Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve (Costa Rica)

Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve (Costa Rica)

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 17:31
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The Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve is a nature reserve in the central part of Costa Rica. It is part of the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area which protects tropical forest area near San Ramón.

Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve

The Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve is a nature reserve in the central part of Costa Rica. It is part of the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area which protects tropical forest area near San Ramón.

The reserve covers an area of 7,800 ha (19,274 acres) It has a maximum elevation of 1,520 m (4,986 ft) asl. It has an average temperature of 21 °C (69.8 °F) and an average rainfall of 3,461 mm (136 in).

The Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve (RBAMB) was created in 1975 as "San Ramón Forest Reserve". It was renamed "Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve" in 1993. The reserve operates under the direction of the University of Costa Rica and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET).

 

Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve (Costa Rica)
Alberto Manuel Brenes Biological Reserve (Costa Rica)

 

Practically all of its territory (99.6%) lies in the canton of San Ramón (Los Angeles and Zapotal Districts) in the province of Alajuela and the remaining 0.4% spills over into the canton of Montes de Oro (Union District) province of Puntarenas.

The reserve is located in the in the tropical moist broadleaf forest biome. About 10% corresponds to a zone of lower montane rain forest.

Flora

Many species of the Rubiaceae and Heliconiaceae families make up the understory and are noted for their showy flowering throughout the year. They draw attention to the three plant forms present in the reserve:

  • dosel (canopy) species reaching heights of 35 - 45 m (114 - 147 ft), including Elaegia uxpanamensis and Ocotea Morae
  • palmito (Iriartea deltoid)
  • several species of fig trees (Ficus spp.).

The forests have a high biological diversity. More than 50 endemic species have been cataloged to date. In addition, at least 15 new plant species have been recorded.

One such case is the Ticodendron incognitum, which gave rise to the Ticodendraceae family. It was discovered in 1989 by renowned botanist Jorge Gómez Laurito, a researcher at the University from Costa Rica.

 

 

Fauna

Among the large mammals, the reserve provides habitat to jaguar (Panthera onca), tapir (Tapirus bairdii), puma (Puma concolor) and red brocket (Mazama americana).

Among the medium-sized mammals three species of monkeys stand out: Mono colorado (Ateles geoffroyi), howler (Alouatta palliata) and white-faced (Cebus capucinus). Others include manigordos, pizotes, raccoons, tepezcuintles and guatusas.

Among small mammals, the following have been documented: tolomuco (Eira barbara), opossum (zorro pelón, Didelphys marsupialis), weasel (Mustela frenata) and several species of squirrels, rats and wild mice.

It is estimated that there are about 50 genera and 75 species of bats, including the (Platyrhinus vitatus) and white bat (Ectophylla alba).

The group of birds is very diverse. Among the most striking species are the quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), the umbrella bird (Cephalopterus glabricollis), the bell bird (Procnias tricarunculata), the white hawk (Pseudastur albicollis) and the goldfinch (Myadestes melanops).

Other species include: several species of trogon, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers, kettles and kingfishers, and more.

The herpetofaunal is represented by at least 30 species of amphibians and 36 species of reptiles such as snakes and lizards.

Among the snakes are the velvet (Bothrops asper), the stone hand (Atropides nummifer), olive ridley (Bothriechis lateralis), the coral (Micrurus nigrocinctus) and bocaracá (Botrhiechis schlegelii). Among non-poisonous snakes documented here are the boa (Boa constrictor), the zopilota (Clelia clelia) and false coral, among others.