We are recognized as the most diverse site for amphibians in the country, with 64 species recorded…by Jose Salazar, Biologist UCR
Since 2009, we have been continuously researching the flora and fauna in the Central Caribbean region of Costa Rica.
In Costa Rica there are still many areas unexplored by science, where the records of its biodiversity are mostly anecdotal. One of the least researched areas is the Talamanca Mountain Range due to the difficult access and the lack of facilities to accommodate researchers. This is the number one competitive advantage for Veragua research station. We are able to provide housing facilities to researchers, so they can come and investigate the unexplored flora and fauna in the Talamanca Mountain Range.
Veragua Rainforest is part of the humid tropical forest which is considered one of the smallest ecosystems in the world. Currently, this ecosystem is seriously threatened by the destruction of habitat caused by human activity (logging, clear-cutting for agriculture, use of pesticides, etc.). In addition, global warming has caused long droughts which greatly affect different species of flora and fauna of the Neotropical forest, which are adapted to live in conditions of high rainfall.
The Veragua forest is surrounded by the Matama and Asunción foothills of the Talamanca Mountain Range that form a biological corridor with the La Amistad International Park, the largest nature reserve in Central America. This also ties into the Chiriquí National Park (Barú) in Panama. Due to its difficult access, this area has not been studied much, which generates a great gap of information about the natural history, biology, and population dynamics of many species that live here.
The Veragua reserve has an altitude range of 200 meters (656 feet) to 700 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level and has a broken topography with steep slopes in different sectors. It also has many small streams that flow into larger streams and rivers, such as the Victoria River and the Peje River. These characteristics, together with its location in the Central Caribbean that connects the Southern and Northern Caribbean, greatly influence the flora and fauna of Veragua Rainforest. Moreover, being a biological corridor with the La Amistad International Park creates an ideal condition of very high biodiversity.
All of these factors have generated considerable interest among the scientific community, especially those institutions dedicated to studying the biological sciences and to conservation efforts, like the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and the Costa Rica National History Museum.
In addition, they have proposed studies of animal behavior, bioacoustics, and phenology of plant and animal species to have a greater understanding of the biology of the organisms in the area. The goal is to develop better-informed and more efficient tools for decision making in the public and private sectors for the preservation and sustainability of our communities.