Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Road checks to fight wildlife trafficking during Holy Week

March 22, 2016

Officials from the Environment Ministry’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) will man highway checks this holiday week aimed at stopping wildlife pilfering in the southern Pacific region, one of Costa Rica’s most diverse areas.

The campaign dubbed “Retén por los bosques” (Road checks for the forests) targets travelers visiting beaches and other destinations in the southern Pacific for Holy Week, one of the busiest seasons for the tourism sector.

Environment vice minister Patricia Madrigal said the campaign is a call to all citizens and tourists to do their part to protect the country’s natural resources. “Everyone can do something to helping our forests: from planting a tree to preventing wild fires,” she said.

Officials are asking people to refrain from taking plants or wild animals from their habitats during the holidays. Taking flowers, plants, or animals is illegal but also affects other wildlife species that are losing their food, habitats and other resources needed to survive, Madrigal said.

It is also a crime sanctioned by the country’s Wildlife Conservation Law, which sets fines and prison sentences for those found guilty of killing, damaging or possessing wildlife species.

The law prohibits hunting, as well as collecting and extracting wildlife species. It sanctions both the person who sells or traffics, as well as she who buys or has wildlife in her possession.

Article 90 of the law sets fines equivalent to three minimum salaries, or $2,350, for those found guilty of taking or destroying plants from protected areas. Fines up to 15 minimum salaries, or $11,750, apply for those guilty of taking or trafficking plant species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES.

For animals the law establishes prison sentences up to three years and fines up to 30 salaries ($23,500) for killing wildlife species, and up to 40 salaries ($31,300) for killing endangered species included in the CITES list.

Residents of the Osa Península and members of various conservation groups will join park rangers in delivering information related to wildlife conservation to motorists traveling along routes to the most popular destinations in the area.

National Police officers are also increasing their presence in the region and conducting periodic patrols to find poachers and hunters.

From 2013 to 2015, park rangers and other officials confiscated a monthly average of 73 animals ranging from birds, frogs and iguanas to monkeys, snakes and crocodiles.

You may be interested

Travel uncertainty cancels Costa Rica’s upcoming soccer friendly against Mexico
Costa Rica
3274 views
Costa Rica
3274 views

Travel uncertainty cancels Costa Rica’s upcoming soccer friendly against Mexico

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

The Costa Rican Football Federation (Fedefutbol) on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the men's national team's planned friendly match against…

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 22
Costa Rica
5463 views
Costa Rica
5463 views

Costa Rica coronavirus updates for Tuesday, September 22

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

Costa Rica announced 15 new coronavirus-related deaths over the last day for a total of 760, according to official data…

Costa Rica extends tourist visas until March 2021
Costa Rica
3347 views
Costa Rica
3347 views

Costa Rica extends tourist visas until March 2021

Alejandro Zúñiga - September 22, 2020

Costa Rica's Immigration Administration on Monday published a resolution which, among other items, extends the validity of tourist visas until…