Biodiversity is a term that can be literally broken up to mean “the diversity of life.”  The place where there is the most diversity of life, or widest range of different life forms, is in the tropical rainforests.  The Neotropical forests of Costa Rica alone seem to be bursting at the seems with over 200 species of mammals, 850 kinds of birds, 220 species of reptiles, 160 types of amphibians, 130 species of fresh water fish, 366,000 kinds of arthropods (insects, spiders, and crabs), and 13,020 species of plants!  And these are only the numbers of what people have found so far.  Every year up to 500 new species of life are found!  Who knows what fascinating creature could be found next, or what new medicine found in the bark of an unknown tree could cure cancer?


photos M. Noonan

CAC is a program of the Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.