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The Trunk

AspidospermaBy  José Solano

Costa Rica is one of the countries of the world with the greatest diversity of flora and fauna by area. With a territory of 51,000 Km2, this contains 5% of all species of the entire planet. Its position between two subcontinents has allowed species of North and South America to be found. This serves as a barrier between two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic, ranging from 0 to more than 3,500 meters above sea level.

In the Osa Peninsula there are 2.5% of the world’s species, and with its humid tropical forests, its diversity is immense.

For many years the forests have been threatened and destroyed indiscriminately by the hand of man, ending with both species of flora and fauna destroying ecosystems very fragile and irrecoverable for the planet. As a consequence, global warming has gradually increased, causing floods, droughts, tornadoes and increasingly powerful hurricanes, bringing destruction and hunger to the world’s habitants.

It calls for protection of a particularly threatened tree species, the Aspidosperma myristicae folium (Apocynaceae  family) , and known here as Cara de Tigre or Caja. Years ago, there was abundance at Cerro de Tigre at the highest point of the Coastal Range. It was almost entirely cut for the beauty and durability of its wood. At the moment it is a protected species and prohibited its commercialization. However, scrupulous hands have been selling it clandestinely to both nationals and foreigners. Its trunk is very particular and unique. So, it has been used to build ranches and restaurants.

In Costa Rica there are many cultivated kinds of wood, such as teak, laurel, and pine that make them perfect for construction. By purchasing protected species such as the Cara de Tigre wood you are as guilty of its extinction as the people who cut down the forests.

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