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Talamanca-Caribbean Corridor

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Talamanca-Caribbean Biological Corridor

Located in the southeastern corner of Costa Rica, the Talamanca region has one of the largest remaining stands of the Atlantic Moist Forest in Costa Rica. It connects the highlands of the Talamanca Mountain Range to protected coastal and marine areas. Talamanca is the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country, which contributed to its declaration as a World Heritage Site. The area is home to 65 percent of Costa Rica’s indigenous population, including members of the Bribí and Cabecar tribes, as well as Afro-Caribbeans and settlers from throughout Costa Rica and other Central America countries.

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The Talamanca region served as a bridge between North and South America during the Pleistocene age, which created a mix of species from both continents.  Now, the region is among the highest in biodiversity and endemism in Central America.

Yorkin River

Yorkin River © Jeffery Brown


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total area protected:
90,191 acres acres
map of site

Central American Atlantic Moist & Mangroves

partner organization:
Talamanca-Caribbean Biological Corridor Association (TCBCA)

Ecological Importance

Among the 84 mammals in Talamanca are the jaguar, puma, ocelot, mantled howler monkey, black-handed spider monkey, tapir, and manatee. Boa constrictors, crocodiles, green iguanas, and poison arrow frogs are some of the 141 species of reptiles found here. Three-hundred sixty-one bird species reside in Talamanca, including the endangered green macaw and harpy eagle. The Corridor was created to enable the movement of flora and fauna from La Amistad Biosphere Reserve to the coast. It also serves as an “escape” in the event that projected global warming forces a shift of species between terrestrial areas. There is a great diversity of plant species, including species that, outside of Talamanca, have only been reported on the Osa Peninsula and others that are new to science. Talamanca marine life is abundant with 227 species of fish, and green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles. It is also one of the most important nesting sites for leatherback turtles in Central America.


The main threat to Talamanca is accelerated deforestation caused by logging and inappropriate agricultural practices. Marine pollution is causing the death of coral reefs while soil erosion threatens rivers and streams.

Talamanca’s ethnic diversity and indigenous, privately and publicly held land, combined with complex economic and political situations, have made conservation work in the area difficult. At the time of Parks in Peril (PiP) initial involvement, the Talamanca-Caribbean Biological Corridor Association (TCBCA) had little capacity to confront these challenges.

A Strategy of Success

With the arrival of resources from PiP, TCBCA was able to strengthen its own structure and that of its member organizations, fostering an important forum for debate for the conservation movement in Talamanca. TCBCA focused on a strategy that developed natural resource protection activities, while providing support for sustainable production activities in the region.

First, TCBCA supported activities essential for curbing the deterioration of the area's resources while generating a positive image for itself in the region by purchasing land considered strategic to conservation. Through a program that pays landowners for adopting management plans for their lands, TCBCA has secured 9,880 acres (4,000 ha)--17.4 percent of which belong to indigenous lands--for 84 local residents, 22 percent of whom are women. TCBCA has been very successful in assembling properties that contribute to the integrity of the ecological corridor, and the organization continues to add small patches of forest.

Conservation Area Planning (CAP), with PiP support, began in 2000. At a workshop attended by experts on the biology and conservation of the region, TCBCA and its conservation partners began identifying priority conservation targets and threats, and producing more specific strategies to address them.

PiP activities to strengthen TCBCA and its member organizations included workshops on strengthening boards of directors, technical assistance in operational management, support in communications and logistics, facilitation of community meetings and projects, and training in fundraising techniques.

In 2000, TCBCA was granted a Global Environmental Facility that allowed it to continue its conservation work since site consolidation in 1995. Through this activity, TCBCA has the opportunity to increase its coverage in both geography and population served.

Read more about Talamanca...

ANAI: working with Talamanca-Caribbean Biological Corridor Association (TCBCA)
The Nature Conservancy in Talamanca

Read more about projects in Costa Rica...

Corcovado National Park
La Amistad International Park/Bocas del Toro

Costa Rica Partner Organizations

The Nature Conservancy in Costa Rica