Tuesday, August 26, 2008

An island in a lake

Something a little different today. Some maps. Below is a map of south central Hispaniola. The green area on the right hand side is the Domincan Republic. The less green bit on the left hand side? Haiti :(. I want you to focus your attention on the blue blob in the middle.

Here's a close up. This is Lago Enriquillo. Its a 102 square mile salt water lake formed a million years ago by the creation of a rift valley cutting across Hispaniola (that valley is the grey area running horizontally through the lake on the map above - the border is the grey line in the picture below). Lago Enriquillo is interesting to people like me and you for a number of reasons. Firstly it is fully loaded with American Crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus). We didn't see any however - the lake was flooded. It also provides a home to huge numbers of waterbirds including a big flock of flamingos......but the lake was flooded so we didn't see any of them either.

What we did see was the island in the middle; Isla Cabritos. That island is a national park all of its very own. On its tiny landmass one will find 10 endemic species of cacti. Pretty impressive eh? More impressive still is that it is the only place in the world one can take this photo:

compare cyclura

Facing left is Ricord's Iguana previously seen here. You can't quite pick its distinctive red-eyes but you can see the floppy crest, light build and its fabulous whorled tail. Facing right is a completely different species. Isla Cabritos is the only place in the world 2 Cyclura coexist. This is Cyclura cornuta, the Rhinoceros Iguana. Its rather more common than the Ricord's which is to say it lives on several islands and is slightly less endangered. Its also bigger and has horns. Awesome right. I'll show you the horns and some other cool Rhino iguana stuff soon but for now I thought the island alone was cool enough to get a post of its own.


Crafty Green Poet said...

It seems like an amazing place!

I like your blog, lots of wonderful photos...

I likE plants! said...

Awesome post. My friend is from D.R. and he's always telling to go with, bragging about the scenery, food and all the beautiful ladies! Ha-hah

tai haku said...

Thank you both. It was a pleasure to visit. DR does have spectacular scenery in every sense ILP