Types of Forests in Costa Rica

Types of Forests in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has many types of forest, most of which are very moist and humid. Some forests are located at high elevations; others much lower. All of the plant and animal life in the forests of Costa Rica is very diverse and thousands of species are distributed throughout each environment.

There are many opportunities to hike, backpack and even ride a zip line through the forests of Costa Rica. Other travelers may be interested in learning more about protecting these environments. Volunteer projects in the forests of Costa Rica are available.

Cloud Forests

Cloud forests are similar to rain forests, but exist at a much higher elevation. They have nearly 100 percent humidity throughout the year. There are two cloud forests in Costa Rica: The Santa Elena Cloud Forest and the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

The Santa Elena Cloud Forest is located at an elevation of 5,600 feet. It is encompassed by a state preserve that protects and preserves it, offering education to tourists and residents of Costa Rica. This cloud forest receives almost 12 feet of rain every year. There are opportunities for bird-watching, research and volunteerism.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest includes many small rivers and waterfalls. There are many species of wildlife to be found in this forest including jaguar, ocelot, tapir, umbrella bird and Resplendent Quetzal.

The Tropical Science Center is responsible for the protection of this nature preserve which encompasses 10,500 hectares.

This forest connects with the Santa Elena Cloud Forest.

Riparian Forests

A Riparian forest is a forest located next to a body of water. These forests help minimize soil erosion and sediment and control flooding. They also provide habitat for aquatic animals as well as forest animals. They have high humidity and moisture. One Riparian forest in Costa Rica can be found along the Rio Chirripo near Casa Amanzimtoti. Many species of birds including hummingbirds and the slate-throated Redstart can be found there.

Lowland Rain Forest

Along the eastern foothills of Costa Rica, lowland rain forests can be found. These forest receive a large amount of water (about 150 inches every year), but are not as high in elevation as cloud forests.
The La Selva Biological Station is situated between the Puerto Viejo and Sarapiqui rivers and conducts research in the rain forest.

There are more than 100 species of mammals in this part of the rain forest, and 56 species of snakes. More than 500 species of birds also call the rain forest home.

Article Written By Cate Rushton

Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.

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