Biodiversity in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a diverse wildlife. Here, there are more than 500,000 different animal and plant species and about 300,000 of them are insects! That’s a lot of bugs!

The government of Costa Rica understands the country’s importance in the natural world. More than 25% of its lands are protected. This means no one is allowed to change or harm these areas.

One example of this protected land is Palo Verde National Park. Palo Verde is located in the northwest part of Costa Rica. This huge park covers more than 45,000 acres – that’ three times larger than the island of Manhattan in New York City. The park is home to white-faced monkeys, scaly iguanas, crocodiles, and dozens of colorful birds, making it one of the most popular spots for bird watching in the world!

In Costa Rica, there are almost 900 bird species. There are colorful macaw and laughing toucans. Today, I got up close with dozens of the world’s smallest bird – the hummingbird!

Hummingbirds are such speedy fliers that when you see one, it’s usually only for a moment, and then they’re gone in a flash. Most of a hummingbird’s time is spent in flight, and because of this they haven’t developed much strength in their feet. They can perch on a branch or flower while they eat, but they can barely walk.

Costa Rica has three types of forests: rainforests, cloud forests, and dry tropical forests. Rainforests are jungles that get heavy rainfall all year. Dry tropical forests get only a little rainfall. During the dry months, some trees will drop their leaves to conserve water, just like Oak and Elm trees do! Cloud forests are like rainforests, but most their precipitation comes from clouds, not rain.

During my journey, I only got to explore the rainforest and the dry tropical forest. I guess I’ll have to plan a trip back to explore the cloud forests.

Jenny