Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park and the surrounding area of the Osa Peninsula is a world biodiversity hotspot, in fact, it has been named ‘the most biodiverse place on earth’. Costa Rica supports 5% of the worlds biodiversity in just 0.03% of its land mass, and the Osa Peninsula holds 50% of the biodiversity of Costa Rica in just 5% of its land mass. These facts are so powerful in showing us just how special the Osa is. However, the Peninsula and its national parks are under threat from changes in land use for agriculture, teak and palm oil plantations, unsustainable tourism, and urban development. In addition to this, the area faces threats from pollution, especially from agriculture and plantations, hunting, illegal logging, climate change and invasive species. The biggest issue for Corcovado and other national parks across the country is their size and isolation. Whilst Corcovado may benefit from some level of protection and represent quite a large area of land, the surrounding areas are afforded very little, with the park being enclosed by a matrix of plantations, agriculture, towns and villages. This isolates forests and the wildlife that depend on them within a small area, an area so small for some species that they will fail to maintain a healthy population level and will eventually become extinct. For this reason, we need to protect the lands surrounding our national parks and form corridors between the parks to protect the ecosystems that we are lucky enough to hold.