Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sian Ka'an, Mexico

Ex-Travel-Ganzer what up??.. this  great day. Because we are going to visit a beutifull country in North America. I think that all people already know this country. We are going to start our journey and our travel to this country because as i remember i havent visit this country to reveal the paradise there. So i think this day is a great day to start this. So i think you are going to join with me. If it is like that, just follow me to reveal the very best spot of heaven in this world.
Yes, we are going to Visit Mexico.  The place is Sian Ka’An.  "Sian Ka’an" is translated from Mayan as "where the sky is born" or "gift from the sky". The reserve is thought to have been inhabited in the pre-Classic and Classic periods as part of the chieftanships of Cohuah and Uaymil.  Sian Ka'an is situated on the eastern side of the Yucatán Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo. Where possible, boundaries were defined to coincide with natural features: the site is bounded by the Caribbean Sea and the barrier reef to a depth of 50 m in the east; by the junction between the marshes and semi-evergreen forests in the south-east; and by the junction of Chetumal and Espiritu Santo bays catchment basin in the south. The northern and north-eastern boundaries are defined by the limits of farming cooperatives. The northern sites can be reached by a dirt track from Tulum, whereas Punta Pajaros is only accessible by boat or aircraft.
 There are twenty-three known archeological sites inside the reserve. Discoveries of human remains, ceramic pieces, and other artifacts have been dated up to 2,300 years old. The northernmost section of Sian Ka’an contains what is thought to be an ancient trade route through lagoons and mangrove channels between the cities of Tulum and Muyil. Parts of what is now the Reserve were once areas of chicle production and trade through the middle of the twentieth century, and the fishing industry is still one of the most important economic activities of the Reserve’s population. Common species include spiny lobster (Palinurus espinosa) tarpon, grouper, permit, nurse shark, hammerhead, black tipped shark, and snapper. Tourism is a another source of income for fishermen in Sian Ka’an, hired to run boat trips to see the reefs and lagoon systems.. There is a charge of $ 4 USD as a fee entrance to the Reserve per person per day.The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve was established on the 20th of January 1986 by presidential decree (under President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado) and became part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program that same year. In 1987 the reserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As part of the MAB program, Sian Ka’an faces the greatest challenge of conservation: to find a way to integrate human activities without compromising other forms of life contained within its boundaries.
Sian Ka'an, Mexico
 With the participation of scientists, technicians, students, fishermen, farmers, rural promotors and administrators, together with regional and international partners, have successfully carried out more than 200 conservation projects basing all conservation actions on scientific and technical information for planning and implementing environmental policies and the proposal of viable solutions for sustainable use of natural resources and focusing their efforts established within eight protected natural areas that include the reefs of Banco Chinchorro, and Xcalak at South of Quintana Roo, Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, Cancun, the island of Cozumel that is located in front of Xcaret and Contoy Island up North, covering 780,000 acres (3,200 km2). These areas lie in parts of all seven Caribbean Sea coastal municipalities of the state, with the largest part being in eastern Felipe Carrillo Puerto Municipality, where the vast majority of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve lies.
Part of the reserve is on land and part is in the Caribbean Sea, including a section of coral reef. The reserve has an area of 5,280 km². The reserve also includes some 23 known archaeological sites of the Maya civilization including Muyil.
Sian Ka’an is approximately 1.3 million acres in size and spans 120 kilometers from north to south (comprising almost one third of the Caribbean coast of Mexico). In 1994 an area of over 200,000 acres to the south of the Reserve was named a Protected area of Flora and Fauna of Uaymil, increasing the continuous area of protected land.
Sian Ka'an, Mexico
 The reserve contains three large core zones where human activity is limited by permission to scientific research. These areas, known as the Zonas Nucleares of Muyil, Cayo Culebras, and Uaymil, cover a total area of almost 700,000 acres. Low-impact human activities and sustainable development occur in the area of the reserve known as the buffer zone. The human population is estimated at 2,000 inhabitants, the majority of which are located in the coastal regions, especially in the fishing villages of Punta Allen and Punta Herrero. Approximately one percent of the land within the reserve is privately owned.
There are five entrances to the reserve, located at Pulticub, Santa Teresa, Chumpón, Chunyaxché and Chac Mool. Guards employed by the governmental SEMARNAP organization are stationed at every entrance to enforce the Reserve regulations.
Sian Ka'an, Mexico

Habitats found in Sian Ka’an
Coral Reef
The boundaries of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve include 110km of the second largest barrier reef in the world, which extends onward past Belize and Honduras. The reef is home to many important and several endangered species. Uncontrolled development along the Caribbean coast of Mexico has placed the reef in grave danger, as it is easily damaged and not so easily restored.
The beaches of Sian Ka’an constitute a very important habitat and nesting grounds for many species of wildlife, as well as serving as an important transition between land and ocean. Most notably during the months of May through August, the beach is a nesting ground for 4 endangered sea turtle species that have lost important nesting sites along many parts of the Caribbean coast.
The coastal dune is an important protector of inland habitats, especially during storms. Coastal vegetation includes Coccoloba uvifera, Tournefortia gnaphalodes, Suriana maritima, Sesuvium portalacastrum, Ambrosia hispida, Ipomoea and many other species. (For a more complete list, refer to flora link).
Mangroves, savannas, swamps and marshes are all included within the classification of “wetland”. Water plays a vital role in the existence of each of these habitats, whether it be fresh, salty, or brackish. Wetlands line the coast of Sian Ka’an, playing an important protective role as a type of buffer between the ocean and the land that can absorb the impact of storms. Wetland areas contain immense biological diversity and are home to a number of endangered species. Evident in all inundated wetlands is a conglomeration of algae known as periphyton that is believed to play an important role in the dissolution of calciferous soils, as well as being an invaluable source of food for many species of fish, mollusks, and insects.
Four species of mangrove line the coastal areas of Sian Ka’an. The mangrove communities are critical for the survival of many species of fish, birds, insects, reptiles, and other plants. Many species of mangrove filter contaminated water and trap loosened sediment, making them protectors of the coral reef and other littoral habitats. The mangrove species found within Sian Ka’an are Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove), Avicennia germinans (black mangrove), Laguncularia racemosa (white mangrove), and Conocarpus erectus (buttonwood mangrove).
Coastal savannas are large areas of low-lying land with sparse, oxygen-poor soil that is inundated throughout much of the year. As few tree species have adapted to these conditions, savannas are dominated by species of grass, reeds, and rushes that rarely exceed three meters in height. Inland savannas contain shrubs and occasional trees in addition to grass, are drier and have a lower salinity. These environments are in danger of natural fires during the dry season.
Cenotes or Sink holes
Fresh water contained in the Yucatan’s underground aquifer carves away at the limestone above, weakening it and eventually causing it to give way. The result of this phenomenon is a unique habitat known as a cenote or sink hole. Many cenotes remain connected with the aquifer and with other cenotes through underground passageways. Occasionally, however, cenotes are found to be completely isolated from other bodies of water and may contain fish and other wildlife that have evolved over time into completely distinct species.
Petenes, or hummocks, are isolated areas of forest from several meters to several kilometers in diameter that are surrounded by swamps or inundated savanna land. These formations are found only in Cuba, the Florida Everglades, and the Yucatan Peninsula. There is often a cenote at the center of the hummock, which is surrounded by concentric circles of vegetation, from hardwood trees to grasses and rushes. Common species include cedar, mahogany, and zapote in the center ring, which are surrounded by various palm trees and the poisonwood tree, and eventually mangrove, rushes, and grasses. Many species of fauna live in hummocks, from insects to reptiles, mammals, and birds.
A tasistal is a concentrated strip found within savanna land that contains the tasiste palm (Acoellorraphe wrightii), the grass Cladium jamaicensis, and occasionally other plant species such as poisonwood (Metopium brownei), buttonwood mangrove (Conocarpus erectus), and cocoplum (Chrysalobanus icaco). The tasiste palm is extremely fire-resistant, and will survive natural fires that often strike savanna.
Fresh water lagoons
The fresh water lagoons of Sian Ka’an are supplied with fresh water from the subterranean aquifer by small springs or cenotes. Found mostly inland, the fresh water filters toward the ocean in channels or through the surrounding wetlands. The lagoons are home to a number of species of fish and vegetation not found in the coastal areas.
Brackish water lagoons
Ocean water and fresh water from inland and the aquifer meet and mingle in the brackish water lagoons along the coast of Sian Ka’an. These lagoons are lined with salt tolerant mangrove and grass species which provide a home to fish and mollusk species that make the area an attractive nesting ground for wading birds and residence of two crocodile species, Crocodylus moreletii and C. acutus.
Low tropical forest
Many of the mammal species found within Sian Ka’an reside within the low tropical forest land which is located in the westerly portions of the reserve. The forests contain many hardwood species, including chechem, chicozapote, mahogany, tsalam, and other valued hardwoods. The environmental importance of these areas is increased by the international demand for hardwood that is pressuring many countries in the neotropics.
Approximately 36,000 tourists entered the reserve in the year 2000, and those numbers are expected to increase significantly for the year 2001. So this a chance for you to be one of the visitor who visit this site.

How To get To Sian Ka’An
If you choose not to do a tour and explore on your own, you first must travel to Punta Allen. The ride is tough. Renting a 4 wheel drive is your best option. You can also take a bus to Tulum and get a cab or combi (colectivo). The combi leaves every day around 11 a.m. fairly regularly with return trips leaving Punta Allen at around 5 a.m.


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