Honduras – a biodiversity hotspot under threat.
Honduras is a country with extraordinary biological diversity. With 630 of the world's 6,000 orchid species, 250 reptiles, over 750 birds and 110 mammals it is considered a global conservation hotspot. The tropical-to-temperate climate permeates its mountains, plains, jungles, coasts and islands — as well as its cloud forests, which can rise up to above 9,800 feet.” (The Nature Conservancy: http://www.nature.org/ ourinitiatives/regions/centralamerica/honduras/)
However, this incredible diversity is under threat. Honduras has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, primarily attributable to logging, the clearing of land for agriculture, and consumption of firewood. Expanding urban populations and mining activities add additional pressures. (http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/153546/)
Montaña Santa Barbara and the Lago Yojoa Basin
The Lake Yojoa basin is one of the most scenic locations in Honduras and is endowed with remarkable natural diversity. Here, the combination of volcanic and limestone landscapes surrounding Lake Yojoa supports a rich diversity of habitat types and a corresponding diversity of plants and animals. It's central location, both within the country and within Central America results in ecological influences from both north and south America as well as the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. As a consequence, this is among the top bird watching destinations in Central America and anyone with a passion for nature will appreciate the wonders of the cloud forests and pre-montaine forests that cloak the mountain.
Montaña de Santa Barbara is the largest limestone massif in Central America. The area is riddled with caves, underground rivers and bubbling springs which emerge from the slopes only to disappear again further down stream. Picture, if you like, a mysterious waterfall that has no stream either above or below! This diversity makes it an important place to protect and the perfect place to spend at least a day, and preferably more exploring the wonders of the region and helping to protect its natural and cultural wonders.