Costa Rica’s Humedal Maquenque Ramsar Site
Costa Rica has designated its 12th Site of International Importance, Humedal Maquenque. This new Ramsar Site (59,692 ha; 10°40’N 084°08’W) is located in the northern part of Costa Rica and includes the total area of the National Wildlife Refuge Maquenque and the intermediate zone of the National Wildlife Refuge Biological Border Corridor Nicaragua-Costa Rica.
The Ramsar Site consists of a lagoon complex and palustrine ecosystem distinctive of the very humid tropical ecoregion and characterized by its high biodiversity and support to endangered species such as the Lapa Verde (Ara ambigua), vulnerable species such as the Manatí (Trichechus manatus) and other important species such as the Jaguar (Panthera onca) and Pez Gaspars (Atractosteus tropicus).
Furthermore, the wetland has an important hydrological value on the functioning of the surrounding basins. The main threats to this Ramsar Site are agricultural and forestry activities focused near the Colpachí and Manatí Lagoons. Both Protected Areas that form the Humedal Maquenque Ramsar Site have a management plan focusing on conservation activities.
Costa Rica presently has 12 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 569,742 hectares.
(Photo credit: Mauricio Salas)