Finca Shapiro Natural Protected Area
Naguabo, Puerto Rico
The Finca Shapiro Natural Protected Area (FSNPA) is found at the southeastern base of the Sierra de Luquillo ridge, in the municipality of Naguabo, in the Eastern Region of Puerto Rico. As a land donation made by the Shapiro family in 1999, the area represents the third private property gift received by the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. Understanding the proximity of their undeveloped property to El Yunque National Forest, the Shapiros prioritized the perpetual conservation of their land as part of a larger ecosystem.
At an elevation ranging from 575 feet (175.3 m) to 685 feet (208.8 m), the property sits mostly on a west-facing side slope of El Yunque, in the subtropical moist forest life zone. An intermittent creek runs through the area, its small basin eventually draining into the Santiago River. Because of its proximity to mature forested areas of El Yunque National Forest,
and due to the influence of precipitation brought about by the Sierra Luquillo ridge, Finca Shapiro is the home to many species of trees and shrubs that are typical of more humid zones found at higher elevations in the area. It also provides a safe habitat for several species of wildlife, including birds and reptiles that are endemic to Puerto Rico, along with many species of native plants.
A significant portion of Finca Shapiro has been designated part of El Yunque National Forest’s Proclamation Area, a zone just outside the administrative boundaries of the National Park proclaimed in 1950 for its continuous expansion through land purchases by the US Forest Service. At only 28,000 acres, El Yunque National Forest is one of the smallest of the US National Forest system, yet it is also one of the most ecologically diverse and the only tropical rainforest within it.
On February 5, 1999, the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico accepted a private property donation of 4.86 acres from Mr. Robert Shapiro and his wife Ms. Mary
Susan Hall of Babylon, New York. The Shapiros acquired this property on April 15, 1968 from the West Indies Cattle Company during their residence period in the island of Puerto Rico. On March 10, 2008, El Yunque National Forest and the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to facilitate the protection of lands around El Yunque National Forest that are considered suitable for preservation or conservation under the criteria of the US Forest Service. Lands acquired through this MOU are integrated for management purposes into El Yunque National Forest.