A PIONEER CONSERVATION MODEL
Nestled in the cool, misty mountains of Costa Rica where quetzals and jaguars dwell, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve, which is owned by the Tropical Science Center, is one of the most prominent examples of the country’s forward-thinking approach to biodiversity conservation. Established in 1972 by a coalition of scientists from the Tropical Science Center and local community members, our preserve has transcended as a symbol of conservation in Latin America, protecting an important portion of Costa Rica’s stunning biodiversity. The reserve encompasses 4125 hectares and boasts 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity (half of Costa Rica’s biodiversity). It is one of the most studied cloud forests where scientists have found more than 3200 species of plants, including 700 species of trees and 500 species of orchids. Monteverde is the most orchid-diverse place on earth, some of these species are miniature and can only be found on the forest canopy. Monteverde also has 425 species of birds, 120 species of mammals, 60 species of amphibians, 101 species reptiles, 658 species of butterflies and 100 species of dragonflies and damselflies along with an un-inventoried variety of other insects, invertebrates and microorganisms.
Tropical Science Center
The Tropical Science Center (TSC) is the first Costa Rican non-government conservation organization. It was established in 1962 and later declared of public interest by the Costa Rican Government for pioneering biodiversity conservation efforts and sustainable tourism. It has a network of private reserves protecting different types of ecosystems and biological corridors in Costa Rica including the Monteverde Cloud Forest and the Bellbird Biological Corridor. TSC has an environmental consulting unit that implements sustainable development initiatives at the national and international levels.