The Savegre Biosphere Reserve is located on Costa Rica's central Pacific coast and borders two other biosphere reserves in the north and east. Due to its varied topography, as well as its heterogeneity of microclimates, it is one of the most biodiverse sites in the country.
The Savegre Biosphere Reserve is located on Costa Rica's central Pacific coast, 190 km (118 mi) from the capital, San José. The reserve borders the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve in the north and east, and the Cordillera Volcánica Central Biosphere Reserve in the north. This biosphere reserve represents the first and only reserve in 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 biosphere reserve 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).
The biosphere 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 1,500 m (2,600 and 4,900 ft). Below 800 m (2,600 ft ) — the area with the lowest forest cover and therefore greatest intensity of land use — the main economic activities are palm oil, forestry, vanilla, annual crops, cattle rearing and artisan fishing. Ecotourism has increased significantly during recent years and has become a source of socioeconomic growth in the region.