Central America: Panama, Costa Rica, and southern Nicaragua

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Central American Atlantic Moist Forests cover the lowland Atlantic slopes of southern Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and most of Panama. These moist forests represent the epitome of wet, tropical jungle. The ecoregion is characterized by a lush, tall tropical evergreen forest of huge buttressed canopy trees reaching 50m in height and a rich and abundant subcanopy, and understory with abundant dwarf palms. In these lowland forests, monkeys swing through the treetops, while jaguar stalk white-lipped peccary on the swampy ground below. 

  • Scientific Code
  • Ecoregion Category
  • Size
    34,600 square miles
  • Status
  • Habitats



Location and General Description

Biodiversity Features

Current Status

Types and Severity of Threats

Justification of Ecoregion Delineation
The delineations for these moist forests were derived by combining moist and wet elements of the Holdridge Life Zone map of Honduras (Holdridge 1962) which were them referenced with expert opinion at various workshops and through consulting various literature (Hampshire 1988) and national atlases and. The linework for Honduras reflects the following Holdridge (1962) classifications: lowland moist forests. All lines in Nicaragua were derived from atlases (Institito Geograofico Nacional 1987, Inventario Nacional de Recursos Fisicos 1966, Instituto Nicaraguense de Recursos Naturales y del Ambiente (IRENA) 1992) and inventories (Sutton 1988) of the country, and the southern deliniation, which abuts to Isthmania-Atlantic moist forest, was make by George Powell (pers. comm) on the basis of shifts in bird and mammal distributions. The lines for Guatemala were derived by combining the following: dense forest and open forest, and all interior cultivated lands were lumped into the general classification for historic covage estimates from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional map (1972). The eastern deliniation, which abuts to the Miskito pine forests was derived from Stattersfield’s (1998) to incorporate the Central America Caribbean slope endemic bird area.


Prepared by: George Powell, Sue Palminteri, and Jan Schipper
Reviewed by: not reviewed