Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Overview
 
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 kilometres (31.1 mi) north of the city centre of Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Palawan
Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region or Region 4. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. The river also called Puerto Princesa Underground River. The national park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the northern coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east. The City Government of Puerto Princesa has managed the National Park since 1992.
Encyclopedia
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 kilometres (31.1 mi) north of the city centre of Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Palawan
Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region or Region 4. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. The river also called Puerto Princesa Underground River. The national park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the northern coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east. The City Government of Puerto Princesa has managed the National Park since 1992. It is also known as St. Paul's Subterranean River National Park, or St. Paul Underground River. The entrance to the Subterranean River is a short hike from the town of Sabang.

On November 11, 2011, it was provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

Geography

The park has a limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 karst
KARST
Kilometer-square Area Radio Synthesis Telescope is a Chinese telescope project to which FAST is a forerunner. KARST is a set of large spherical reflectors on karst landforms, which are bowlshaped limestone sinkholes named after the Kras region in Slovenia and Northern Italy. It will consist of...

 mountain landscape with an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

. It includes major formations of stalactite
Stalactite
A stalactite , "to drip", and meaning "that which drips") is a type of speleothem that hangs from the ceiling of limestone caves. It is a type of dripstone...

s and stalagmite
Stalagmite
A stalagmite is a type of speleothem that rises from the floor of a limestone cave due to the dripping of mineralized solutions and the deposition of calcium carbonate. This stalagmite formation occurs only under certain pH conditions within the underground cavern. The corresponding formation on...

s, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

 influences. Until the 2007 discovery of an underground river in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River was reputed to be the world's longest underground river.

The area also represents a habitat for biodiversity conservation
Conservation biology
Conservation biology is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction...

. The site contains a full mountain-to-the-sea ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

 and has some of the most important forests in Asia. It was inscribed by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 as a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 on December 4, 1999.

Flora

The Park has a range of forest formations representing eight of the thirteen forest types found in tropical Asia, namely forest over ultramafic soils, forest over limestone soils, montane forest, freshwater swamp forest, lowland evergreen tropical rainforest, riverine forest, beach forest, and mangrove forest. Researchers have identified more than 800 plant species from 300 genera and 100 families. These include at least 295 trees dominated by the dipterocarp type of species. In the lowland forest, large trees such as the Dao (Dracontomelon dao), Ipil (Intsia bijuga), Dita (Alstonia scholaris
Alstonia scholaris
Alstonia scholaris Alstonia scholaris Alstonia scholaris (Apocynaceae, commonly called Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood and Pulai; syn. Echites scholaris L. Mant., Pala scholaris L...

), Amugis (Koordersiodendrum pinnatum), and Apitong (Dipterocarpus gracilis
Dipterocarpus gracilis
Dipterocarpus gracilis is a species of tree in the family Dipterocarpaceae. The species is found in Kalimantan, Bangladesh, India , Indonesia , Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines...

) are common. Beach forest species include Bitaog (Calophyllum inophyllum
Calophyllum inophyllum
Calophyllum inophyllum is a large evergreen. It is native from East Africa, southern coastal India to Malesia and Australia.-Distribution and description:...

), Pongamia pinnata
Pongamia pinnata
Milletia pinnata is a species of tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, native in tropical and temperate Asia including parts of India, China, Japan, Malesia, Australia and Pacific islands. It is often known by the synonym Pongamia pinnata as it was moved to the genus Millettia only recently...

, and Erynthia orientalis. Other notable plant species include Almaciga (Agathis philippinensis
Agathis philippinensis
Agathis philippinensis is a species of Agathis native to the Philippines, Sulawesi and Halmahera, where it occurs in upland tropical rainforest at 450-2,200 m altitude, rarely as low as 250 m in northern Luzon....

), Kamagong (Diospyros pulganensis) Pandan (Pandanus
Pandanus
Pandanus is a genus of monocots with about 600 known species. They are numerous palmlike dioecious trees and shrubs native of the Old World tropics and subtropics. They are classified in the order Pandanales, family Pandanaceae.-Overview:...

 sp.) Anibong, and Rattan (Calamus sp.)

Fauna

Birds comprise the largest group of vertebrates found in the park. Of the 252 bird species known to occur in Palawan, a total of 165 species of birds were recorded in the park. This represents 67% of the total birds and all of the 15 endemic bird species of Palawan. Notable species seen in the park are the blue-naped parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis), Tabon scrub fowl (Megapodius cumunigii), hill myna (Gracula religiosa), Palawan hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei), white breasted sea eagle (Halitutus leucogates ).

There are also some 30 mammal species that have been recorded (Madulid, 1998). Most often observed in the forest canopy and along the shoreline feeding during low tide is the long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis), the only primate found in the area. Other mammal species in the park are the bearded pig (Sus barbatus), bearcat (Arctictis binturong), Palawan stink badger (Mydaus marchei) and the Palawan porcupine (Hystrix pumilus)

19 species of reptiles have been identified, eight of which are endemic (Madulid, 1998). Common species in the area include large predators like the common reticulated python (Phython reticulatus), the monitor lizard (Varanus salvator) and the green crested lizard (Bronchocoela cristatella). Amphibian fauna include ten species. The Philippine woodland frog (Rana acanthi) is the most dominant and frequently encountered. One species, Barbourula busuangensis, endemic to Palawan was also observed in the area.

Notable are the nine species of bats, two species of swiftlets and whip spider (Stygophrynus sp.) found in the cave, and the sea cow (Dugong dugon) and the hawksbill sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) that feed in the coastal area of the park.

International notability

Puerto Princesa Underground River was entered as the Philippine entry - and topped the first round of voting - in the New7Wonders of Nature competition, and on July 28, 2011, after the second round of voting, it was declared 1 of 28 finalists. Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn extended his gratitude to all those who supported and voted for the PPUR. On November 11, 2011 it was provisionally chosen as one of the "New7Wonders of Nature", together with the Amazonia, Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. Administratively, the bay belongs to Hạ Long City, Cẩm Phả town, and part of Van Don district. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes...

, Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian State of Paraná and the Argentine Province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu. The Iguazu River originates near the city of Curitiba. It flows...

, Jeju Island, Komodo Island, and Table Mountain
Table Mountain
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is featured in the flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top...

.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK