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About 30 kms. on the Road Bagaces-Tamarindo-BagatzÝ you will find the first administration post, eight kilometres later the second.

Palo Verde National Park ranges over 13,058 hectares of marshes, floodplains, lagoons meandering channels, low limestone ridges and pools in the lower basin of the Rivers Tempisque and Bebedero. The marshy lagoons provide feeding, nesting and rest sites for species of waterfowl and wading birds, especially during the dry season when there are concentrations of up to 20,000 black-bellied tree ducks, 25,000 blue-winged teals, 4000 wood storks and 700 roseate spoonbills. It is estimated that there are 300 species of land birds and waterfowl and the largest colony of black-crowned night herons in the country.

There are at least 12 and probably as many as 15 habitats within the park, which range from the steep slopes of limestone mountainranges to the banks of rivers Tempisque and Bebedero. These include freshwater lagoons and marshes, mangrove swamps, swamp forest, evergreen forest, deciduous savannah woodland, hillside mixed forest, grassland of rough-leaf tree and riparian forest. The predominant swamp growth consits of Palo Verde or horse bean, a shrub with green leaves and branches that gives its name to the park, and typha, a grass with loveley spikes that grows three meters high. Swollen-thorn acacia and viscoyol abound in the thorny underbush and the most frequently found species in the dry forests are spiny cedar, lemonwood, gumbo-limbo lignum-vitae.

The predominant wildlife species in the rivers and marshes are the black-belliedtree duck, Northern Jacana, white-nosed coati and the crocodile. The mangrove swamp is home of the eastern kingbird, bronzed cowbird, the howler monkey and the anteater. The swamp forest provides shelter for the greenish elaenia, rufous-naped wren, the raccon and the ctenosaur. Howler monkeys, white-tailed deer and the cinnamon hummingbird, the white-lored gnatcatcher, the great crested flycatcher, the common long-nosed armadillo and the collard peccary live in hillside mixed forest. Palo Verde National Park is also where the only population of scarlet macaws in the Dry Pacific can be found. But it is not only a refuge for birds and other vertebrates, but also a scenic mosaic of great beauty.

The River Tempisque is navigable for 36 kms as fas as the confluence with River Bolsˇn. Sights along this strech of river include numerous tenosaurs resting in the trees, nativ fishermen in their primitive watercraft near Humo Harbor, the emergent limestone peaks, and the vast plains covered with woods and grasses.

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Palo Verde National Park
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