Talamancan montane forests

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Talamancan montane forests
Volcan Turrialba visto desde el canopy Rainforest cerca del Braulio Carrillo 02.JPG
Forests around the Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica
Biome Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Area16,300 km2 (6,300 sq mi)
Countries Costa Rica and Panama
Conservation status Relatively Stable/Intact [1]
Protected40% [2]

The Talamancan montane forests ecoregion, in the tropical moist broadleaf forest biome, are in montane Costa Rica and Panama in Central America.

Ecoregion Ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion

An ecoregion is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation.

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (TSMF), also known as tropical moist forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The habitat type is sometimes known as jungle.

Biome Distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate

A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. "Biome" is a broader term than "habitat"; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.



The Talamancan montane forests cover a discontinuous area of 16,300 square kilometers (6,300 sq mi) in Cordilleran mountains, including the Cordillera de Guanacaste, Cordillera de Tilarán, Cordillera Central, and Cordillera de Talamanca, from northwestern Costa Rica to western Panama, with outliers on the Azuero Peninsula. [1] The montane forests lie above 750 to 1500 meters elevation, up to approximately 3000 meters elevation, where they transition to the grasslands and shrublands of the Costa Rican Páramo on the highest peaks. [1]

Cordillera de Guanacaste mountains in Costa Rica

The Cordillera de Guanacaste, also called Guanacaste Cordillera, are a volcanic mountain range in northern Costa Rica near the border with Nicaragua. The mountain range stretches 110 km from northwest to the southeast and contains mostly complex stratovolcanoes. The range forms part of the southern region of the Continental Divide, with the highest peak is the stratovolcano Miravalles at 2,028 m.

Cordillera Central (Costa Rica) mountain range in Costa Rica

The Cordillera Central is a volcanic mountain range in central Costa Rica which continues from the Continental Divide to east of Cordillera de Tilarán. It extends 80 km from Tapezco Pass to the Turrialba Volcano and ending on the Pacuare River. It is separated from Cordillera de Tilarán by Balsa River and Platanar and Zarcero hills. The Cordillera Central is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges (cordillera) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica.

Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range

The Cordillera de Talamanca is a mountain range that lies on the southeast half of Costa Rica and the far west of Panama. Much of the range and the area around it is included in the La Amistad International Park, which also is shared between the two countries.

The montane forests are surrounded at lower elevations by lowland forests, including the Isthmian-Atlantic moist forests on the Atlantic (Caribbean) slope, the Isthmian-Pacific moist forests to the south on the Pacific slope, and the Costa Rican seasonal moist forests to the northwest.

The Isthmian-Atlantic moist forests (NT0129) are a Central American tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion located in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.


The forests are made up of evergreen trees, including many species (genera Ocotea, Persea, Nectandra, and Phoebe) of the Laurel family (Lauraceae), and two endemic oaks, Quercus costaricensis and Quercus copeyensis .

<i>Ocotea</i> genus of plants

Ocotea is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Lauraceae. Many are evergreen trees with lauroid leaves.

<i>Persea</i> genus of plants

Persea is a genus of about 150 species of evergreen trees belonging to the laurel family, Lauraceae. The best-known member of the genus is the avocado, P. americana, widely cultivated in subtropical regions for its large, edible fruit.

<i>Nectandra</i> genus of plants

Nectandra is a genus of plant in the family Lauraceae found in South America, and having fruit with various medical effects. Sweetwood is a common name for some plants in this genus.


The forest of Talamanca is very rich in biodiversity. Scientist estimate between 3 and 4 percent of the biodiversity in the world found here.

In the Costa Rica's forest are 136 mammals species, in Panama 84. The typical mammals are jaguar, cougar, tapir, deer, anteater and several species of monkeys.

Jaguar species of mammal

The jaguar is a wild cat species and the only extant member of the genus Panthera native to the Americas. The jaguar's present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico in North America, across much of Central America, and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina in South America. Though there are single cats now living within the western United States, the species has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List; and its numbers are declining. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat.

Cougar Large cat of the family Felidae native to the Americas

The cougar, also commonly known by other names including catamount, mountain lion, panther, and puma, is a large felid of the subfamily Felinae native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the widest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. An adaptable, generalist species, the cougar is found in most American habitat types. It is the biggest cat in North America, and the second-heaviest cat in the New World after the jaguar. Secretive and largely solitary by nature, the cougar is properly considered both nocturnal and crepuscular, although daytime sightings do occur. The cougar is more closely related to smaller felines, including the domestic cat, than to any species of subfamily Pantherinae, of which only the jaguar is native to the Americas.

Tapir genus of mammals

A tapir is a large, herbivorous mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile nose trunk. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. The five extant species of tapirs, all of the family Tapiridae and the genus Tapirus, are the Brazilian tapir, the Malayan tapir, the Baird's tapir, the kabomani tapir and the mountain tapir. The four species that have been evaluated are all classified on the IUCN Red List as Endangered or Vulnerable. The tapirs have a number of extinct relatives in the superfamily Tapiroidea. The closest extant relatives of the tapirs are the other odd-toed ungulates, which include horses, donkeys, zebras and rhinoceroses.

Talamanca forest have 450 species of birds (in Costa Rica, the Panama's forest have 225 birds species). The most endangered bird in the forest is the Harpy eagle, common on the Panama's forest.

Harpy eagle species of bird

The harpy eagle is a neotropical species of eagle. It is also called the American harpy eagle to distinguish it from the Papuan eagle, which is sometimes known as the New Guinea harpy eagle or Papuan harpy eagle. It is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the rainforest, and among the largest extant species of eagles in the world. It usually inhabits tropical lowland rainforests in the upper (emergent) canopy layer. Destruction of its natural habitat has caused it to vanish from many parts of its former range, and it is nearly extirpated in Central America. In Brazil, the harpy eagle is also known as royal-hawk.

Conservation and threats

The Talamancan montane forests are one of Central America's most intact ecoregions, although the oak forests in particular have been cleared for pasture and charcoal making. Forty percent of the ecoregion is protected by national and international parks, including La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, Chirripó National Park, Braulio Carrillo National Park, Volcán Poás National Park, Rincón de la Vieja National Park, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

Related Research Articles

Geography of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located on the Central American Isthmus, surrounding the point 10° north of the equator and 84° west of the prime meridian. It borders both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, with a total of 1,290 km of coastline.

Central America Place

Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.

Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range in Mexico

The Sierra Madre Oriental is a mountain range in northeastern Mexico. The Sierra Madre Oriental is part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges (cordillera) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica.

Mount Chirripó mountain in Costa Rica

Mount Chirripó is the highest mountain in Costa Rica with an elevation of 3,821 meters. It is located in Chirripó National Park and is noted for its ecological wealth. The mountain was named "Chirripo," meaning "land of eternal waters", by native Americans because there are many lakes and streams around the mountain. The high peaks in Chirripó National Park and La Amistad International Park host important areas of Talamancan montane forest and Costa Rican Páramo with high endemism and an extremely high biodiversity. The peaks of these mountains constitute sky islands for many species of plants and animals. Snow has not fallen on the peak in the past 100 years or so, according to the University of Costa Rica, but hail is sometimes reported.

Braulio Carrillo National Park

Braulio Carrillo National Park is a National Park in Heredia Province and San José Province, in central Costa Rica It is part of the Central Volcanic Conservation Area.

Cerro Kamuk mountain in Costa Rica

Cerro Kamuk is a mountain in the core of the mountains of La Amistad International Park, in the Cordillera de Talamanca, between the mountain ranges of northern Panama and southeastern Costa Rica. These are one of the highest and wildest mountains of Central America. The diversity of species in this area is unequaled in any other similarly sized reserve in the world. The area protected comprises four national parks clustered together that became La Amistad Biosphere Reserve. UNESCO declared it a natural World Heritage Site in 1983. It is part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, UNESCO's project shared by eight Central American countries to help protect the remaining pristine mountain forest and wildlife of Central America

Costa Rican páramo Natural region in Costa Rica and western Panama

The Costa Rican páramo, also known as the Talamanca páramo, is a natural region of montane grassland and shrubland of Costa Rica and western Panama.

The Crater Salamander or Marbled crater salamander is a species of salamander in the family Plethodontidae. It is endemic to Costa Rica and Panama. Its natural habitat is subtropical, high-altitude moist montane forests. It has a small area of distribution and is threatened by habitat loss therein.

The Central America bioregion is a biogeographic region comprising southern Mexico and Central America.

Outline of Costa Rica

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Costa Rica:

Talamanca may refer to:

La Amistad International Park international park

The La Amistad International Park, or in Spanish Parque Internacional La Amistad, formerly the La Amistad National Park, is a Transboundary Protected Area in Latin America, management of which is shared between Costa Rica and Panama, following a recommendation by UNESCO after the park's inclusion in the World Heritage Site list.

Cordillera Oriental montane forests

The Cordillera Oriental montane forests (NT0118) is an ecoregion in Venezuela and Colombia along the east slopes of the eastern cordillera of the Andes. The extensive region of submontane and montane forests includes distinctive flora and fauna in the north, center and southern sections. The ecoregion is home to numerous endemic species of fauna. Despite extensive changes due to logging, farming and ranching, large areas of the original habitat remain intact, and the ecoregion has rich biodiversity.

Napo moist forests

The Napo moist forests (NT0142) is an ecoregion in the western Amazon rainforest of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Chocó-Darién moist forests

The Chocó-Darién moist forests (NT0115) is an ecoregion in the west of Colombia and east of Panama. The region has extremely high rainfall, and the forests hold great biodiversity. The northern and southern parts of the ecoregion have been considerably modified for ranching and farming, and there are threats from logging for paper pulp, uncontrolled gold mining, coca growing and industrialisation, but the central part of the ecoregion is relatively intact.

Eastern Panamanian montane forests

The Eastern Panamanian montane forests (NT0122) is an ecoregion in the east of Panama and the extreme northwest of Colombia. It contains diverse flora and fauna, with considerable endemism. The ecoregion is largely intact due to its inaccessibility, although the opening of an extension of the Pan-American Highway has introduced threats from human activity.

Cauca Valley montane forests

The Cauca Valley montane forests (NT0109) is an ecoregion in western Colombia. It covers the sides of the Cauca Valley, which runs from south to north between the Central and Western Ranges (cordilleras) of the Colombian Andes. The ecoregion is home to very diverse fauna and flora, due in part to its varied elevations and climates, in part to its position near the isthmus of Panama, the route along which North American species invaded South America and then diversified as they moved to the upper parts of the Andes. Little of the original habitat remains at lower levels, but higher up there are sizeable blocks of forest, some of which ate protected.


  1. 1 2 3 "Talamancan montane forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  2. World Wildlife Fund, ed. (2001). "Talamancan montane forests". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08.