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The eye of the reserve.

El Faro--the lighthouse--is a 316-acre site in the lush tropical landscape of northeastern Puerto Rico. Surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean, it encompasses forests, mangroves, lagoons, beaches, cliffs, offshore cays and coral reefs.

Entitled Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, the site which was recently opened to the public, is administered by the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico and is home to a vast array of flora and fauna, including sea turtles and other endangered species. It also serves as a habitat for abundant underwater life, shore and migratory birds and as an important spawning ground for fish and crustaceans.

According to Javier Blanco, executive director of the Conservation Trust, El Faro, which was once threatened by development, "will forever serve as a haven for wildlife, as a laboratory for marine and natural scientists, and as a beautiful reminder of Puerto Rico's natural history for future generations."

Dominating the reserve is the imposing lighthouse, built by the Spanish in 1880 and neoclassical in design. Now operated by the U.S. Coast Guard which is lending it to the Trust, the structure houses its own nature exhibition while an observation deck offers a majestic view of the reserve, the El Yunque rain forest, offshore cays and islands as distant as St. Thomas.

The Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico is a private, non-profit institution created in 1970 by the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. to protect and enhance the island's natural beauty. The Trust has acquired some 5,000 acres of land of ecological, aesthetic and historic value and holds them in perpetuity for the education and enjoyment of the public.
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Title Annotation:Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve
Author:Goethals, Henry
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Article Type:column
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Words:275
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