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Central Suriname Reserve

Article - August 27, 2012
This pristine park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including jaguars, sloths and primates

Being a beautiful destination is one thing, preserving that beauty is quite another, but Suriname is aiming to do just that.

By far the most impressive evidence of Suriname’s conservation ambition thus far is the Central Suriname Nature Reserve (CSNR), a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000. This stunning nature reserve comprises 1.6 million hectares (roughly the size of New Jersey) of primary tropical forest and covers a range of topography and ecosystems of notable conservation value due to its pristine state.

The CSNR safeguards some of the most isolated, primeval, and pristine wilderness the world over and is known to contain more than 400 of Suriname’s known bird species, including scarlet, red-and-green and blue and gold macaws and the harpy eagle. It is also home to all eight species of Suriname’s monkey population including the white-faced saki, the common squirrel monkey and the black spider monkey. Monkeys and birds are not its only inhabitants, as jaguars, armadillos, otters and sloths also exist side by side in this incredible nature reserve.

As this tropical rain forest is uninhabited by humans, it provides a valuable baseline for biological and ecological research useful for the conservation of other tropical ecosystems, and has plant genepool benefits. The presence of geological features (inselbergs), is also of great conservation value.

Much of the reserve has yet to be explored, thus the true extent of the site’s diversity is not fully known. Nevertheless, visitors can enjoy great sights and activities, from jungle walks to hiking up the peak of Mount Voltzberg, to exploring the gorgeous Raleigh waterfalls.