Savegre Biosphere Reserve
~ by Jack Ewing
A home for animals and humans
UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program designated the Savegre River basin and much of the surrounding area as “The Savegre Biosphere Reserve”.
A truly impressive example of biodiversity, it contains 20% of the plant species, 54% of the mammal species, and 59% of the bird species found in Costa Rica. There are 12 rivers, 7 mangroves, 21 streams, 1 island, and 1 lagoon. Habitats ranging from the Manuel Antonio marine reserve to paramo at 3400 meters (11,155 feet) of altitude are represented. Two national parks, four national wildlife refuges, one national forest, one protected zone, one biological reserve, parts of three biological corridors, and at least 20 informal private reserves are found within its boundaries. There are over 50 km of coastline from Manuel Antonio to Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge and the Barú River. The total area is 312,914 hectares (733,227 acres).
To date there are 683 biosphere reserves worldwide located in 120 countries. The Savegre Biosphere Reserve is the fourth to be named in Costa Rica. Though the designation is international the area is governed exclusively by the laws of Costa Rica. The government and inhabitants are in charge of promoting and teaching sustainable living and development.
Approximately 50,000 people live and work
within the reserve at a variety of activities including sport fishing, farming, cattle ranching, fish farming, adventure tourism and ecological tourism.
The project to accomplish the declaration of Savegre Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO was initiated in 2011 in the community of San Gerardo de Dota. A year later the Asociación Amigos de la Naturaleza del Pacífico Central y Sur (ASANA), the organization which founded the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor in 1990, joined the project and took a leading role. On July 8, 2017 Costa Rican president Luis Guillermo Solis, formally inaugurated the Savegre Biosphere Reserve and declared November 3 to be annual Biosphere Reserve day.
The Savegre Biosphere Reserve borders the Costa Ballena where both meet the Barú River. Its amazing biodiversity and many attractions are close at hand and readily available to our residents and guests.