Short of rangers, Costa Rican parks in disarray

Costa Rica

On Feb. 19, buses and cattle trucks lumbered into Los Patos, on the edge of Costa Rica’s remote Osa Peninsula on the country’s southern Pacific Coast. After reaching the boundary of Corcovado National Park the vehicles stopped and disgorged over 250 people, who then entered the park to engage in illegal gold mining and hunting, according to park rangers and local residents. Corcovado, a place of spectacular biodiversity, is Costa Rica’s most prized park. But incursions such as the one described above have become increasingly common. Officials with the country’s National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac) estimate that an average of 300 illegal gold miners are working in the park every day. While Sinac and other government agencies back in the capital of San José... [Log in to read more]

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