Indio Maíz Biological Reserve

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Indio Maíz Biological Reserve measures about 4,500 square kilometers and is situated on the southeastern corner of Nicaragua bordering the San Juan River and Costa Rica. It is the second largest expanse of lowland rainforest reserve in Nicaragua and is referred to as "the gem of Central American nature reserves" by UCLA biologists.[1] Indio Maíz is rich in biodiversity, holding a higher number in species of trees, birds, and insects than all of Europe.[2] It is also noted as a popular protected area for tourists.


The Indio Maíz Biological Reserve was established as a protected area in the 1990s, after Bosawas. Indio Maiz boasts a large number in species of both flora and fauna. It is estimated to be home to over 400 species of birds, 200 species of reptiles and 4 species of wild cats. It is also home to indigenous Rama and Kriol people.

Some of the mammals present include pumas, jaguars, armadillos, sloths, raccoons, wild boar and the incredible tame manatees and many other unusual animals.[3] Also present are several different species of monkey, most notably the white-headed capuchin, along with howler and spider monkeys. Recent research has shown that both Baird's tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) and jaguars (Panthera onca) have important population strongholds in the reserve.

Among the reptile family, brightly colored poison dart frogs like Oophaga pumilio, iguanas, snakes such as Lachesis muta and Bothriechis schlegelii. Fish like tarpon are common. The world's only freshwater shark, Nicaragua shark,[4] known elsewhere in the world as the bull shark or Zambesi shark is also present in the San Juan River which borders the reserve. However, Nicaragua has recently banned freshwater fishing of the Nicaragua shark because of population declines.[5]

2018 forest fires[edit]

In early April 2018, forest fires burned 13,500 acres (5,500 hectares) of the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve.[6] Environmental and indigenous rights activists protested what they saw as an inadequate government response on the part of the Ortega-Murillo administration. Counterprotests supported the Sandinista Front government.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nicaragua Nature Reserves, Parks and Wildlife Refuges
  2. ^ - Travel: River of dreams
  3. ^ National Parks - Indio Maíz Biological Reserve
  4. ^ The Nature Conservancy in Nicaragua
  5. ^ Nicaragua bans freshwater shark fishing amid dwindling population numbers
  6. ^ Gies, Heather (April 22, 2018). "At least 10 killed as unrest intensifies in Nicaragua". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  7. ^ "Nicaragua puts out forest fire in southern nature reserve". AP News. Retrieved 2018-04-23.

External links[edit]