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    San Juan La Selva Biological Corridor

The northern zone of Costa Rica is the final place where a viable connection of relatively undisturbed habitat can be created between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. However, the small size of the area and the amount of forest destruction in the zone seriously threaten this connectivity. This zone is of national importance, as it is the last remaining area where the Almendro (Dipteryx panamensis) is dominant. Additionally this zone is habitat for a number of charismatic endangered species such as the Jaguar, the West Indian Manatee, and the Great Green Macaw. The forests and wetlands of this zone are disappearing at a rapid rate. To combat this, the creation of a biological corridor connecting the Rio San Juan, the northern border of Costa Rica, to La Selva Biological Station and on to the central volcanic mountain range, has been proposed. This proposed corridor would encompass approximately 246,600 hectares or about 604,200 acres, not including lands in Nicaragua.

This proposed corridor makes up just one portion of the much larger Mesoamerican Biological Corridor which is proposed to connect protected habitat from southern Mexico and Belize to Panama.

Corridor Concept:
There are three parts that compose the idea for this Biological Corridor. They are:

  • Large Protected area: The creation of Maquenque National Park
  • Nuclei Reserves: The creation of smaller private reserves in the buffer zone of the proposed National Park.
  • Matrix: The matrix would be the continuity of the corridor and would be made up of sustainably managed private lands. An incentive program, product certification, and the creation of private reserves for ecotourism would stimulate the protection of forests.

Corridor Objectives:

  • Maintain biological connectivity between the Rio San Juan, the protected areas
    in Nicaragua (Indio Maize Reserve) and other protected areas in Costa Rica
    (La Selva Biological Station, Poas, Irazu, Braullio Carrillo, and Juan Castro
    Blanco National Parks).
  • Conserve habitat to protect biodiversity
  • Promote sustainable development in local communities

Corridor Accomplishments to Date:

  • Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge created
  • Communities educated and organized

For more information on the Biological Corridor, please visit:

For more information on the San Juan – La Selva Biological Corridor visit