1 Tahrcountry Musings: Eight new natural sites added to the World Heritage List

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Eight new natural sites added to the World Heritage List

Eight new natural sites have been added to the World Heritage List. This follows IUCN’s recommendations. The new sites are Socotra Archipelago in Yemen, Canada’s Joggins Fossil Cliffs, the French Lagoons of New Caledonia, Saryarka in Northern Kazakhstan, Mount Sanqingshan National Park in China, Surtsey in Iceland, the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona, and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico.
The Socotra Archipelago is rich in flora and fauna. 37 percent of Socotra’s plant species, 90 percent of its reptile species and 95 percent of its land snail species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Canada’s Joggins Fossil Cliffs have been termed the “coal age Gal├ípagos” and are the world reference site for the Coal Age. The site bears witness to the first reptiles in Earth’s history, which are the earliest representatives of the amniotes, a group of animals that includes reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals. The tropical lagoons and coral reefs of New Caledonia form one of the three most extensive reef systems in the world. Saryarka is a largely undisturbed area of Central Asian steppe and lakes in the Korgalzhyn and Naurzum State Nature Reserves. Mount Sanqingshan National Park was recommended for its outstanding natural beauty. Surtsey is a new island and was formed by volcanic eruptions in 1963-67. The Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona, which includes the Glarus Overthrust, shows how mountains were formed through continental collisions. The three core zones of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve protect eight overwintering colonies of the monarch butterfly in the oyamel fir forests of central Mexico.
Posted with inputs from IUCN
Photos on each site are available Here
Fact sheets on each site are available here

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