Guayabo Island Biological Reserve


These islands (4) Negritos are two- are located at either end of Gulf of Nicoya, one of the most scenic ares in the country. The reason for setting these islands aside as biological reserves was to protect and preserve the large population of seabirds, together with the local flora and fauna. Guayabo stand out as a mound of approximatley 50 meter high, the island is rhomboid in shape and can only be reached by landing with much difficulty on its small and only beach. The rest of the island consists of cliffs constantly batterdby the sea.. The wildlife is exclusively seabirds. It is one of the largest nesting sites for the brown pelicans (there are 4 in the country) , and also it is the wintering site for the peregrine falcon, which arrives between September-October and March-May.
Negritos Islands are covered sith a semi-deciduous forest in which the predominant species are frangipani, spiny cedar and gumbo-limbo. Some of the species commonly found in the islands are red land crabs, white-tipped doves, parrots , racoons and hermit crabs which are very numerous. Also roosting site for the brown pelican.
Pajaros Island is almost completely round and dome-shaped. At low tide it is very easy to walk around the island. The vegetation consists of a low-growing forest and small patches of second-growth grass.
Guayabo, Negritos and Pájaros enjoy a very mild, dry climate and sunshine all year round.

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Guayabo Island: 6.8 Ha. Negritos Islands: 80 Ha.: Pajaros Island: 3.8 Ha.
These four islands (Negritos are two) are located at both ends of Nicoya Gulf, one of the most beautiful scenic regions in the country. The objectives of making them biological reserves were to preserve numerous populations of sea birds conserve their plant and wildlife, and guarantee that so much natural beauty could be enjoyed by all Costa Ricans forever.
Guayabo Island is an imposing rocky mound that stands about 50 meters high. It has a rhomboid shape and a difficult access by means of its one single beach, which is small and pebbly, the result of an ancient landslide. The rest of the island is made up of cliffs against which the sea hurls itself in constant battle. The result is the formation, mainly on the northwest side, of several medium-sized caves which can be seen at low tide. The plant life that covers the rock is composed of a small number of thorn bushes, shrubs and small plants which grow about 1 meter high. The shrubs include the guaco (Pisonia aculeata) where the birds nest, wild fig (Ficus sp.) which is very sparse and twisted due to the poor soil and strong winds, coyol palm (Acrocomia vinifera) which grows individually, and viscoyol palm (Bactris minor) which grows in unmixed groups. Wildlife is almost exclusively represented by birds. The most common species are brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), laughing gull (Larus atricila), and brown booby (Sula leucogaster), which is one of the most common species of sea bird in the tropics. At a certain time of the year migratory sea birds come to these islands. Guayabo is exceptionally important for the protection of birdlife for two reasons: with a population of 200-300 individuals, it is the largest of the four nesting colonies of brown pelican that have been found in Costa Rica and it is the wintering site of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Other wildlife species are the ctenosaur (Ctenosaura similis), fiddler crabs (Uca vocator) and Sally lightfoot crabs (Grapsus grapsus).
Negritos Islands are covered with a semi-deciduous forest in which the predominant species are the frangipani (Plumeria rubra), spiny cedar (Bombacopsis quinatum) and gumbo-limbo (Bursera simaruba). In some areas, near the cliffs, there are unmixed groves of chira (Bromelia pinguin). and viscoyol palm. Monkey's ladder (Bauhinia sp.), a medicinal creeper. is very abundant in the understorey. Some of the animals that live on these islands are the ctenosaur, racoon (Procyon lotor), parrots. white-tipped dove (Leptotila verreauxi), red land crabs (Gecarcinus quadratus) and land hermit crabs (Coenobita compressus), which are very numerous. On the rocks that surround both islands there are magnificent frigatebirds, brown boobies, laughing gulls and brown pelicans. These birds use one of the islands as a bedroom. The waters around the islands are filled with giant conch (Strom bus galeatus) and oysters (Ostrea iridescens) and there are abundant tripletail (Lobotes pacificus), dolphin (Coiyphaena hippurus) and mackerel (Scorn beromorus maculatus).
Pájaros Island is almost round and dome-shaped. At low tide, it is easy to walk around the entire island, following its two small beaches and a kind of narrow ledge. This is a good way to observe the rocks of the intertidal zone which are completely covered with mollusks called rock osyters (Ostrea palm ula) and crustaceans called barnacles (Chthamalus spp.). The plant life is composed of a low-growing forest and of patches of second growth grass. The predominant species is the wild guava (Psidium guineense). Some of the tallest trees are the ear tree (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), wild fig (Ficus sp.), stinking toe (Cassia grandis) and manteco (Trichilia tomentosa).
Guayabo, Negritos and Pájaros Islands and the gulf where they are located have a very mild dry climate and a natural gift of plenty of sunshine.

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Leatherback turtle baby heading for the sea

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