Corcovado National Park

 

Corcovado National Park is the jewel in Costa Rica’s rainforest crown.  It is incredibly wild and hard to reach, but it probably crams more diversity per unit area than anywhere, 5% of the world’s birds are found here, and it has more tree species than those in all temperate countries combined.  Corcovado park is on the Osa Peninsula in the South West of Costa Rica (9° North, 83° West), which is part of the Osa Conservation area . It was established on 24 October 1975.
                                                                  
About one-half of the Osa Peninsula is protected in this park as a result of a land purchase in 1977.  Corcovado National Park stretches across 41.787ha/103.259ac of tropical wet lowland rainforest rising to the montane forest of Cerro Rincon (745m/2.444ft).  Because the Corcovado Park is inundated with nearly 6 meters (20ft) of rain a year, it is technically known as a “tropical wet forest.”  The simplicity of that classification belies the ecological of the park. The park conserves the largest primary forest on the American Pacific coastline and one of the few remaining sizeable areas of lowland tropical rainforests in the world. Corcovado is home to a sizable population of the endangered Baird's Tapir and even a small population of the very rare Harpy Eagle. The park's rivers and lagoons are home to large populations of both the American crocodile and Spectacled Caiman, along with Bull sharks. Corcovado is also one of the final strongholds of the Jaguar within Central America and several other felines are also present, including Ocelot, Margay, Jaguarundi, and Puma. All four Costa Rican monkey species can be seen within the park, including the endangered Central American Squirrel Monkey, White-faced Capuchin, Mantled Howler, and Geoffroy's Spider Monkey. Other mammals present include Two-toed and Three-toed Sloth, Northern Tamandua and Silky Anteater. Poison dart frogs and several species of snake (including the venomous Fer-de-Lance and Bushmaster) are also common within the park. The abundance in wildlife can in part be explained by the variety of vegetation types, at least 13, including montane forest (more than half the park), cloud forest, jolillo forest (palm swamp), prairie forest, alluvial plains forest, swamp forest, freshwater herbaceous swamp and mangrove, together holding over 500 tree species, including purple heart (tree), poponjoche, nargusta, banak (tree), cow tree, espavel and crabwood (tree).

Another reason for the diversity (as with all of Costa Rica) is that it lies on a north-south corridor for flora and fauna; part of the "land bridge" and wildlife corridor that links the large continents of North America and South America.

Other animals in the park include agoutis, giant anteaters, Great Curassows, black hawks, Spectacled Owls, hummingbirds, 220 species of butterflies, golden orb spiders (who build huge webs), otters and raccoons. Four species of sea turtle (green), Pacific Ridley, Hawksbill, and Leatherback) nest on the beaches.

 

Corcovado Info Center - Aguijitas, Drake Bay Osa Peninsula Puntarenas, Costa Rica / Email: info@corcovadoinfocenter.com