Medanos de Coro National Park
Médanos de Coro, Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
MARINE PROTECTED AREA
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Parque Nacional Los Médanos de Coro is located in the state of Falcón, Venezuela, near the city of Coro on the road that leads to Paraguaná. The National Park was created in 1974.
The Médanos park lies on the Isthmus of Médanos and covers 91.280 hm² of desert and coastal habitat, including salt marshes. It is made up of three zones: an alluvial plain, formed by the delta of the Mitare River and some smaller streams; an aeolian plain, constituted of three type of dunes; and a littoral plain with a belt of mangrove swamps. The massive sand dunes, known as Médanos, spread over an area of approximately 5 by 30 kilometers. They can reach 40 meters in height and are constantly transformed by the unrelenting wind. Rainfall is rare, thus flora consists of little more than thorny shrubs. Fauna is likewise scarce; the park is home mainly to lizards, rabbits, anteaters, foxes, pigeons and kestrels. Visitors can wander amongst the dunes by camel (imported many years ago), and the park is easily reached by bus or taxi from Coro.
During the severe floods that struck Venezuela in December 1999 ("Vargas tragedy", being especially devastating in Vargas State), the heavy rain formed four lagoons in the dunes; a circumstance that the park guards had never witnessed before.
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