National Parks of Costa Rica Draft 1.

This topic submitted by Chelsea Nagy ( at 9:28 PM on 3/22/04.

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Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

National Parks of Costa Rica

I. History
A. Beginning of national parks
1. first founded

II. Today
A. How many and where- 29 parks & protected areas
1. other nature reserves and wildlife refuges
2. ~250 privately owned reserves
B. One of highest protection rates in the world
C. How many people visit per year

III. 3 Most Popular
A. Manuel Antonio National Park
B. Poas Volcano National Park
C. Irazu Volcano National Park

IV. Policies
A. Visiting fees- $6 for foreigners
1. limits on visitors?
B. National policies/ International policies

V. Ecotourism
A. National Economy
1. infrastructure

VI. Important Issues
A. Biodiversity
B. Population growth
C. Deforestation
D. Multinational/ Transnational companies
E. Management
1. enforcement/ monitoring
F. Global change- biodiversity and deforestation

A combination of factors including pressure from transnational companies for development and rapid population growth lead to increased pressure on natural resources in less developed countries. Therefore, deforestation and overall loss of biodiversity from these naturally rich areas have become a major issue in countries such as Costa Rica. To counter these effects, great efforts have been made both through public and private sources to incorporate national parks, marine parks, wildlife refuges, nature reserves, and private reserves in Costa Rica. Today Costa Rica has one of the highest protection rates of land in the world. Ecotourism now plays a big role in the national economy of Costa Rica. With careful management and planning a sustainable future is possible. However, there must be continued enforcement of sustainable practices and increased protection of land areas in order for this to happen. National parks and other protected areas play a huge role in this sustainable future.


Carrillo, Eduardo, Grace Wong, and Alfredo Cuaron. “Monitoring Mammal Populations in Costa Rican Protected Areas under Different Hunting Restrictions”. Conservation Biology (2000) 14:6 1580-1591.

Hearne, Robert and Zenia Salinas. “The Use of Choice Experiments in the Analysis of Tourist Preferences for Ecotourism Development in Costa Rica”. Journal of Environmental Management (2002) 65:153-163.

Helmer, E.H. “The Landscape Ecology of Tropical Secondary Forest in Montane Costa Rica”. Ecosystems (2000) 3: 98-114.

Langholz, Jeff and James Lassoie. “Combining Conservation and Development on
Private Lands: Lessons from Costa Rica” Environment, Development, and
Sustainability (2002) 3: 309-322.

Menkhaus, Susan and Douglas Lober. “International Ecotourism and the Valuation of Tropical Rainforests in Costa Rica” Journal of Environmental Management (1996) 47: 1-10.

Rosero-Bixby, Luis and Alberto Palloni. “Population and Deforestation in Costa Rica” Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdiciplinary Studies (1998) 2:2 149-185.

Sanchez-Azofeifa, G. Arturo et al. “Integrity and Isolation of Costa Rica’s National Parks and Biological Reserves: Examining the Dynamics of Land-Cover Change”. Biological Conservation (2003) 109:123-135.

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