Corcovado National Park

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Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica.
© WWF-Canon / James W. THORSELL

The most biologically intense place on Earth

What and where
The Corcovado National Park is on the Osa Peninsula in the south west of Costa Rica, and forms part of the Osa Conservation Area. It was established in 1975, and encompasses an area of 425km².

Why?
Corcovado National Park encompasses the only remaining old growth wet forest on the Pacific coast of Central America. It contains 13 major ecosystems including lowland rainforests, highland cloud forests, jolillo palm forests, and mangrove swamps, as well as coastal marine and beach habitats.

This wilderness is considered an excellent life laboratory, allowing study of the structure and function of tropical ecosystems and the fine balances on which they depend.

The very humid forests of Corcovado are some of the last places that still maintain ecosystems of the very humid tropical forests in the American pacific, with annual precipitation over 5,000mm.

There are about 500 species of trees in the park, representing a quarter of all the tree species in Costa Rica. It also protects the largest population of Scarlet Macaws in the country, and is home to at least 375 other species of birds, 140 mammals, 116 amphibians and reptiles, 40 types of freshwater fish, and 6,000-10,000 different kinds of insects - including 220 species of butterflies!

National Geographic has described it as "the most biologically intense place on Earth".

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