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Conservation corridors 2002
Enlace verde 2002
An outline of what has been done and where in providing conservation easements between MCFP and MCL's Bajo de Tigre; a theoretical summary from the conservation biology literature and local research community; the priorities established, based on local expert researchers; and what the next steps and priorities are.
Un resumen de lo que se ha hecho y donde promover corredores biolgicos entre MCFP y MCL's Bajo del Tigre; un resumen terico de la literatura de la biologa de la conservacin y investigaciones locales comunales; las prioridades establecidas, basados en investigadores expertos locales; y cuales son los siguientes pasos y prioridades.
Enlace verde--Costa Rica--Monteverde, Puntarenas
Corredores biolgicos--Costa Rica--Monteverde, Puntarenas
Asociacin Conservacionista de Monteverde
Bajo del Tigre
t Sustainable Futures
Enlace Verde 2002 The Sustainable Futures 2002 goal for Enlace Verde was to step back, take a breath and look ahead to the future. The objective s to accomplish these goals were to 1) assess what has been done and where, 2) provide a t heoretical summary from the conservation biology literature and local research community, 3) determine priorities based on local expert researchers and 4) identify n ext steps and priorities To accomplish these tasks Karen Douthwaite, a University of Maryl and graduate student in conservation biology, took on the responsibility of researching and documenting the people and projects of Enlace Verde. While accomplishing the se tasks her research also informed the green scenarios planning that were being invest igated for Santa Elena. What has been done and where? What is Enlace Verde? Enlace Verde, started in a 1994 Montverde Town Meeting, was conceived to protect biological and community values using conservation easements. Easements wer e designed to protect forests and neighborhoods in the community of Monteverde, betwe en the MCFP and MCLÂ’s Bajo Del Tigre. Since Enlace VerdeÂ’s inception, two fo rmal easements have been finalized and others are being negotiated. Several other eas ement agreements have been discussed with landowners, but a lack of resources has meant that they have not progressed beyond anything further than good intentions. In recent ye ars, the Enlace Verde projects have also expanded to include areas outside the Montever de community, as well as other values, such as protecting sustainable agriculture Â– the Finca La Bella SF project of 2001. Why is Enlace important? The establishment of a gre en work network is important to 1) protect biodiversity, 2) maintain an economy based in-part on tourism and 3) preserve healthy neighborhoods. Karen also identified the numerous allied conserva tion efforts that have been complementary to goals of Enlace Verde. These inclu de among others MCLÂ’s Bosques en Fincas (1987-88), the MCLÂ’s Windbreak Program (1989 ), the San Luis Biological Corridor (MCFP), the Bellbird Conservation Project (CCF), the Monteverde Corridor For Endangered Species (RPCR) These projects have all made significant contributi ons. What are some of the theoretical considerations for Enlace Verde? KarenÂ’s succinctly summarized the theoretical work that und erlies conservation biology Â– patches and corridors and their role in protecting species diversity. Forest patches in the Monteverde landscape are one of three types: 1) r emnants, or patches of leftover primary forest; 2) introduced, or secondary forest stands that have been created by deliberate planting; and 3) regenerated, or seconda ry forest that has grown back through the natural processes of successioni. Fragments are scattered across the altitudinal gradient of the Pacific slope, and may have dramati cally different species compositions as dictated by the narrow microclimatic bands exten ding across the slope.ii The patches surrounding the Monteverde Reserve Complex offer Â“i slandsÂ” of habitat for many species, especially avian frugivores such as the Re splendant Quetzal and the Bellbird that are attracted to the abundance of Lauraceae found i n the fragments. Patch location and connectivity to other fragments also play a major role in patch dynamics within the Monteverde landscape. The clim atic range and diversity of species on the Pacific slope of the Tilarn has created a m ultitude of microhabitats that often
occur across the slope in small bands of vegetation Because of this, two patches that are located close together in terms of distance may be very different in terms of species composition. Many of the isolated patches in the M onteverde region are remnant fragments of vegetation types that have only sparse representation on the Pacific slope after the deforestation of the past century, and fo r this reason are extremely important in terms of the unique compositions of species that th ey support. Finally, patch location is also important because of the migration pattern alo ng the altitudinal gradient of the Pacific slope that so many species from the region follow. It is essential that fragments supporting the species that serve as food for much of the migrating fauna in the region, such as the Lauraceae for the Quetzal and the Bellb ird, be preserved and connected to ensure that migration patterns are not interrupted. In any fragmented habitat it is important to ensur e that there is a degree of connectivity between larger patches and smaller fra gments so that fauna can move from one location to another should their resources beco me limited. Biological corridors can be both natural and introduced into a landscape. C orridor width should be maximized to promote connectivity, and corridors function more e ffectively when making connections across shorter distances.iii Finally, corridors should contain vegetation type s similar to those in the surrounding area, to ensure homogeneit y of forest structure. In the Monteverde region, connectivity is extremely import ant between the Monteverde Reserve Complex and the forest fragments embedded in the ag ricultural matrix. What are the forest fragment and corridor prioritie s? Based on interviews conducted with eight local biologists Karen documen ted the priority forest fragments and biological corridors for conservation on the Pacifi c slope of the Monteverde area. The Los Llanos forest fragments are a priority due to t he annual abundance of fruits that attracts Bellbirds and other birds and due to the u nique life zone (Tropical Moist Forest) that is represented by these fragments. Another im portant priority identified by the research community was the primary forest fragments in Santa Elena. This information made it way into the SF Scenario Planning part of t he summer. What are the next steps? Karen presented her work in a power point presentation during the second SF 2002 Symposium. At the end of the presentation two corridors were identified as important next steps f ro Enlace Verde One was the establishment and improvement of a corr idor between MCPF and the Los Llanos fragment. This will be a focus for future E nlace Verde projects. In addition, the consensus was also to protect and improve the Ripar ian zones along quebradas draining into the Ro Lagartos (Berros, Santa Mara, and Ro driguez). In summary, the vision of Enlace Verde, based on sound values and community values provide an opportunity to create opportunities fro biological preservation in the Montverde Zone. He role of GIS will grow as an important tool in the inventory, an alysis and mapping of Enlace Verde projects.
Caption: Proposed conservation map created by SF 2 001 student Beth Callow using GIS. i Forman 44-45; Felipes Diss p.43 ii Guindon, Carlos F. Â“The Importance of Pacific Slo pe Forest for Maintaining Regional BiodiversityÂ”, i n Monteverde: Ecology and Conservation of a Tropical Cloud Forest. ed. Nalini M. Nadkarni and Nathanie l T. Wheelwright. New York: Oxford University Press 2000. p. 435. iii Carlos Guindon, pers. comm..