Geography in Honduras
Honduras lies at the widest point of the Central American land bridge and borders Nicaragua in the southeast, Guatemala in the northwest and El Salvador in the southwest. The south coast lies on the North Pacific, in the north lies the Caribbean Sea. Here the coastal lowlands, interspersed with rivers, swamps and lagoons, extend 70 kilometers inland. A mountain range crossed by several rivers runs through the predominantly mountainous country from east to west. The highest point in the country is the Cerro Las Minas with a height of 2870 meters. There are numerous volcanic islands in front of the Gulf of Fonseca in the southwest.
Most of the country’s rivers drain the country into the Atlantic Ocean. The 320-kilometer-long Río Patuca and the 240-kilometer-long Río Ulúa are the two longest rivers in the country. The largest lake and at the same time the largest drinking water reservoir in Honduras is the approximately 80 km² Lago de Yojoa.
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Flora and fauna in Honduras
About 48 percent of Honduras is / were covered with forest. Every year around 3000 km² of forest are destroyed. Oak and pine forests cover the cooler highlands, grasses predominate in the lowlands, mangroves and palm trees can be found in the coastal areas.
Honduras is home to numerous animal species, including insects, crocodiles, snakes, lizards, turtles, deer, monkeys (e.g. the white-shouldered capuchin, Honduras’ smallest monkey) and coyotes. Big cats like jaguars, puma and ocelots as well as various reptiles, birds and marine animals also live here.
National parks and nature conservation in Honduras
Honduras has a great natural wealth. These include in particular the still almost untouched largest contiguous rainforest in Central America in the northeast of the country (Mosquitia) as well as the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem after the Australian Barrier Reef around the Caribbean islands off the Honduran mainland (Islas de la Bahía). In both cases, however, there is also a risk of increasing environmental hazards from illegal logging and slash and burn due to demographic pressure on the one hand and from overfishing, marine pollution and increasing diving tourism on the other.
In the big cities there are many environmental problems such as water shortages, erosion phenomena, a lack of sewage disposal, illegal landfills and uncontrolled building activity.
Increasingly, however, the idea of promoting international ecotourism is also taking place in the Honduran government.
The Río Plátano biosphere reserve, which covers around 5000 km², is the largest nature reserve in Honduras and is one of the last remaining intact rainforest areas in Central America. The park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. In total, around ten percent of the country’s area is under nature protection. Where the wood can be transported away, however, overexploitation has already greatly reduced the stocks of precious woods such as mahogany, cedar and yellowwood.
Climate in Honduras
Honduras has a tropical climate that is temperate at the higher elevations inland. In the always humid Caribbean lowlands, the average annual temperature is around 26 ° C. In the winter-dry Pacific region the annual mean is around 31 ° C, in the higher temperate regions around 20 ° C. The amount of precipitation decreases from north to south and lies between 1000 and 2500 mm / year. The dry season lasts from November to May. The rainy season begins around May and ends in October. On the Caribbean coast, however, it rains all year round.