as the 'cardón', the disc cactus or 'tuna', and the melon cactus or 'melón de desierto'. This last cactus species is low and spherical, and has small, pepper-shaped fruits on its top.

The yague is a solitary shrub with a broad crown. Further, thorny bush forests are found in these dry regions.

A number of mangrove species are found in the lagoons, including red, black, white and button mangrove.

The interior and east of Isla Margarita are somewhat greener than the west and south. On the coast grows the typical 'uva de playa' or sea grape tree, an often crookedly growing tree with large oval leaves and bunches of edible fruits resembling grapes. There are also palm trees including even some date palms.

From the end of April the orchids bloom including the national flower of Venezuela, the purple orchid. Another special plant is the 'araguaney', which first bears flowers and only then develops leaves. The plant symbol of Isla Margarita is the 'guayacán', a plant with small blue-purple flowers and dark green leaves.

In the town of Puerto Viejo, among others, one finds a whimsical, stocky tree species with a kind of green apples, the 'manzanillos'.

The Cerro El Copey National Park is home to bromeliads, orchids, mosses, climbing plants and mountain palms.

The vegetation on the Macanao Peninsula consists mainly of thorny bushes and cacti, including the impressive columnar cacti and the typical white-stemmed trees.

Animals

Laguna La Restinga is an area where pelicans, flamingos, red spoonbills,gulls, pelicans, cormorants, hawks, white ibises, the impressive frigate birds, and the great egret are found.

On expedition to Isla Coche it is possible to fish for swordfish, barracudas or "picuas", oysters and langoustines.

The presence of the mandarin monkey on the island is still a mystery.

On the Macanao peninsula, the beautifully colored Margarita parakeet can be seen, as well as the brown-necked and the blue-crowned parakeet, which is threatened with extinction. Also living here are the cardinal birds, troepials, three species of eagles, caracaras, small falcon species, owls, pied woodpeckers, several species of geese and pigeons, and the "porporo," a tropical mockingbird. In total, approximately 147 bird species have been counted on Macanao.

Isla Margarita possesses two national parks and three natural monuments.

Sources

Launspach, W. / Reishandboek Venezuela, Margarita
Elmar

O’Bryan, L. / Venezuela
Gottmer/Becht

Venezuela
Cambium

Verbeeck, I. / Isla Margarita, Puerto La Cruz & Cumaná
Van Reemst

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated January 2023
Copyright: Team The World of Info