Los Roques and Las Aves Archipelagos, Venezuela: A Marine Ecological and Conservation Reconnaissance of Two Little-Known Southeastern Caribbean Oceanic Archipelagos

The Los Roques and Las Aves oceanic coral reef archipelagos of Venezuela lie in a biogeographically unique and biologically diverse area of the Caribbean and possess extensive coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and shallow macroalgae meadows. The geographic location of these archipelagos safeguards them from most Western Atlantic hurricane damage as well as the most severe Caribbean coral bleaching episodes. While the Aves islands remain uninhabited and are an area of low accessibility, Los Roques has been a managed national park since 1972. We here present an updated synthesis of recent research for these archipelagos as an aid to scientists and conservationists interested in these island groups for which no recent ecological reviews are available.