Kaieteur Plateau – Upper Potaro, Guyana
At 251 meters (82.2 ft) high, Kaieteur Falls in Guyana (South America) is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, four times higher than Niagara Falls. It ranks 19th in the world in terms of volume of water that flows over the falls, making it also one of the most powerful. Surrounding this world wonder is an incredible diversity of pristine terrestrial and aquatic habitats, including lowland and submontane rainforest, white sand savannah, and open rocky scrub habitat. These habitats support an amazing diversity of animals and plants, including many species found no-where else on Earth.
The waterfalls are protected within the 62,000 ha Kaieteur National Park, a top tourist attraction in Guyana. The park is in a region dominated by mining so park managers and partners are working hard to keep it intact.
In March 2014, GWC joined with WWF-Guyana to explore the forests and rivers of Kaieteur National Park and the region upstream from the falls (Upper Potaro watershed). We assembled a team of the top experts on the flora and fauna of the Guiana Shield to find, study, and document the remarkable diversity of this remote region. The data will be used to guide management of Kaieteur National Park and to help the government, local Patamona Amerindians, and local conservation groups protect and manage the surrounding area.
The team consisted of international and Guyanese scientists, Patamona field specialists, University of Guyana students, and Kaieteur National Park wardens. Together they surveyed plants, large mammals, fishes, reptiles, amphibians, dragonflies, ants, aquatic insects, decapod crustaceans (crabs and shrimps), and assessed water quality over a four-week period.
Preliminary results from the survey will be coming soon - so stay tuned here!