The reserve's wildlife has been subject to various studies. The study areas have been limited to cloudy and marshy trails and rivers and in many cases it extends towards the Monteverde community. These studies, some systematic and others ecological, have given a very good indication of the species present in the area.
The herpetofauna of the Monteverde area is very specific. A revised list of amphibians and reptiles include 161 species. The 60 species of amphibians include two (2) caecilians, five (5) salamanders and 53 anurans. The 101 reptiles include 29 lizards and 71 snakes (Pounds, J.A., 2000). Monteverde is known, worldwide, for being the place where the golden toad (Bufo periglenes) dwells. This species disappeared in 1989. Similarly, the population of Atelopus varius, in the Monteverde area, dropped nearly 99% between March 1987 and May 1988. Despite intensive searches neither species was found in the nineties (Pounds, J. A., 2000).
The avifauna of Monteverde include permanent resident species, long distance migrating species and altitudinal migrating species, which is characteristic of areas in or near the mountains in the Neotropics. Ninety one (91) species, (21%) of the bird fauna of Monteverde, are long distance migrating species that mainly reproduce in North America and pass by Monteverde during migration or spend the winter in the area. Four species like the Tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus), the Piratic flycatcher (Legatus leucophaius) and the cabecigrís Vireo (Vireo flavoviridis) reproduce in Monteverde and migrate to South America during the non-reproductive period. Sixty-eight (68) of the bird species in Monteverde are altitudinal migrating species in the Central Mountain Range and other places in Costa Rica and probably make similar seasonal movements in Monteverde. Most bird species in Monteverde are primarily insectivores given that plants offer a wide variety of fruit. Epiphytes are important resources for both frugivorous birds as well as insectivorous birds at Monteverde.
Monteverde's mammals include elements of both North and South America as well as endemic species. The mammal fauna of the Monteverde region includes 6 species of marsupials, 3 shrews, at least 58 bats, 3 primates, 7 xenarthrans (edentate), 2 rabbits, a species of gopher, 3 species of squirrels, one species of spiny mouse, at least 15 species of long-tailed rats and mice (Family: Muridae), one species of porcupine, one species of agouti (Paca), one species of agouti (Dasyprocta punctata), 2 species of canids, 5 species of mustelids, 4 species of procyonid, 6 species of cats, 2 species of peccaries, 1 species of deer and one species of tapir.↑ Back to top