Savegre Biosphere Reserve (Costa Rica)

Savegre Biosphere Reserve (Costa Rica)

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 15:45
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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.

Savegre Biosphere Reserve

The Savegre Biosphere Reserve is located within the Savegre River basin on Costa Rica's central Pacific coast, 190 km (118 mi) from the capital, San José. The total area of the reserve is 312,914 ha (733,227 acres) and includes three biological corridors: Los Santos, Rio Naranjo and Path of the Tapir.

The Savegre Biosphere Reserve borders the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve in the north and east, and the Cordillera Volcánica Central Biosphere Reserve in the north. It represents the first and only reserve in the country to contain an important marine-coastal component. The site has a high value in terms of ecosystems, biodiversity, water resources and connectivity.

The Biosphere Reserve extends from Manuel Antonio National Park, along the coast to Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge and the Barú River. From the coast, it follows the Savegre River basin and the basins of numerous other rivers such as the Barú upwards to the central mountain range at 3400 meters (11,155 feet) of altitude.

Los Quetzales National Park is located within the Biosphere Reserve's boundaries. In addition, it includes the Cerro Nara Protected Zone, Los Santos Forest Reserve, Cerro Vueltas Biological Reserve and four national wildlife refuges, (Páramo, Hacienda Portalón, Transylvania, and Hacienda Barú).

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 Savegre 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.

The reserve 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 Savegre 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.