An astounding fact that continually draws people to Costa Rica is the often-quoted statistic that we are home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity. The importance of biodiversity in Costa Rica is the principle reason 25% of Costa Rica’s land mass is retained in protected areas and national parks.
Now the Asociación Ornitológica Costarricense (Costa Rican Ornithological Society) reports that we officially have five new species of birds whose presence in the country has been confirmed. These are not species newly discovered to science, but rather they are species that were not known to be in Costa Rica before.
Not unlike our human visitors, these birds come from far and wide. The Knob-billed Duck pictured below was previously known in Central Asia, Africa, and eastern South America, and the Tahiti Petral is a sea bird previously ranging from Australia and the Pacific Islands to Mexico.
The Black-vented Shearwater is a species typically found off the Pacific coast of California while the Piping Plover comes all the way down from Canada and the Great Lakes. It’s breeding range extends from Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico.
Finally, the revised list now includes the Yellow-winged Tanager from Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua. Of the five new species, the Tanager is the most common, having a Conservation Status of Least Concern.