Lista de especies, endemismo y conservación de los mamíferos de Costa Rica

Bernal Rodríguez Herrera, Federico Chinchilla Miranda, Laura J. May Collado


Abstract: The geographical position of Costa Rica has historically played an important role in the composition and diversity of our mammalian fauna, consisting of species originating both in the Neartic and Neotropical regions. Based on published data, new descriptions and reports, we here present an updated list of all terrestrial and aquatic Costa Rican mammals. We summarize available information on their status, and present our concerns regarding those species with populations under alarming conditions. The mammalian fauna of Costa Rica is mainly Neotropical. A total of 238 species, grouped in 140 genera and 44 families, were documented. The order Chiroptera is the most diverse, followed by Rodentia, Cetacea, and Carnivora. About 7% of the species are endemic to Costa Rica (or Costa Rica-Nicaragua, Costa Rica-Panamá). Unfortunately, despite of all the efforts to protect our fauna and flora, threat to Costa Rican mammals is increasing, and a number of species have gone, and are going extinct. As in most other areas, habitat loss, both in terrestrial and coastal ecosystems, poses the greatest threat to mammalian diversity of Costa Rica. Other factors, such as poaching, inappropriate gear used in fisheries, and other human exploitation are also threatening mammal populations in Costa Rica. Future conservation efforts should focus on more detailed conservation and management strategies, particularly of large mammals (e.g. monkeys, felids).

Key words: Costa Rica, species richness, mammals, conservation, endemism.

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