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Performing Research on the Brownsberg in Brokopondo nature park, Suriname

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

One of the reasons for going on vacation to Suriname is the beautiful tropical rainforest. And there is almost no more reachable destination in the jungle  than the Brownsberg Mountain Nature Park in District Brokopondo.

The terrain

The mountain is a remnant of a half moon shaped bauxite plateau, with its 500 meters height protruding above the surrounding jungle. The area is under the supervision of Suriname Nature Conservation Foundation (Stinasu). The Brownsberg offers an amazing view of the Van Blommenstein reservoir. The lake is 135 000 hectares, about the size of the province of Utrecht, The Netherlands and has an average depth of 14 meters. It was created by the construction of a dam in the Suriname River.

There are a few rare and endangered vegetation types in the park, caused by a low cloud formation in the rainforest. Along most of the eastern edge of the plateau is a constant moving cloud formation in the direction of the hills. These clouds penetrate the forest there, and this has resulted in the trees  and lianas  being laden with a variety of mosses and ferns. There is a wide diversity of flora and fauna and there are rare animals to see which one usually only in the interior of Suriname, as the trumpeter.

Tourists and researchers

Visiting researchers and tourists stay at the lodges because there are no real facilities yet. The plateau is very easy to reach from Paramaribo city, you can choose to climb the mountain by bike or by car.

The Brownsberg is an ideal area for research because it provides easy access to areas of plants and animals that are otherwise difficult to reach and observe. In the distant past, The Brownsberg has probably been a refuge and therefore provides shelter to a number of rare plant and animal species.

There is a brick and wood common lodge built specifically for researchers, which unlike the tourist stays, is outfitted with 120V power, as well as a gas furnace, full kitchen, and a way of getting drinkable water from tanks. 

There are many opportunities at the Brownsberg Nature Park for tourists and researchers to learn about nature. Every year, almost 170.000 visitors arrive at the top of this mountain, either by bike or by foot.

Currently the researchers are assessing the health of the jungle's ecosystems and the conservation status of the Brownsberg. They are also checking which plants and animals are interesting for visitors to see, as well as pools that can be used to shower and clean up.

If you are interested to join the researchers, contact the Department of Antropology, at Kent State University, or the Foundation of Nature Conversation in Suriname (Stinasu).



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