The Reserve protects a large territory whose majority is localized in a humid area that goes from intermediate elevations of low pre mountain humid forest passing through cloud forest (oaks) and ending up at pre paramo in the highest parts of the continental divide. The changes in rainfall, temperature, elevation and soil conditions, that are given over short distances, have permitted the Reserve to have a great variety of habitats with different species of flora and fauna; many endemic of this part of the planet.
The topography of the protected land is abrupt; it presents slopes of 30º and in some areas even steeper of up to 65º. This characteristic has limited the use of the soil for agricultural purposes, but at the same time this characteristic has been made use of in the Reserve for reforestation in these areas.
Because of it’s strategic position, the Reserve serves as a refuge for many animals, many of which are in danger of extinction such as the Jaguar (felis onca), the Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) the Harpy Eagle (Harpia arpya) and the resplendent Quetzal (Paromachrus mocino) and many others. Also the Reserve functions as the last refuge for the conservation of the many species of rare trees in the country and in the southern zone, such as the oaks (Quercus costaricensis), Campano (Nectamdra sp), Sweet Cedar (Cedrela sp), Maria Cedar (Calophyllum guatemalensis), Golden Fruit (Virola sebifera), Avocados (Lauraceas, Ocoteas, etc), Cerillo (Symphonia globulifera) and others.
The flora and fauna are also of great importance to the local indigenous populations of the Cabécar and Bribrí ethnic race close to the Reserve. The introduction of negative agricultural customs and techniques by the “white man” in the indigenous reserves has caused a fast deterioration in the indigenous cultures and the environment. These settlers have introduced damaging agricultural methods, burning of grasslands, pasture for cattle and the illegal deforestation; the remaining area of forest is in imminent danger.
The original area that was purchased to start the project was only 250 hectares; in time and through funds obtained by the Eco tourism program, we have managed to protect approximately 8500 hectares of forest, creating in this way a biological corridor that connects the DBR with the AIP.
The environmental education program has started to show progress, the local indigenous populations and the neighboring farmers have started to become more aware of the importance of preserving the natural resources of the area; these changes have occurred mainly after seeing that the result of flooding, erosion, drought, the loss of soil and biodiversity makes it more necessary as time goes on, for a change in the lifestyle of these inhabitants.
It is of great importance to carry on acquiring land that is at risk of being destroyed due to the changes in the use of the soil, and to continue with the reforestation and environmental education programs, this is the only way of being sure of preserving this area for prosperity.