Talamancan montane forests
|Talamancan montane forests|
Forests around the Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica
|Biome||Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests|
|Area||16,300 km2 (6,300 sq mi)|
|Countries||Costa Rica and Panama|
|Conservation status||Relatively Stable/Intact |
The Talamancan montane forests cover a discontinuous area of 16,300 square kilometers (6,300 sq mi) in Cordilleran mountains, including the Cordillera de Guanacaste, Cordillera de Tilarán, Cordillera Central, and Cordillera de Talamanca, from northwestern Costa Rica to western Panama, with outliers on the Azuero Peninsula. The montane forests lie above 750 to 1500 meters elevation, up to approximately 3000 meters elevation, where they transition to the grasslands and shrublands of the Costa Rican Páramo on the highest peaks.
The montane forests are surrounded at lower elevations by lowland forests, including the Isthmian-Atlantic moist forests on the Atlantic (Caribbean) slope, the Isthmian-Pacific moist forests to the south on the Pacific slope, and the Costa Rican seasonal moist forests to the northwest.
The forests are made up of evergreen trees, including many species (genera Ocotea, Persea, Nectandra, and Phoebe) of the Laurel family (Lauraceae), and two endemic oaks, Quercus costaricensis and Quercus copeyensis.
The forest of Talamanca is very rich in biodiversity. Scientist estimate between 3 and 4 percent of the biodiversity in the world found here.
Talamanca forest have 450 species of birds (in Costa Rica, the Panama's forest have 225 birds species). The most endangered bird in the forest is the Harpy eagle, common on the Panama's forest.
Conservation and threats
The Talamancan montane forests are one of Central America's most intact ecoregions, although the oak forests in particular have been cleared for pasture and charcoal making. Forty percent of the ecoregion is protected by national and international parks, including La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, Chirripó National Park, Braulio Carrillo National Park, Volcán Poas National Park, Rincón de la Vieja National Park, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.