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Introduction To Rara Avis in Costa Rica

     This is a web site about a private tropical rain forest nature reserve in Costa Rica.  Its name is Rara Avis and translated from Latin means rare bird.  It truly is a unique “rare bird” of a place.  Rara Avis is a socially responsible, sustainable ecotourism reserve that employs Costa Ricans from the local community to support their economy.  It is a remote parcel (about 3000 acres) of  a tropical rain forest ecosystem located 10 miles from the nearest town, and is completely isolated from modern civilization.  In Rara Avis, you will be in a true wilderness at 2300 ft. above sea level where the climate stays moderate and comfortable year-around at an average temperature of 76 to 77 degrees F (very few days of 90 F or 65 F).  It does get about 27 feet of rain per year (it's a rain forest!), but mosquitoes are few with no disease problems.
     Rara Avis is not for everyone.  If you are looking for tennis courts and swimming pools, hair dryers and televisions, Rara Avis is the wrong place.  If you are looking for pure nature deep in the rain forest, swimming in natural waterfall pools, lodging with comfortable beds, hot water, good home-style food, but no electricity, and want an adventurous learning experience different from ordinary tourism, then Rara Avis is for you.
     Rara Avis was established in 1983 as a public held Costa Rican corporation for the purpose of managing a rain forest profitably and wisely, and it borders a national park.  This reserve shows that a rain forest is more valuable standing than cut down, and can produce economic benefits for the surrounding communities.  Its goal is to demonstrate that economically sound conservation and management of a rain forest can serve the needs of landowners and government, as well as the planet.  Rara Avis is host to a variety of educational and research activities, ranging from elementary school students, international high school, to university and graduate programs based on rain forest ecology.
     Rara Avis is 95% primary, old-growth rain forest that is not only a place of extreme beauty, but is home to countless plant and animal biodiversity, undiscovered foods, natural pharmaceutical drugs, microorganisms, and genetic diversity of priceless value to humanity.  Deforestation is a very serious threat to our environment, not only because of the loss of forest products and biodiversity, but because it contributes to global warming, and because rain forests are nature's way of providing clean air and water, and stabilizing our planet's atmosphere.  Rara Avis is truly unique in that it is located near the center of a small section of a relic tropical rain forest that has survived intact from the Pleistocene glaciations of the last several million years.  Preservation of our rain forests is critical to the health of our planet.
     The tropical rain forest evolved about 100 million years ago with the evolution of flowering plants and pollinating insects during the age of dinosaurs.  Later in time hummingbirds, honey creepers, and bats, co-evolved in the pollination of flowering plants.  Join me in this web site in celebration of the riotous array of biodiversity beautifully evolved in the rain forest ecosystem, and in celebration of the 200th birthday (2009) of Charles Darwin who made one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time — natural selection.
   

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