Lucayan National Park Facts

Lucayan National Park Facts
Lucayan National Park is one of three national parks located on Grand Bahama Island. It is only 40 acres in size, located east of Freeport by 25 miles. What makes this park so unique is that visitors are able to view all six of the Grand Bahama Island ecosystems within the park. The underwater cave system is one of the longest of its kind in the world, and tours of the caves area a popular attraction. Lucayan national Park was established in 1977. The underwater caves are known to house artifacts of the Lucayan people, who were the first known inhabitants of the island.
Interesting Lucayan National Park Facts:
In 1986 artifacts of the Lucayan people were found in the underwater caves of the park. These artifacts included bones, and other evidence of their existence.
The Lucayan people used the underwater caves of Lucayan National Park for shelter, for burial purposes, and as a source for fresh water.
The underwater caves of Lucayan National Park have only been mapped as far as seven miles. It is one of the world's longest underwater charted caves to date.
The six ecosystems found within Lucayan National Park include the beach strand, blackland coppice, rocky coppice, whiteland coppice, marsh, and the pine forest.
The pine forest ecosystem of the park contains Caribbean pines, a tree that accounts for 50% of the trees on Grand Bahama Island. In the pine forest zone there are also palmettos, and agave plant.
The beach strand of the park contains plants that can withstand salt and wind, such as sea purslane, bay marigolds, and sandfly bushes. The beach strand contains sandy and rocky shorelines.
The whiteland coppice transitions from mangroves to the beach and contains a lot of rich plant life, including the giant poisonwood, similar to poison ivy with its toxic oil.
The rocky coppice of the park transitions between the pine forest and mangroves and commonly floods. Prickly trees grow in this area as well as red cedar and mahogany.
The blackland coppice of the park is created by decomposing pine forest leaves that allows for the growth of fig, satin leaf, dogwood, and lancewood trees.
The marsh area of the park supports large mangrove trees, which thrive on the brackish (salt and fresh) water in the swamps.
Because of its location Lucayan National Park is susceptible to damage by hurricanes. The boardwalk that stretches 183 meters had to be rebuilt after the 2005 and 2005 hurricanes.
Birds that can be found in Lucayan National Park include the thick-billed vireo, olive capped warbler, and the Bahama swallow, all of which are restricted range species of birds.
During the summer bats like to live in the entrances to the caves of Lucayan National Park. The caves serve as both a nursery and shelter to bats that use them when they area migrate.
Visitors to Lucayan National Park can enjoy cave diving, snorkeling, bird watching, picnicking, water sports and lounging on the beaches as well as hiking through the parks six ecosystems.

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