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      Biosphere Reserve Information

Costa Rica


  General Description   La Amistad Biosphere Reserve and National Park lies in the foothills and mountains of the Cordillera de Talamanca, between the mountain ranges of Panama and Costa Rica. The Cordillera de Talamanca is the highest and wildest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America, formed by the orogenic activity, which created the land dividing the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans. Of the 20 life zones of Costa Rica, at least eight occur in the park, which includes lowland tropical wet rainforest to cloud and paramo forests. Most of the main crest lays within the montane rainforest life zone, characterized by mixed oak forest, the largest tracts of virgin forest in Costa Rica. On high peaks along the ridge over 3,000 meters above sea level, there are frequent stands of paramo, swamps and cold marshes. The paramo on Mt. Kamuk contains the richest and most variated vegetation in the entire Talamanca Range. Signs of tapirs (Tapirus terrestris), possibly of a species as yet unrecorded for Costa Rica are abundant near the Panamanian border. Puma (Felis concolor), ocelot (F. pardalis), jaguar (F. yagouaroundi), Central American squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii) and Geoffroy's spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) are found within the biosphere reserve. Man's impact on the Indian reservations is considerable, with about 24,950 (2002) people maintaining their traditional lifestyles with free-range grazing, hunting, fishing and use of medicinal plants. Local participation has been supported by NGOs, but it doesn’t exist permanent mechanisms of consultation. In 1987, a strategy for conservation was developed with technical and financial support, but integrative work has declined. However institutions work separately to promote the biosphere reserve concept. This site forms part of La Amistad International Park with Panama.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical dry or deciduous forest; mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types  
  Location   8°44' to 10°02'N; 82°43' to 83°44'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   584,592
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +50 to +3,820
  Year designated   1982
  Administrative authorities   Area de Conservacion Amistad Servicio de Parques Nacionales Fundacion Iriria Tsochok (NGO) Ministerio de Recursos Naturales, Energia y Minas
  Brief description   Biodiversity investigation
Social investigation
Sustainable development
Environmental education
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity.
  Socio-economic   Social/Socio-economic aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   Education and public awareness, sustainable development/sustainable use.
  Contact address   Ronald Chan
Apartado 168-6000, Puriscal
 San José
Costa Rica
  Telephone   (506) 88 17 64 68

Last updated: 08/03/2011

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