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Refugio de Vida Silvestre Playa de la Barqueta Agrícola

Wildlife Refuge Playa La Barqueta

Playa La Barqueta, Chiriqui Province, is an important nesting area for sea turtles. So much so that in 1986 the Environmental Committee and residents of Guarumal Alanje launched a program of protection and conservation of sea turtles coming to lay their eggs in place. The program became so important, which subsequently created the Wildlife Refuge Beach Barqueta Agricultural, by resolution of August 2, 1994, issued by the then National Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (INRENARE). The document states that the Refuge would have a length of 5 thousand 935 hectares.

Five sea-turtle species nest on Playa la Barqueta, and 14 km (8½ mi) of the beach's eastern half is within the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Playa de la Barqueta Agrícola (Playa La Barqueta Agricultural Wildlife Refuge). From June to November, olive ridley turtle or mulatto (Lepidochelys olivacea), green turtle (Chelonia mydas), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtle (Chelonia agassizii) and turtle channel (Dermochelys coriacea) nest on the beach; massive leatherback turtles and olive ridleys nest from November to March. The marine reptiles crawl onto the beach at night and bury their eggs in the sand; two months later eggs hatch and baby turtles dig their way out and scurry to the sea. The best time to look for nesting turtles is high tide, preferably when the moon is a mere crescent, though you may find hatchlings on the beach any afternoon from August to January. To look for nesting turtles, you must pay an admission fee ($3.50) and get a permit during the day at the ranger station just east of the Las Olas Beach Resort.

The vegetation consists of mangrove swamps around to the north and east, with small patches of forest in Isla San Pedro and in the peripheral area to the facilities of ANAM, marshes and grasslands of freshwater.

There are species of mammals reported as squirrel monkeys (Saimiri oerstedii), bats, family Phyllostomidae (lonchophylla mordax, L. thomasi, Mycronycteris sylvestris, M. minute), the cat manglatero (Procyon lotor), white-faced monkey (Cebus capucinus) The agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) and the raft or cat TAPAC (Silky Anteater), margay congo (Felis yaguarondi) cat and the otter or water (Neotropical Otter).

There are important bird species such as parrot barbinaranja (Brotogeris juglaris), the Amazon frentiamarilla (Yellow-crowned Amazon), the Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), White-winged Whistling-Duck or güichichi (Dendrocygna autumnalis) and Pigeon (Columba cayanensis) . There are also two regional classified as endemic: the black Antshrike (Thamnophilus bridgesi) and Yellow-billed Cotinga (Carpodectes antoniae).

 

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