Camino a San Juan Nature Reserve

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Mesoamerican Biological Corridor

It lies within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, which is a multinational effort to maintain ecological connectivity through the Central American isthmus. Through the Central American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD), the Governments of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama committed to connect their protected areas with biological corridors to preserve migration routes between ecosystems, as well as preserve their own biodiversity.

Within the biogeographic and eco-strategic scenario, follows the importance of the position of isthmus in the middle of two continents, and with ideal bio-temperatures that stimulated the development of the great biodiversity, we can have a direct deduction that the corridor San Juan - La Selva and his marrow Maquenque refuge, are a global priority.

The proposed area of the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Mixto Maquenque (RNVSMM) is located in the central part of the northern zone of Costa Rica, just south of the border with the Republic of Nicaragua. To the North it borders the San Juan River, to the East with the final sector of the Sarapiquí River, on the Southeast by the Toro River and the Jardín Hills in the West and the South by the Chaparrón Hills. It's a high humidity tropical rainforest zone and it covers an area of 51,855 hectares.

There are wetlands as Tamborcito, Copalchí (critical for the survival of the Manatee) and Maquenque, as well as the last extensive forests of some secondary ranging with lot of almond of mountain, emblematic tree associated with the great green Macaw habitat. A high biological diversity can be found in this area. The region of the northern zone of CR is recognized as among the of highest biological diversity of the Central American isthmus, with exemplary regional fauna and flora; that's why it forms the spinal part of the biological corridor San Juan - La Selva.

Mesoamerican Biological Corridor

River and Lake resources allow the life of fish, crocodiles, mammals and birds, among which are several other species and emblematic as manatees, otters, the gaspar, the lizard and waterfowl of important ecological and aesthetic, some of them with threat of extinction.

The watercourses of the river corridors are an integral part of the backbone of the biome represented by RNVSMM and its wetlands. In addition, the major rivers that surround it make up a network of importance for transport in the region and a water potential of large dimensions for the country. Most outstanding wetlands in the northern zone of Costa Rica as coastal systems flowing into the San Juan River are concentrated in the low zones and the plains of San Carlos. Characteristic are the Lakes, ponds and extensive low areas. The climate is characterized by warm temperatures almost all year; precipitation is also high, the annual average amounts range between 3,500 and 5,500mm.

In addition to the river corridors there are other wetlands, the main ones are:

  • Remolido Grande Lagoon
  • Maquenque Lagoon
  • Tambor Lagoon
  • Canacas Lagoon
  • Copalchí Lagoon

This abundant water system integrates a series of lagoons which abound in depressions of low and flat land. Biological conditions arising out of these environments produce biological wealth of ecological value; they joined a high performing content.