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February 2011    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 26, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Panama’s Coiba National Park

from the February, 2011 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Coiba National Park, located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, is a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site, comprising a 1,700 square-mile island plus 38 smaller islands. The islands are uninhabited, remote and wild. Endemic land and marine species, as well as their migratory routes and reproduction sites, are protected, in part, by the island's inaccessibility.

Its Tropical Eastern Pacific location, which includes the Cocos, Malpelo, and Galapagos Islands, is impacted by five converging oceanic current with a 16-foot tidal variation every six hours. Its proximity to the continental shelf creates deep, open ocean conditions and nutrient-rich waters that attract pelagics not usually seen so close to shore. Deepwater sea mounts, pinnacles and drop-offs, volcanic substrata, shallow coral reefs, rocky shores, beaches, mangroves, estuaries, sand and mud areas offer a diversity of marine habitats. ...

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