Costa Rica’s National Parks and Biological Corridors

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Costa Rica has over 30 national parks and preserves totaling approximately 25% of the country. Their national park system is modeled after those in Canada and the United States and demonstrates their desire to be an eco-friendly country.

 

If there is one problem with the park system is they exist as biological islands and are isolated from each other. This causes survival issues with those species who depend on a diverse genetic gene-pool in order to maintain stable populations.

An example of this is Corcovado National Park which lies at the tip of the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica. Corcovado National Park is one of the most biologically intense places on the planet. Yet it is isolated from the Piedras Blancas National Park which lies on the mainland to the north. Big cat species like Jaguars and Pumas, which live in the park, need diverse, healthy gene pools to maintain healthy populations and are thusly threatened by this isolation. Studies are currently underway to determine the effects of this isolation but one can only guess the results will not be encouraging.

However, there are both private and public organization working on building biological corridors to help ensure the animals can get from park to park as easy as the tourists can. Biological corridors are composed of native plants (shrubs, trees, grasses etc) and are designed to mimic the original environment in hopes of making sure the animals feel safe and confident enough to use them.

The country’s airline, Nature Air, is assisting in corridor projects and has helped protect 500 acres of forest on the Osa Peninsula.

Many of the ecolodges in Costa Rica are involved in corridor or other conservation projects. Many lodges are also involved in equally important societal projects.

Doing a little research before your trip will help you find lodges and businesses that contribute a percentage of your money to environmental or social causes.

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