Draped across the sweeping ranges of the Sierra de Agalta, the vast PARQUE NACIONAL SIERRA DE AGALTA shelters the most extensive stretch of virgin cloudforest remaining in Central America. Though the area has been designated a protected area since 1987, large stands of pine and oak in the lower parts of the park have nonetheless still been logged, and much of the land cleared for cattle pasture. The higher reaches of the mountains, however (including Honduras’s fourth-highest peak, La Picucha), are so remote that both vegetation and wildlife have remained virtually untouched. Here a typical cloudforest of oaks, liquidambar and cedar, draped in vines and ferns, covers the slopes up to about 2000m, where it gives way to a dwarf forest.

In addition to the flora, the park’s isolation ensures a protected, secure environment for a biologically diverse range of mammals and birds, many of them extremely rare. Tapirs, jaguars, ocelots, opossums and three types of monkey are among the species of mammal recorded. More evident are the birds, of which more than four hundred species have been sighted.

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