The Rainforest Trail

Shore Excursions from La Romana

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  • Rainforest Trail
    The endangered Amazona Ventralis roams free on the property and is often seen on the trail.
  • monarch butterfly small The trail
    The trails takes 10 minutes and everybody with a normal fitness can join ...
  • giant swallowtail small Liana display...
     
  • lemon butterfly small Exciting wood bridges connect the paths
     
  • zebra longwing small Strangler figs
     
  • malachite small Thebtrail is easy, but shows the real rainforest
     
  • gulf small Giant buttress roots
     
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The Rainforest Trail

... deep in the jungle....

The Dominican Republic has the most Northern rainforests in the world. And the Tanama Ranch has a large, relatively undisturbed, track of rainforest. A rainforest differs from a temperate forest (like the forests in the North America or Europe). In a temperate forest all nutrients needed by the plants and trees are available in the soil... in a rainforest the soil hardly contains nutrients, nutrients are 'recycled' by rainforest organism before they reach the forest floor... The rainforest is a much more integrated eco system, where trees and plants rely on insects and animals (and visa verse) for survival....

jungle tour close up80% of our food originates from the rainforest and 25% of our medicines contain elements found in the rainforest....

We'll show you the interactions between the bromeliads and the insects, between the strangler figs and the trees and between the ants and the vegetation. Very interesting: ever heard of 'zombie ants', the 'monkey pistol', the 'devils garden', the 'tourist tree', 'the termite farmers' ..... this is your chance...

You can join our short and easy trail through the forest. On the way we will explain the different layers of the rainforest and show the different type of vegetation and animals that live here. Almost all life in the rainforest is concentrated in the canopy (the tree tops), how do these animals survive? Several rope bridges connect the different parts....

And did you know: without the Sahara desert the rainforests in South and Middle America and the Caribbean wouldn't exist.... We'll explain how this functions... But foremost the rainforest trail is to soak up the jungle feeling and to enjoy the tranquility of the area.


The Bromeliads and Orchids

We will show you our bromeliad and orchid display. Bromeliads form the back bone of the rainforest canopy, up to 40% of the leaf surface is from Bromeliads... They create the habitat for the canopy dwellers by collecting and storing water...



The Canopy Trees

Meet the most violent tree of the rainforest ... spines, venom and it 'fires ammunition'... The sandbox tree has unique defenses ... We'll highlight some special features of different trees in our rainforest.....



The Lianas and Stranglers

The stranglers are parasitic plants and they take their host plant in a death grip, ultimately killing the host plant .... Lianas are less damaging but can grow to 1 kilometer in length. In our rainforest we have huge lianas...



The Pioneers

After a natural disaster like a forest fire or a severe flood the pioneers create a new habitat ... they stabilize the soil and provide shade ... Birds and reptiles will come back to the area and they will drop seeds of the real canopy trees .... Without the pioneers the forest can't rejuvenate...



The Rainforest Animals

The forest vegetation relies on animals and insects to survive.. each animal has its own function... meet the zombie ants, the rainforest farmers and the seed dispensers....



Some Rainforest Facts:

- Rainforests lie in tropical regions around the world (the tropical band). Rainforests rely on rain, rain can take 10 minutes to reach the forest floor due to the thick tree canopy. Rainforests are the "Lungs of our Planet" because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.

- More than half of the world's estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical rainforests. Rainforest gives home to 2.5 million different sorts of insects, of which 2000 butterfly species... One hectare (2.47 acres) may contain over 750 types of trees and 1500 species of higher plants, 125 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 100 reptiles , 60 amphibians, countless insects, 150 species of butterflies.

- At least 80% of the developed world's diet originated in the tropical rainforest. Its bountiful gifts to the world include fruits like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangoes and tomatoes; vegetables including corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; spices like black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, turmeric, coffee and vanilla and nuts including Brazil nuts and cashews. Rainforests produce 3000 different fruits (in the west we only use 200; native people use up to 2000).

- One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries. There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less than 200,000. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, indigenous tribes and rainforest peoples are also disappearing.

- Currently, 121 prescription drugs currently sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. And while 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less than 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists. Most medicine men and shamans remaining in the rainforests today are 70 years old or more. Each time a rainforest medicine man dies, it is as if a library has burned down. When a medicine man dies without passing his arts on to the next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of years of irreplaceable knowledge about medicinal plants.



The different Layers of a Rainforest:

A tropical rainforest is divided into 4 main layers: the emergent, canopy, understory, and forest floor layers. Each layer of a tropical rainforest has different plants, insects and animals adapted for life in that particular area:

- The emergent layer of the rainforest consists of the tops of the tallest trees, which are much higher than the average canopy height (ranging up to 270 feet or 81 m) and houses numerous birds and insects
- The canopy layer of a rainforest consists of the upper parts of the trees (about 65 to 130 feet or 20 to 40 m tall) and is the home to many species of birds, insects, arachnids, mammals such as the howler monkey and the orang-utan, reptiles such as snakes and lizards. Plants in the canopy include thick vines, mosses, lichens and orchids
- The understory layer of a rainforest is a dark, cool environment that is under the leaves but over the ground and contains shrubs, small trees, ferns, palms and vines. The understory layer is home to insects, arachnids, snakes, lizards, small mammals, and birds, leopards and jaguars
- The forest floor layer of a rainforest receives only 2% of sunlight and a limited range of plants. The forest floor is therefore relatively clear of vegetation. It also contains decaying plant and animal matter

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