Costa Rica has a lot of national parks and other protected areas, but the 19th and 20th centuries were marked by deforestation, habitat loss and loss of wildlife. In the late 1970s, Peter Aspinall, Tiskita's owner, started reforesting large sections of land in what is now Tiskita and hasn't stoped since.
The next challenge is to maintain and increase the biodiversity of the area by (further) improving biological corridors between Tiskita and other protected areas.
All over Tiskita are tree nurseries with thousands of seeds germinating and trees growing. The seeds and saplings are collected from native trees in Tiskita and other areas of South Pacific Costa Rica.
The trees used for reforestation are all native species. Some are endemic to the area and have become quite rare, often because they are sought-after hardwoods. These trees are now protected by law.
Preferred trees for reforestation are native trees that are keystone species. Trees that are keystone species are particularly valuable because they play a critical role in the ecosystem. They are crucial in the life cycle of many plants and animals. Below are examples of native and endemic trees that are common in Tiskita.
The Andiroba tree is a type of mahogony that occurs in tropical wet lowland rainforest throughout the Neotropics. It can grow up to 35 meters tall, and the large seeds are an important food source for Agoutis, Pacas and other types of rodents.
This endemic tree occurs from Central Pacific Costa Rica to western Panama. It can grow up to 40 meters tall and its fruit is an important food source towards the end of the wet season for animals like the White-lipped Peccary.
ajo (garlic tree)
The Ajo's distribution is from South Pacific Costa Rica to Colombia in tropical wet lowland rainforest. It can grow up to 50 meters tall, and birds like Scarlet Macaws and Toucans use it for nesting. Its yellow flowers smell like garlic and are pollinated by bats. Birds and monkeys feed on the fruit.