The Iwokrama Rainforest is home to many exotic and diverse bird, reptile, amphibian and mammal species. But it also represents one of the few protected forests in the country of Guyana and one of the last pristine tropical forests left in the world.
Visits to the forest can serve as lessons in animal and plant species as well as ecotourism and nature travel. The Guyanese government set aside 1,400 square miles of rainforest, river and mountains in 1989, in an effort to demonstrate sustainable and ecologically sound development. It was protected once more when the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development was established in 1996.
The management of the forest falls into the hands of scientists, land managers and indigenous people of the region, ensuring that some of the resources benefit native Guyanians.
Perhaps this is why visitors can find more than 450 bird species here, as well as rare mammals, including the elusive jaguar. The International Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species lists more than 30 percent of the animals that live in the Iwokrama Rainforest on their endangered list.
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