Piedras Blancas National Park (Costa Rica)

Piedras Blancas National Park (Costa Rica)

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 21:57
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Piedras Blancas National Park is located in the Puntarenas Province of southern Costa Rica. It protects over 34,595 acres of evergreen primary forest, indigenous plants and wildlife. The park is home to a number of rare tropical trees and is the habitat for many species of birds, reptiles and mammals.

Piedras Blancas National Park is located in the Puntarenas Province of southern Costa Rica near the town of La Gamba. Situated to the northeast of the Golfo Dulce, it protects over 34,595 acres (14,000 ha) of evergreen primary forest, indigenous plants and wildlife.

Receiving over 200 inches of rain annually, the rugged mountains and watersheds of the Esquinas and Piedras Blancas rivers are covered in dense evergreen forest. The park is home to a number of rare tropical trees and is the habitat for many species of birds, reptiles and mammals, including five species of cats: the ocelot, margay, jaguarundi, puma and jaguar.

The area that is today the Piedras Blancas National Park was initially a section of the Corcovado National Park known as the Esquinas Sector, before becoming a separate park in 1999. Until the mid-90's, much of the area was privately owned and the forest in the park was severely endangered by logging.

Some of the park land has remained in private hands, however a charitable organization — Rainforest of the Austrians (Regenwald der Osterreicher) — has been raising funds and purchasing land, which up to 2008 had moved 37 square kilometers (14 sq mi) of land in the area into public ownership.

The Costa Rican government, the hydroelectric company Tenaska (carbon offset joint implementation), The Nature Conservancy and the Gordon and Betty Moore foundation have also purchased land in Piedras Blancas, bringing the total protected area within the park to more than 80%.