Endemic species are plants and animals found only in particular localities. Costa Rica has four zones of endemism, where there are unusually large numbers of endemic species. Playa Delfin is located in the center of one of these: the Golfo Dulce Area of Endemism. Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute states that “The Golfo Dulce region, which includes the Osa Peninsula and extends to Punta Burica, is recognized as a center of endemism in flora and fauna, principally herpetofauna, and to a lesser degree in freshwater fishes and bird species…” [Ref. http://www.inbio.ac.cr/estrategia/Estudio_2004/Paginas/diversidad02.html ]
The arc of land around the Golfo Dulce is thought to have been a refugia in the Ice Ages; many people feel that former refugia, having survived past climate change events, are a good choice for today’s conservation efforts. This area has been a stronghold for plants and animals that have died off elsewhere, whether due to natural climate cycles or to anthropogenic causes.
AREAS OF ENDEMISM IN COSTA RICA (Golfo Dulce region in light blue)
[Map by Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad based on data from National Biodiversity Study by MIRENEM, MNCR, InBio, PNUMA]