No. 58B The Honduran Eco-tourist trail on the FunaVid mountain.
By Warren Darrell | Newsletter No. 58B November 2014 - December 2014

The eco-tourist trail up the FunaVid Mountain has now made good progress. It will facilitate teaching of university students, and Honduran school children. It will serve to help to publicise the Inga system when the big plantation near the top of the mountain is established, and it will provide income for the local guides.

The eco-tourist trail on the FunaVid Mountain.

By Warren Darrell

During October 2014, six ecotourism guides and students from CURLA (Central University of the Littoral Atlantic Region) planned development of the Funavid ecology trail, which passes through regenerating rainforest and Caribbean beach. Whited face and howler monkeys abound, and a rare black melanistic jaguar has been spotted.

 

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Ecotourism and birding guide Kelvin spotting a toucan on the Funavid trail with students Akira and Orly

 

 

     

“Love hurts” with the fatal embrace (embrazo mortal) of the strangler fig (genus Ficus), which has completely enveloped a palm tree.

 

Birds disperse the strangler fig seeds in the upper canopy, from where the seed drops a small root to the ground. The fig then grows and overcomes its host. Such is competition for precious light in the dense rainforest.

 

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The agile, swift, and well disguised Bejuquilla; the students captured this tree dwelling snake, studied and photographed it, then released it unharmed.

 

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Students Dolan and Akira sampling wild cacao on the trail. The white pulp is sweet, while the seeds taste of slightly bitter chocolate.

 

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Rudolpho and Orly on the trail taking notes.

Dolan mapping the trail with a GPS.

 

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Gumbo Limbo tree, reputedly medicinal for kidney ailments.

 

Photo with permission of Kelvin Bodden.

The water level is low now, but the streambanks indicate the level during high water. The stable vegetative cover on the ground protects the soil, the stream, and the Caribbean, into which the stream flows.

 

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“Quebrada Funavid”

 

Trailwalkers can enjoy the mountain rainforest and the Caribbean beach, quite different ecosystems.

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Los Cayos Cochinos, “Hog ILos Cayos Cochinos, “Hog Islands”, about 10 miles offshore, viewed from the Funavid beach. The offshore coral reefs are rich ecosystems, so far not much affected by humans. They have not yet been intensively studied, and some species may be unknown elsewhere.