Flora and Fauna
In Tortuguero National Park there is a very high biodiversity. In it we can find more than 400 species of trees and approximately 2,200 species of other plants, thanks to the great variety of environments, including the following: the typical coastal vegetation of the Caribbean, with species such as beach grape and the icaco. The coconut tree, a species native to India is also common. Behind the sandy coastline forest grows on flooded or marshy land. There it is common to find trees such as the sangrillo, the cant, the Hawk and the poponjoche.
In flood-prone areas grows the palm of yolillo, getting to form deep forests known as yolillales. In places with deeper water floating vegetation can be found, mainly the water lily and aquatic ferns.
In areas with non-flooded soils, such as Lomas de Sierpe, with heights of up to 311 m, grows the majestic and very humid Tropical Forest, with an average annual precipitation is close to 5,000 mm. This forest has an extraordinary diversity of flora; among the most characteristic trees, we can see the pilon, the canfin and the mountain jicaro.
In the park there is a large variety of wildlife, including mammals in danger of extinction, such as the jaguar, the ocelot, tapir (which is the largest of the tropical jungles of America animal), manatee, the tayra, the sloth, and three species of monkeys, among others.
In addition, there are 405 species of birds, about half of which are in Costa Rica, and more that can be found, for example, in the European territory. This diversity is repeated in amphibians and reptiles, fish and insects. One of the main attractions of the Park is the spawning of sea turtles, and especially the green sea turtle.
The four species which breed in the Caribbean and who come to lay their eggs on the beaches of the Tortuguero National Park are: the leatherback turtle, which is the largest of the sea turtles, green sea turtle, which is second in size and the most abundant in the Tortuguero National Park, the loggerhead turtle or loggerhead and hawksbill turtle, which is the minor size and very persecuted as its shell is used in crafts, by what are urged not to buy products from tortoiseshell.