Did you know that 5% of all species of flora and fauna in the world live and grow in Costa Rica? Also, Costa Rica is in the global top 20 countries with the greatest biodiversity! Are you a real nature lover? Then put Costa Rica on your bucket list. But… before you pull your backpack and passport out of the closet, we want to give you a lesson about biodiversity. Maybe you have what it is, but to refresh your memory we’ll explain it to you in this blog.
What is biodiversity?
The name says it all, biodiversity is about the diversity of biology. It is, in short, the variety of life in a given area. An area as small as a drop of water or as large as a forest or the earth as a whole. The diversity of species of animals, plants, microorganisms, that’s biodiversity. So it’s about having many different animals, plants and microorganisms in an area to increase biodiversity. Did you know that variation within species and interactions within different ecosystems are also important?
”Healthy biodiversity is seen in meadows with butterflies and flowers and oceans full of fish and coral’‘
Biodiversity is very important
Did you know that biodiversity is directly or indirectly linked to what we eat? Just imagine, your apple in the fruit basket was first a seed that had to grow in healthy soil with sufficient nutrients to grow big. To eventually harvest an apple, insects are needed to pollinate the flowers of the apple tree. Thus, it is essential that the apple tree has a good biodiversity, such as healthy fertile soil, insects and microorganisms.
In addition to providing food for us as humans, biodiversity has an economic value, for tourism, for example. About 40% of our world economy depends on it. Increasing biodiversity has been the talk of the town for some time now and for good reason: the richer the biodiversity, the greater the opportunity for economic development and adaptation to climate change. And finally, rich biodiversity makes you more productive, makes you feel better, and helps you ground and relax.
Biodiversity in Costa Rica
You just learned that 5% of all biodiversity lives In Costa Rica, but do you know how much? There we go: Costa Rica is home to some 400 species of reptiles and amphibians, 250 mammals (including 10% of the entire bat population worldwide), 900 species of birds and many species of insects: about 250,000.
Also, a quarter of the known butterfly species live in this bio diverse country. Did you know that Costa Rica has given some 25% of its land area a protected status? That’s why you’ll find so many nature reserves and national parks there. At the reserve of Adopteer regenwoud in Costa Rica, 140 hectares of rainforest are already protected, with a rich biodiversity! For €2.50 you can buy one square of rainforest and protect it for years. You want to help too, right? Adopt your piece of rainforest here!
From 25 hectares of grassland to a thriving rainforest
This month chairman Martin and founder Matthijs were at Trees for All’s headquarters to ratify a new cooperation for reforestation of 25 hectares of grassland. One of the largest projects in Costa Rica for the Adopt Rainforest Foundation to date. A total of more than 27,500 trees will be planted. (more…)
What’s with the fur? Why do sloths sleep so much? This month, the three-fingered sloth is the animal of the month at Adopt Rainforest. And what’s more fun than hearing from one of the founders of Adopt Rainforest some fun facts that you won’t find in a standard biology book. Maarten van der Beek is one of the biologists at Adopt Rainforest and lives on the Work With Nature reserve in Costa Rica. (more…)
Together with Barbilla National Park and the Bajo Chirripó Indigenous Reserve, the Work with Nature reserve forms a “three-country point”. This place is known as Punta de Lanza or Lanspunt. The community consists partly of the indigenous population of Costa Rica and partly of “white people” (modern ticos). Recently, an association has been founded to achieve more together.
Critically endangered parrot species Yesterday the research program of Adopt Rainforest participated in the Censo Internacional de la Guacamaya Verde 2022. Or in English the International Sensus of the Great Green Macaw. Throughout its distribution, dozens of organisations participate in the next days to get an understanding of the current state of this parrot species. […]
Costa Rica is known for its beautiful nature, a country with an exceptionally high diversity of plants and animals (one of the highest percentages of biodiversity in the world). A country for the true ecotourist. Over the past twenty years, ecotourism has become increasingly important to Costa Rica. In 2019, there were nearly 3 million tourists in Costa Rica of which 80% are considered ecotourists. (more…)
More than 11 years ago, the founders of the Adopt Rainforest foundation visited this beautiful area for the first time. What a beautiful area with giant big trees, several rivers and an enormous biodiversity of plants and animals. Yet there was something they both noticed immediately. There were no monkeys at all. (more…)
Is it possible to restore the original rainforest in a deforested area where cows have been grazing for years? In Costa Rica at least they accept the challenge. This article tells in short how a Dutch foundation in Costa Rica is trying to transform degraded land back into a fully fledged rainforest. (more…)
Costa Rica, a country of which almost half is rainforest, is a true birding paradise. More than 900 species of birds can be found here. One of the most beautiful and special birds that has its habitat in Costa Rica, however, is the Resplendent Quetzal. A good reason to go bird watching in Costa Rica!
And then there you are, atop a hilltop, having a good cry. Or frantically trying not to let your fellow volunteer see how touched you are. My name is Zoë, I live near Hasselt in Belgium. I am an adult education teacher, and enthusiastic but very novice when it comes to nature. I would like to tell you about my wonderful experiences as a volunteer in the reserve of Adopt Rainforest.
Did you know… in the wet months the frogs in Costa Rica show themselves more often? They are less prone to drying out because of the wetness and are singing because many species lay their eggs in the rainy season. Earlier we talked about the glass frogs, but there are many more frogs to be seen in this period. (more…)
In recent years, the reserve of the Adopt Rainforest Foundation has been easy for project manager Maarten to oversee. Two or three times a week he and the students make his rounds through the project area for the biodiversity research. For this research they visit several plots of the area, giving them a good insight into what is happening. Should any illegal logging occur, it is immediately noticed. The same goes for illegal hunting. In addition to the local presence, camera traps are hung at various places in the reserve. These are checked weekly. Should hunters or poachers walk through our reserve, this is quickly noticed.
When a butterfly flies by, most people do stop for a moment to follow it with their eyes. They often have beautiful colors and the large soft wings compared to the small body make them look almost cuddly. In Costa Rica there are more than 1200 species of butterflies and of course we are very curious about the species that occur in the reservation of Adopt Rainforest.
This beautiful blue butterfly, measuring up to 15-20 cm, seems to appear and disappear with every flick of its wings. In fact, its underside is a clever trick of Mother Nature. On the underside, it is inconspicuous reddish-brown, with eyes to deter attackers. The bright iridescent blue, in turn, is to deter competition and attract females.
Anyone who has traveled through the Americas knows them anyway, a stream of ants all carrying leaves with them. It looks like a mini highway that can go on for 30 meters. We’re talking about leaf-cutter ants of course. For tourists a source of amazement, for local farmers and vegetable gardeners a real plague that […]
In recent years we have already seen many rare and unusual animals in our reserve such as the Northern Nacked-tailed Armadillo, Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle and several felines. However, what we recently encountered is many times more interesting to scientists. In 1989, Epigomphus houghtoni, the Limon Knobtail, a dragonfly species was described by Stephen Brooks based on […]
Despite the fact that there are no students because of the Corona crisis, the research continues (partly).
In the Netherlands, some students are busy analysing data, but also in Costa Rica inventories are still being made. Accompanied by guide Tapa, Hanneke and Maarten walk the transects in different habitats.