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El Yunque National Forest Puerto Rico By: Courtney Simonsen.

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1 El Yunque National Forest Puerto Rico By: Courtney Simonsen

2 El Yunque Some say that the name Yunque is derived from the word “Yuke,” from the Taíno Indians of Puerto Rico, meaning white land, referring to the land covered by clouds most of the time. Others say that El Yunque is Spanish for anvil. The old residents of Puerto Rico believe that El Yunque (the mountain) serves as a shield or an anvil, and storms coming to Puerto Rico crash against it losing much of their energy there and then the rest of the Island gets less damaged.

3 Geography El Yunque National Forest is designated in Sierra de Luquillo, southeast of San Juan El Yunque is divided into four forest: Tabonuco Forest, Palo Colorado Forest, Palma Sierra Forest and En Las Nubes Forest. El Yunque is the National Forest despite being located only in Puerto Rico.

4 Climate El Yunque has up to 240 inches of rain annually, adding up to over 100 billion gallons of rainfall per year. Most of the water creates the streams, ponds and waterfalls that are in the rainforest. The climate is frost-free and ranges from semi-desert to rain forest conditions within short distances. There are strong trade-winds and cool weather at higher elevations.

5 Waterfalls of El Yunque El Yunque is known for it’s many waterfalls. The constant rain provides the forest trickling water creating the beautiful waterfalls of El Yunque. Most tourists favor La Coca falls. La Coca falls cannot be found using the marked trails of the forest but by trail hiking.

6 Tourist Attractions El Yunque is often flooded with tourists from around the world. Some activities the tourists can participate in are hiking, horse back riding, picnicking, rock climbing, camping, and just enjoying the beauty of the rainforest.

7 Wild Life There are over 240 species of trees and plants found in El Yunque in which 26 kinds are found nowhere else in the world Some rare wildlife that are located in El Yunque is the Puerto Rican parrot which is in the top ten of the most endangered birds. The birds and all the wildlife that are living in the rainforest are protected thanks to the no hunting law. Because of the forming of Puerto Rico by volcanic activity there are no animals on the Island bigger than the rats, bats, and mongoose. This is because all the animals on the Island had to swim, float, or fly in order to get to the Island. Although there are many animals located in the Yunque rainforest none of them are poisonous.

8 Amazona Vittata The Puerto Rican Parrot Amazona Vittata is the only native parrot on the Island. When Christopher Columbus arrived in Puerto Rico on his second voyage of exploration in 1493, these birds were a common sight throughout the Island. This parrot is a forest bird which requires large hollow tree trunks for nesting. As trees were cut-down by the original settlers to make way for farms, the parrots gradually retreated into the remaining patches of forest. Only in the protected El Yunque National Forest could the parrots still find the large trees that they needed for nesting. Until laws were enforced that stopped parrot hunting in the forest the parrot population decreased substantially. In 1968 the Puerto Rican Parrot was placed on the Federal Endangered Species List. The present population in the wild numbers less than 50 individual birds.

9 Legend of the Chupacabra The legend of the Chupacabra began in about 1987 when papers in Puerto Rico began to report killings of mostly livestock animals. Chupacabra means goat sucker and so the name was invented. Legend has it that there was a secret labatory in the mountains of El Yunque were they did genetic experiments and the chupacabra escaped. The killings created physical devastation as well as economical for the Puerto Rican villagers whose animals were killed.

10 History In 1876, when the Island was still a Spanish colony, King Alfonso XII proclaimed the forest a Crown Reserve to be regulated by the Inspección de Montes (Spanish Forest Service). It became one of the earliest forest reserves known to exist in the Western Hemisphere. 1898 The United States ceded control of the Island of Puerto Rico at the Treaty of Paris. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed former Crown reserve to be the "Luquillo Forest Reserve" named after its location in the Luquillo Mountains. In 1907 it began to be supervised by the newly organized (1905) US Forest Service. Through the years the Luquillo National Forest grew larger and in 1935 the forest was renamed the "Caribbean National Forest“. At the request of President Franklin Roosevelt, Congress enacted the Federal Emergency Conservation Program which spawned the Civilian Conservation Corpse (CCC). CCC recruits from the Island began working on projects in the forest such as "Building a road through the cliffs and jungles of the Luquillo Mountains". In the 1940's, during the World War II, over a quarter of a million board feet of lumber from the forest was sold and used. El Yunque, the second highest peak in the forest was used by the US Army Signal Corps as look-outs. The El Yunque National Forest was additionally designated the "Luquillo Experimental Forest" in 1956 to recognize the growing importance of the scientific research that was being conducted there. In 1971 the discovered a new bird species which existed at high elevation in the forest. In 1989 Hurricane Hugo caused major damage to the Island of Puerto Rico, and El Yunque National Forest facilities. As a result of the hurricane, the population of the Puerto Rican Parrot drops to a low of 23 individuals in the wild. Also in 1998 Hurricane Georges struck the Island causing massive devastation. During this year the devastating Pink Mealy Bug was first discovered in the forest. The Puerto Rican Department of Agriculture responds promptly with the introduction of a parasitic wasp that virtually destroyed this voracious insect. In 2003 the El Yunque National Forest celebrated its Centennial with year-long activities, and the installation of a 60 foot long Centennial timeline display.

11 Work Cited national-forest-pr125.jpg national-forest-pr125.jpg urbGt3YY/s320/El+Yunque.jpg urbGt3YY/s320/El+Yunque.jpg

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