Doing the Right Thing: Forest Conservation in the Osa Peninsula

Posted by on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 with 0

 

Osa Peninsula Forest

Image Source: Farmcostarica.com

Forest conservation efforts in the Osa Peninsula are critical to ensuring the balance of the planet’s ecosystem and species survival. The forest are the earth’s lungs.  The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biologically intense places in the world. Preserving the Osa’s forest is critical to the many species that live in this area.  Tropical forest cover less than 2% of the planets surface but are home to more than 50% of existing species. Osa Conservation and The National Resource Defense Council partnered up to undertake expansive reforestation efforts in this region to preserve this habitat for the incredibly rich diversity of plants, fauna and species that call this home. This Southern part of Costa Rica contains the last remnants of Central American Pacific tropical rain forest.  71% of the forest in the Peninsula is protected including Corcovado National Park and the surrounding reserves.

Old Growth Forest

Image Source: Farmcostarica.com

Developing conservation strategies to mitigate the impact of development is important to ensure the area maintains its ecological integrity.  The Osa Peninsula still has primary forests mainly in the highlands.  Most of the lowlands were dominated by cattle farms until the 80s and are now being allowed to develop secondary growth. The Osa Peninsula is home to the largest tracts of forests but has also suffered from degradation.  The Osa’s mangroves are in need of massive protective measures due to encroaching development. The efforts being made towards forest conservation are critical to preserving this habitat for the future generations.

Monkeys in the Forest

Image Source: Laparios.com

Red Eye Tree Fog in the Forest

Image Source: Cloudfront.com

King Fisher American in the Forest

Image Source: Muchacostarica.com

The Osa Peninsula is the one place in the Costa Rica jungle where you can find all four Costa Rica monkeys including the Muntled Howler, White Throated Capuchin, Spider Monkey, and the Central America Squirrel Monkey.  Poaching and a decline in available habitat due to agriculture and development threaten these populations.  Bringing to the forefront a serious discussion of how to balance conservation efforts with development.  The protection of large forested areas, especially primary forest, is critical to ensuring the survival of many endangered species. Spider Monkeys, jaguars and peccaries are just some of the animals that depend on mature forests to survive.

Osa Conservation is working with National Resource Defense Council and other groups to push for an aggressive forest conservation of the area.  In addition, protecting biological corridors is another element critical to protecting monkeys and the other wildlife that live in this region.  Ensuring forest connectivity is key to the survival of many species. Wildlife ecotours tours of the area are a great way to familiarize yourself with the incredible richness of this area when visiting the Osa Peninsula. Crocodile Bay provides several ecotours options through the Corcovado Forest and neighboring reserves where you can hike through this rich area to learn about the various wildlife that call this place home and understand why forest conservation is so critical.

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