President Luis Guillermo Solís signed a decree expanding by 2,386 hectares the Braulio Carrillo National Park, which lies northeast of Costa Rica’s capital, during a ceremony on Thursday. The added terrain previously was part of the Cordillera Volcánica Central Forest Reserve, which borders Braulio Carrillo National Park.
One of the primary motivations behind the decision was to preserve some of the most important aquifers in the Central Valley. The area is the source of the Barva and Colima aquifers that are recharged by rainfall that collects across the park for hydroelectric and industrial uses and drinking water, according to a statement from Casa Presidencial.
At 47,588 hectares, Braulio Carrillo is the largest national park in Central Costa Rica and home to 6,000 different plant species, more than 500 migratory and endemic bird species, and other fauna. Founded in 1978, the park is densely forested and includes the Barva and Cacho Negro volcanoes.
Costa Rica is famous for its expansive national parks. More than 25 percent of Costa Rican territory has some kind of protected status, including 11 conservation areas.