El Imposible preserves the most diverse flora and fauna of El Salvador. It houses tree species that are new both to science and wildlife, specifically birds and butterflies. It is the last refuge in the country for endangered species.
Trees and Plants
Exuberant trees with outstanding heights form the forest scenario and are easily found by tourists:
El volador (Terminalia oblonga)
Jiote (Bursera simaruba)
El mulo (Licania retifolia)
Conacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum)
Ceiba (Ceiba pentandra)
Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)
El belloto (Quercus skinneri)
At El Imposible, 984 species of vascular plants and over two species of lichens that enrich El Salvador’s natural heritage.
Árbol siete camisas (Guapira witsbergeri)
Guaquito de tierra (Aristolochia salvadorensis)
Hierba Ageratum salvanaturae, named after SalvaNATURA
Other species that can be used as medicine, materials and food (ethnobotanical) are found in the Park:
Ojushte (Brosimun alicastrum): corn substitute
Copinol (Hymenaea courbaril): used for handicrafts
Helecho calahuala Polypodium sp.: medicinal
Rivers at El Imposible National Park are sources of water for life and economic activities in nearby communities (agriculture, fisheries, livestock and tourism). Their sweet water feeds Barra de Santiago, forming the Barra de Santiago Watershed.
The forest acts as an absorbent sponge that maintains the optimum flow, even during the dry season, which is why it is said that El Imposible provides environmental services to create life outside of its own boundaries. These rivers are:
San Francisco Menéndez, El Corozo, Jencho, Mixtepe, Maishtapula, Izcanal, Ahuachapío and Guayapa, which meets El Naranjo River, 1 km outside of the park.
The San Francisco Menéndez River does not originate within El Imposible, but most of their wealth is in it.
The soil of these rivers experiences a lot of tectonic movement, allowing the visitors to see fractured rocks, walls, paths with abrupt changes in direction and slope, waterfalls, streams and pools of clear water, all ideal for adventure tourism.
Fish, Amphibians and Reptiles
13 fish species, 4 toad and 7 frogs species, 19 lizard species, 24 snakes and 1 turtle.
Tepemechín (Agonostomus monticula) this species lives in the deposits of the Guayapa River, their presence indicates oxygenation in the water.
Black-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis moreletii): is the only Salvadoran species considered endangered worldwide.
Taylor’s worm salamander (Oedipina taylori): is a salamander reported among the Park’s amphibians
Timbo snake (Atropoides nummifer)
Central American rattlesnake (Crotalus simus)
Coral snake (Micrurus nigrocinctus)
Coral moustrap snake (Lampropeltis triangulum)
Green iguana (Iguana iguana)
Turtle padlock (Kinosternon scorpioides)
Studied through the Bird Monitoring Project by SalvaNATURA’s Science Program. The Park has trails for birding enthusiasts and experts. It has 286 registered species, among them are 65 migratory species and 61 irregular visitors, and some are restricted to El Imposible:
Cobolito Turkey (Penelope purpurascens)
White Hawk (Leucopternis albicollis)
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
King zope (Sarcoramphus papa)
Talapo (Momotus momota)
Torogoz (Eumomota superciliosa)
The Pajuil (crax rubra)
Pezotes (Nasua Larica)
Cuches de monte (Tayassu tajacu)
White-tailed deer(Odocoileus virginianus)
Cotuzas (Dasyprocta punctata)
Tepezcuintles (Agouti paca)
Anteater (Tamandua mexicana)
Ocelot (Leopardos wiedii and L. pardalis)
Collared peccary (Tayasu tajacu)
Otter (Lutra longicaudis)
Porcupine (Coendou mexicanus)
To observe it is required that tourists walk silently along the trails, with great patience and a lot of curiosity, since animals perceive the noise, the smell and the presence of humans.
Small groups of tourists that follow the guides’ instructions have more opportunities to really see the biological richness of El Imposible.