Tapanti Wildlife Refuge
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Size: 4,715 hectares
Distance from San José: 35 kilometers
Dry season: January through March
Rain per year: 7,000 millimeters
The Tapantí Refuge is located in a region that is characterized by its rugged terrain that is crisscrossed by numerous rivers, canyons and waterfalls as a result of the heavy rainfall and almost constant cloud cover. It is estimated that 150 waterways originate in the refuge.
|This refuge provides the visitor a chance to walk through an example of montane rain forest or cloud forest close to the cities of the Central Valley. There are excellent opportunities for wildlife watching, picnicking, and some of the best trout fishing in the country. Originally set aside to protect the watershed of an important hydroelectric dam, it is also home to at least 211 species of birds.|
The vegetation is composed of very dense primary forest with medium-size evergreen species. The tree trunks are completely covered with mosses, liverworts, lichens, ferns, bromeliads and other epiphytic plants, and they are always wet, even when it does not rain for several days, because of the phenomenon of foliar condensation.
There are also 18 species of tree ferns, and orchids and vines are abundant. One unusual-looking plant found on the slopes and in forest clearings is the poor man’s umbrella, which has the largest leaves of any plant in Costa Rica.
There is a great wealth and variety of wildlife in the refuge, but the animals are difficult to see, with the exception of birds and butterflies which abound. Specially the celeste and cream butterfly.
Due to the high humidity and the mild temperatures in the refuge, there is a large population of anurans.
Trees found here: oak, alder, sweetwood, lancewood, cypress, didymopanax, elm, poro, bloodwood, and small lemon.
Animals found here: tapir, ocelot, jaguar, jaguarundi, tiger cat, otter, Mexican tree porcupine, northern tamandua, collared peccary, white-nosed coati, common raccoon, red brocket, agouti, tayra, silky anteater, howker monkey, and three-toed sloth.
Birds found here: toucans (many species), hummingbirds(many species), crested guan, resplendent quetzal, great tinamou, red-billed pigeon, band-tailed pigeon, and black-faced solitaire.