Land Management

photo M. Noonan

There are many innovative methods of land management which are currently being employed in Costa Rica to help conserve the unique wildlife of the nation.

When forested areas are cleared to make way for cities, agriculture, or logging operations, the  remaining habitat is fragmented.  At times, such large areas of forest are cut down that only small "islands" of undisturbed habitat remain. The problem with such "islands" is that they decrease the inhabitable forest area significantly.  Too much of the remaining forest consists of "edges", areas that are not suitable for species that depend on central forests.  Moreover, members of certain species are isolated within these "islands", making critical inter-breeding impossible. Fortunately, modern practices are changing for the better.  Today many people do their best to create corridors to connect any "islands" created.  In this way, animals from one "island" can raech other "islands" where they can use the resources there and also interbreed with individuals in that area.

Shade-grown crops are another example of an innovative use of land.  These are areas where crops, such as coffee or bananas, are grown under the rainforest canopy rather than in clear-cut areas.  This allows farmers to continue growing crops without clearing away forested lands.

Parks and private reserves are another way in which the wild lands of Costa Rica are preserved.  By establishing such areas, many forested lands and the unique species within them are saved.


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