Los Roques, a tropical Paradise.
The Archipelago "Los Roques" is a Federal dependency that groups together a group of islands and keys in the Lesser Antilles belonging to Venezuela that have an estimated area of 40.61 km² and that are located between the Las Aves archipelago (to the west) and the island of La Orchila (east) 176 km north of the city of Caracas and which represents one of the main tourist attractions of the country, is part of the Insular Territory Francisco de Miranda, is a national park and according to estimates in 2014 it had 3,100 permanent inhabitants (being the most populated federal agency). It has an approximate surface of 221,120 hectares between maritime and terrestrial spaces, and is considered the largest marine park in Latin America (Los Roques Archipelago National Park). In addition, the archipelago has the largest coral reef in the Caribbean.
Due to extreme environmental conditions and lack of fresh water, terrestrial animals do not abound. The list is limited to some species of iguanas and lizards, spiders and insects. The fishing bat (Noctilio leporinus) is the only native terrestrial mammal.
It is in the water where the immense wealth becomes evident: 280 species of fish, 200 species of crustaceans, 140 species of mollusks, 61 species of corals, 60 species of sponges and 45 species of sea urchins and starfish. Dolphins abound, whales, manta rays and turtles.
The most representative animals are the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the queen conch (Strombus gigas), the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), the typical fish of the coral reefs and 92 species of birds. Los Roques is a meeting point for some 50 species of migratory birds from North America. Among the most frequent birds are the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), two species of bobo bird, the one with the red legs (Sula sula) and the brown booby (Sula leucogaster) and the guanaguanare gull (Larus atricilla). There are also some groups of flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber).
In the archipelago nest four types of turtles that are on the list of threatened species worldwide: loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), green or white turtle (Chelonia mydas), leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) and hawksbill turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata).
Several species of mangrove (Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa and Conocarpus erectus), extensive meadows of seagrasses (Thalassia testudinum), halophytic species such as glass grass, red purslane or beach bell (Sesuvium portulacastrum), cactus such as tuna guasábara (Opuntia caribea) and the crop or melon (Melocactus caesius).
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