Cultural and natural values of Los Roques - The Reef
According to the Washington convention (1940) national parks are established regions for the protection and preservation of natural scenic beauty and the flora and fauna of national importance which ones placed under official surveillance can be enjoyed by the public. In addition these areas enclose exceptional representative samples of nature and landscape not totally changed by man.
In the case of Los Roques the classification plan emphasizes as its main objectives: To guarantee the existence of the coral reef, the covering of mangrove Halofic and Xerofilic communities, as well as the places and objects of historical and cultural heritage.
As far as the historical-cultural aspect is concerned those findings carried out by different archaeologist are quite outstanding. These refer to the Amerindian population who came from the Venezuelan central coast:
The Ocumareoids one thousand years ago and the Valenciaoids who came from the area around lake Valencia on the mainland of Venezuela. More recently are the remains of salt mining, Botuto conches, limestone ovens and the light house, which gives an idea of the lifestyle of early settlers who were able to colonize surroundings that were definitely much more hostile than they are today.
In the environmental aspect the richness of the coral reef must be highlighted. It has given way to the greater part of the archipelago, with the exception of the rock masses of Gran Roque. The rest of land which rises out of the water came from the development of these animal colonies in symbiosis with algae and with the capacity to believes you calcareous skeletons which over the years and as result of the changes in the it is level, gave way to islands and keys.
The archipelago has an atoll structure not very frequent in the Caribbean and common in the Pacific with external barriers formed by very developed and diverse coralline communities, an internal lagoon of shallow waters and sandy at the bottom of the sea.
These coralline communities are able to colonize transparent waters of low o nutritious content with warm and stable temperatures and to give cover to a wide variety of species of algae, sponges, mollusks, crustaceans and fish. >>