Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
From 660 meters to 1.860 above sea level, and some 172 Km from San José. The Monteverde Biological Cloud Forest Reserve forms part of the Arenal conservation area, which protects some 63.000 hectares of cloud forest, humid because of the Pacific and the Atlantic Slopes of the Tilarán Cordillera, including the Monteverde Reserve, the Western sector of Lake Arenal, the volcano of the same name and the Chato volcano. The lands are often wet because of the frequent rain. The rainwater continually drains into the rivers including Peñas Blancas or San Carlos, of the Rio San Juan, and the Guácimal, that in turn flow into the Golf of Nicoya. 48% of mammals, 47% of amphibians and reptiles and 51% of birds that are recorded in Costa Rica are found here; this implies that half of the vertebrates that are in the country are represented in this area. The Monteverde Reserve is made up of 11.931 hectares, it is a private property run by the Tropical Scientific Center, a non profit association for scientific investigation and education. It was created in 1972 at the request of scientists and resident Quakers in the area, who where worried about the impact of the colonization on the Cloud Forest. Monteverde was formed in 1951 by the initiative of the Alabama Quaker Community that arrived in Costa Rica after being attracted by the peace of the country. They settled in the region and dedicated themselves to the production of high quality milk and cheese. They were conscious of the importance of the river course that converted part of their property into forest reserves, which was then later donated to the Tropical Scientific Center.