Because Costa Rica contains 4 percent of global biodiversity in its very small territory, it has been a mecca for tropical biologists and ecologists for the last 60 years. These scientists worked with visionary Costa Ricans to establish the famous National Parks Service in the 1970s.
As protected areas were established and research was carried out, biologists observed that most animals migrate from one altitude to another during the year.
Researchers discovered that many wild felines like panthers, jaguars, and pumas need hundreds of square miles of habitat in order to hunt and reproduce successfully.
In fact, they have found that, in order for large cats to sustain their populations, each species requires a preserve big enough to support at least 500 to 5000 individuals of each species.
If, through careless development, the original habitat is degraded into small, isolated pieces, the cats, and less charismatic animals, birds, and insects, rapidly face extinction.