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Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Cruz R.E.,Area de Conservacion Guanacaste | Segura R.B.,Area de Conservacion Guanacaste
Ecological Restoration | Year: 2010

The Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG, Guanacaste Conservation Area) in northwestern Costa Rica in Central America was created to protect in perpetuity the rich natural diversity found there. The ACG contains an entire range of interconnected ecosystems from the Pacific coastal-marine zone, through dry and cloud forests, to the Caribbean rain forest. Generations of human pressures on the area, including ranching, agriculture, fires, timber extraction, and hunting, have degraded these ecosystems, which are now in a process of regeneration through protection from destructive human use. Although protection is an important part of conservation, the ACG's most potent tool for the long-term conservation of its natural resources is the "biocultural restoration"of its neighbors. The ACG's Programa de Educacion Biologica (PEB, Biological Education Program) promotes the bioliteracy of local students, parents, and teachers through field-oriented workshops in its different ecosystems. Through the education of the surrounding community about its natural resources, PEB is restoring the biological understanding of its neighbors with the aim of creating a community that can make better-informed environmental decisions in the future. © 2010 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

Janzen D.H.,University of Pennsylvania | Hallwachs W.,University of Pennsylvania | Harvey D.J.,Smithsonian Institution | Darrow K.,Smithsonian Institution | And 45 more authors.
Invertebrate Systematics | Year: 2012

Biodiversity of tropical Saturniidae, as measured through traditionally described and catalogued species, strongly risks pooling cryptic species under one name. We examined the DNA barcodes, morphology, habitus and ecology of 32 'well known' species of dry forest saturniid moths from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in north-western Costa Rica and found that they contain as many as 49 biological entities that are probably separate species. The most prominent splitting of traditional species-Eacles imperialis, Automeris zugana, Automeris tridens, Othorene verana, Hylesia dalina, Dirphia avia, Syssphinx molina, Syssphinx colla, and Syssphinx quadrilineata-is where one species was believed to breed in dry forest and rain forest, but is found to be two biological entities variously distinguishable by DNA barcodes and morphology, habitus, and/or microecological distribution. This implies that 'standard' biological information about each traditional species may be an unconscious mix of interspecific information, and begs renewed DNA barcoding, closer attention to so-called intraspecific variation, and increased museum collection and curation of specimens from more individual and ecologically characterised sites-as well as eventually more species descriptions. Simultaneously, this inclusion of sibling species as individual entities in biodiversity studies, rather than pooled under one traditional name, reduces the degree of ecological and evolutionary generalisation perceived by the observer. © CSIRO 2012 .

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