A biological corridor connects large tracts of isolated habitat across a fragmented terrain, and helps maintain migratory pathways. Movement of wildlife through these linkages ensures that a species, especially one with a large home range, can persist in the overall region.
The Rainforest Biodiversity Group is a part of the conservation effort to improve habitat connectivity within the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor, located in northern/northeastern Costa Rica. This zone of humid Atlantic tropical forest of the north of Costa Rica maintains the only viable lowland habitat able to maintain biological continuity between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Rainforest Biodiversity Group is a founding member of the Executive Committee that oversees the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor. The committee was formed on November 2001, at La Tirimbina Biological Reserve to develop and implement the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor and connect the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve in Nicaragua with the Central Volcanic Cordillera Range System in Costa Rica. This corridor makes up just one portion of the much larger Mesoamerican Biological Corridor which is proposed to connect protected habitat from the Yucatan Region in southern Mexico and Belize to the Darien in Panama.
The region of the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor is the last remaining area where the Almendro tree (Dipteryx panamensis) is dominant. Additionally this region provides habitat for a number of charismatic endangered species such as the Jaguar, the West Indian Manatee, and the Great Green Macaw. However, deforestation and wetland loss seriously threaten wild habitat and habitat connectivity in the region. The executive committee San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor, believes the creation of this corridor can maintain habitat connectivity for biodiversity.
The core of the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor is the Maquenque Mixed National Wildlife Refuge, which created by executive decree by the government in 2005, maintains more than 123,500 acres (50,000 hectares) of tropical forest in northern Costa Rica. This new mixed designation puts restrictions on development in the region to maintain wildlife habitat but permits people to continue to live on and own the land.
The refuge protects diverse and fragile ecosystems such as wetlands; lagoon systems, rivers, and creeks. Researchers are developing and implementing a comprehensive sustainable development strategy and working to achieve the declaration of these sites as Ramsar Wetlands sites of International Importance. Because the wetlands in Maquenque are unique in the nation, their presence in the Ramsar portfolio is globally important.
Through the creation of the Costa Rican Bird Route by the Rainforest Biodiversity Group, 3,697.5 acres (1497 hectares) have been newly protected as official private reserves, thereby enhancing the connectivity of the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor.
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