Breathtaking Bosawas Biosphere Reserve

Covering an estimated twenty thousand square kilometers, the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve has earned the status of being the second biggest rainforest that can be found in the entire Western Hemisphere (with the largest being the Brazilian Amazon), consisting of breathtaking hills blanketed in tropical forest vegetation. It is located in the northern region of Nicaragua, and its beauty rises from is magnificent biodiversity. Nature enthusiasts will be overwhelmed not only by its size but by its rich animal and plant life.

UNESCO recognized the importance of the Bosawas Reserve and listed it as one of their Biosphere Reserves in 1997. During the Sandinista revolution, the Chamorro government made the decision to create three massive reserves, of which Bosawas Biosphere Reserve is the largest. It borders the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve, the Rio Patuca National Park and the Tawhaka Anthropological Reserve.

One of the most unique features of the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve is the fact that it overlaps the regions in which the Miskito and Sumo tribes live. These are two indigenous tribes of Nicaragua, and make use of the area’s natural resources, namely gold and timber, to carve a living. Working with conservation authorities, most of the members of the tribe practice subsistence farming.

When looking at the plant and animal life with in the reserve, approximately ten thousand square kilometers of the reserve is covered in forest. For those interested in the insect life of the reserve, there an estimated two hundred thousand insect species residing in the biosphere reserve. Many believe the number could be higher as much of the reserve is unexplored. Thousands of vascular plants cover the area and the reserve is home to approximately seven hundred bird species. Some of the birds that can be spotted include the harpy eagle, guacamayas and quetzals. Visitors may be lucky to view a Tapir, which is the preferred prey for the pumas and jaguars in the reserve.

Conservation efforts in the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve are vital to the maintenance of ecosystems within the reserve, as well as the continued existence of the bird and animal life. Visitors are reminded not to forget their cameras, as they will experience moments that they will definitely want to capture on film.