Biological Diversity or Biodiversity
The variety of life in all its forms, levels and combinations. Includes: ecosystem diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity (IUCN, UNEP and WWF, 1991).
National Park Poas Volcano
• The variety of life on our planet, measurable as the variety within species, between species, and the variety of ecosystems.
• The relative abundance and variety of plant and animal species and ecosystems within particular habitats.
• The number and variety of different organisms in the ecological complexes in which they naturally occur. Organisms are organized at many levels, ranging from complete ecosystems to the biochemical structures that are the molecular basis of heredity. Thus, the term encompasses different ecosystems, species, and genes that must be present for a healthy environment. A large number of species must characterize the food chain, representing multiple predator-prey relationships.
• The diversity, or variety, of plants, animals and other living things in a particular area or region. It encompasses habitat diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity.
Even though Costa Rica is a very small country, it features greater biodiversity than Europe or North America! This is the result of a combination of factors:
• The country's location as a natural bridge between North and South America.
• Costa Rica's warm tropical climate.
• The presence of many different topographical features, especially our high mountains, lakes, rivers, forested swamps, etc., create a wide range of habitats.
• The country's conservation policy, which has protected a significant portion of its territory.
The National Biodiversity Institute (INBio) of Costa Rica is a private research and biodiversity management center, established in 1989 to support efforts to gather knowledge on the country's biological diversity and promote its sustainable use.
The institute works under the premise that the best way to conserve biodiversity is to study it, value it, and utilize the opportunities it offers to improve the quality of life of human beings. Learn more at: www.inbio.ac.cr