"Los Roques a protected natural paradise"
The need to preserve the environment and its biodiversity is a relatively new feeling. Towards the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th there was significant progress in trying to classify living beings and classical naturalists emerged. In their trips around the world, these naturalists picked and classified plants and animals, which allowed them to make for the first time a vision of the range of the exiting bio diversity. Among the most outstanding are Linneo, Darwin, Wallace, Bates and Mutis. At the same time these discoveries were made, the first scientific associations came into existence that were aware of the capacity of industry to alter the environment and place the recently discovered species in danger. For the first time there was the possibility that future generations would not know a living world as that discovered by scientists. The London Zoological Society one of the pioneer societies was born in England in 1826. A few years later the London Zoo was created in order to keep living collections which represented animal bio diversity. Soon it became obvious that what was important was not to keep species but to maintain complete ecosystems that would warrant the survival of these species. In 1872 the Yellowstone national park was created in the United States. The need to preserve nature involved at the beginning small groups of scientists and people who were sensitive to what was beginning to happen, until in 1886 the Audubon Society was founded becoming the first association whose primary goal is the preservation of nature. Afterwards many similar associations sprang up all over the world such as Sierra Club, UICN, WWF among others which have managed to have political clout in national as well as international decisions.
In Venezuela the movement for the creation of national parks as a means for preservation of representative ecosystems of flora and fauna of the country was started in 1937. The first one was the Henri Pittier park created as a tribute to the Swiss naturalist. This was followed by the Sierra Nevada in 1952; Avila and Guatopo in 1958. Mainly focused on the conservation of hydrographic basins and the quality of water for cities. Currently Venezuela has a total of 43 national parks and 40 natural monuments which make up 16% of the country's total land surface. These parks are managed by the National Parks Institute (Inparques), which depends on the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources.