Savegre biosphere reserve

©Savegre biosphere reserve

Savegre biosphere reserve is located on the Central Pacific in Costa Rica, 190 km from the capital, San José. It counts with a rich biodiversity, and is home to 20% of the country's total flora, 54% of its mammals and 59% of its birds. Nearly 50,000 people live in the biosphere reserve. The main productive activities are agriculture and livestock. Crop production is significant in areas with higher altitudes, and includes plantations of apple, plum, pomegranate, blackberry, strawberry and avocado. Ecotourism has increased significantly during recent years, and has become a source of socio-economic growth in the region.

Designation Date: 2017
Administrative Authorities: Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía
Surface area (terrestrial and marine): 312,914.32 ha
Core area(s): 32,417.65 ha (terrestrial: 6,544.24 ha; marine: 25,873.41 ha)
Buffer zone(s):  199,306.63 ha (terrestrial: 75,679.37 ha; marine: 123,627.26 ha; island: 12.65 ha)
Transition area(s): 81,190.04 ha

Location
Midpoint: 09°22ʹ01.2ʺ N - 84°58ʹ37.9ʺ O

 

Ecological Characteristics

©Savegre biosphere reserve

The Savegre biosphere reserve borders the existing La Amistad Biosphere Reserve in the north and east, and the Cordillera Volcánica Central Biosphere Reserve in the north. This biosphere reserve would represent the first and only reserve of the country to contain an important marine-coastal component.

This site has a high value in terms of ecosystems, biodiversity, water resources and connectivity. Due to its varied topography, as well as its heterogeneity of microclimates, it is one of the most biodiverse sites in the country, being home to 20% of the country’s total flora, 54% of its mammals, 59% of its birds and about 330 species of butterflies. The area is composed of two areas with a high level of endemism in Costa Rica, the upper parts of the Cordillera de Talamanca and west of Panama, and the basal forests of the South Pacific. It contains 71 species of endemic plants (e.g. Passiflora gilbertiana, Bartlettina silvicola, Pseudima costarricense, Sarcaulus spp., Pitcairnia halophila), palm species (Chamaedorea piscifolia and Chamaedorea incrustata) and trees (Matisia tinamastiana y Lacmellea zamorae).

Socio-Economic Characteristics

©Savegre biosphere reserve

The reserve has a population of approximately 50,000 inhabitants, who live mostly in the transition zone with a few inhabiting the buffer area. The main productive activities are agriculture and livestock (about 75%). Crop production is significant in areas with higher altitudes, and includes plantations of apple, plum, pomegranate, blackberry, strawberry and avocado, as well as milk production and trout farming. Coffee and livestock are farmed between 800 and 1500 m. Below 800 m (the area with the lowest forest cover and therefore greatest intensity of land use), the main economic activities are oil palm, forestry, vanilla, annual crops, cattle rearing and artisan fishing. Ecotourism has increased significantly during recent years, and has become a source of socio-economic growth in the region.

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Last updated in June 2017

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