FLORA and FAUNA of COSTA RICA - Characteristics and examples

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Costa Rica is a country admired for the great biodiversity that it presents in its territory, its 51,100 km2 are home to more than 95,000 described species. This would be approximately 5% of the described biodiversity of the planet. In addition, it is a country that is among the 20 countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world.

If you want to know what types of animals are in Costa Rica, as well as to know some examples of the flora of Costa Rica, be sure to read this interesting article by Ecologist Verde on the flora and fauna of Costa Rica.

Characteristics of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica

On the one hand, Costa Rica plants They are one of the best known groups since they have been studied since the 19th century. These include non-vascular plants, lower vascular plants, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. It can be said that almost 95% of the existing plant species are known.

On the other hand, in terms of fauna, it is difficult to answer questions such as how many species of animals there are in Costa Rica or how many species of birds Costa Rica harbors, for example. Actually, these are difficult questions to answer, since not all the species found in the territory have been described. However, this is currently the approximate number of species that have been recorded; 237 species of mammals, 234 of reptiles, 1,150 of fish, 854 of birds. This list has only mentioned vertebrate animals that, along with plants, within the fauna are the best known and studied. However, with respect to marine species, invertebrates and microorganisms, it is known that there is a high richness and variability of species, but they are the least known together with the species found in high altitude areas. In addition, as in all territories there are endemic species, but the endemism of Costa Rica is considered moderate.

Flora of Costa Rica

Between Costa Rica vegetation we highlight the following species:

  • Tabacón or Anthurium upalaense: This plant inhabits humid and very humid forests, blooms throughout the year and is commonly grown in gardens. It is characterized by having a short stem, 1 m lanceolate leaves that form rosettes and are light green in color.
  • Passion flower or Passiflora chimuensis: It is a large liana, has stems that reach up to 30 cm in diameter and grows in the forest canopy. It is an endemic to Costa Rica.
  • Higuerón colorado or Ficus costaricana: It is a tree that can reach up to 12 m in height with ovate leaves, they are found in humid forests between 0 and 1,400 m above sea level. It is a species with a normally epiphytic habit, that is, it lives on the leaves or bark of other species.

Fauna of Costa Rica

I enter the Costa Rica animals we highlight these species:

  • White-tailed deer or Odocoileus virginianus: It is a representative animal of Costa Rica, in fact, it was declared a symbol of the fauna of Costa Rica in 1995. It is characterized by being a medium-sized deer, with long and thin legs. Their fur is brown and the inside is white. It is in danger of extinction due to illegal hunting and habitat destruction.
  • Hairless fox o Didelphis virginiana: It is a mammal that inhabits the northern region of Costa Rica (Guanacaste). It is characterized by a sparse white / yellowish coat, around its eyes it has a reddish / black ring. Its ears are bare, pink in color and the tail is prehensile.
  • Marmoset monkey or Saimiri oerstedii: It is the smallest primate that can be found in Costa Rica, it has a yellowish coat, its limbs and back are orange, its nose and cheekbones are honey-colored, and its eyes and snout are black. Currently it can only be found in the Manuel Antonio National Park in Quepos, as it is threatened by deforestation and illegal sale.

Other species of animals that characterize Costa Rica They are howler monkeys, sloth bears, pelicans, hummingbirds, toucans, iguanas, crocodiles, the monarch butterfly, scorpions, among others.

Importance of the flora and fauna of Costa Rica

As mentioned above, Costa Rica is one of the 20 countries with the greatest biodiversity on the planet, which is why it is considered a megadiverse country. Biodiversity maintains a balance in ecosystems thanks to the interactions that exist between it and the species, in addition to the greater the biodiversity of a territory, the greater the ecosystem services that it provides. The Ecosystem services They are essential for the survival of any species, including the human species.

Animals in danger of extinction in Costa Rica

The following list shows animals of Costa Rica that are in danger of extinction, and have been cataloged by the IUCN:

  • Congo monkey o Alouatta Palliata
  • Cantile Duck or Heliornis fulica
  • Lemon green macaw or Ara ambiguus
  • Olive ridley turtle or Lepidochelys olivacea
  • Sotorrey sabanero or Cistothorus platensis
  • Harlquin frog, of the family of Bufonidae
  • Leatherback turtle or Dermochelys Coriacea
  • Chacho de monten o Tayassu Pecari
  • Manatee or Trichechus manatus
  • Mangrove amazilia or Amazilia boucardi

If you want to read more articles similar to Flora and fauna of Costa Rica, we recommend that you enter our Biodiversity category.

  • National System of Conservation Areas - SINAC CDB focal point. November 2009. Republic of Costa Rica. IV Country Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity: https://www.cbd.int/doc/world/cr/cr-nr-04-es.pdf
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