Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodriguez Caballero Wildlife Refuge Costa Rica

Haga click en el siguiente enlace para leer está página en Español: Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodríguez Caballero Costa Rica

Rafael Lucas Rodríguez Caballero (March 24, 1915 – January 29, 1981) was a Costa Rican biologist, botanist, and artist known for his drawings of Costa Rican wildlife. He created a Department of Biology at the University of Costa Rica. In this department, which later became the School of Biology, he gave lessons in biology and botany, being the director for eleven years.

In addition to its scientific aspect, Rafael Lucas Rodriguez had a humanistic and artistic side, with a great talent for drawing, which he impose on his scientific work, reproducing in detail and full color, many species of Costa Rican flora, especially orchids. He also was the author of more than 1 000 full-color reliable plates.

Besides, Rafael Lucas was one of the creators of the prestigious Journal of Tropical Biology, the Organization for Tropical Studies and the Costa Rican Orchid Society. He also made some procedures to the Chancellor of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and foreign organizations to save Charles Lankester Botanical Garden in Cartago, whose effort was crucial to the Lankester Botanical Garden was donated to UCR in 1973. He also won the Magón National Prize for Culture in 1977.

The Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodríguez Caballero Wildlife Refuge was created on October 1st, 1978, as an extension of Palo Verde National Park, located in the heart of the hottest, driest basin in the country, located at the head of the Nicoya Gulf in the flood plain of the Tempisque River.

Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodríguez Caballero National Wildlife Refuge has a similar variety of habitats, from swampland to evergreen forest and dry forest, and wildlife that the one visitors can find in Palo Verde National Park. With more than 300 wading and waterfowl flock bird species have been recorded such as the Great Curassow (Crax rubra), and the only permanent colony of Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) of the Dry Pacific tropics, which is also particularly replete with waterbirds, including the American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), the American Darter (Anhinga anhinga), the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), and Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria), the largest storks in the world, as well as sea gulls, herons (Egretta), falcons and ducks (anas).

Some of the most common mammals are the Howler and Capuchin Monkeys, Coaties, White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Collared Peccaries (Pecari tajacu), Coyotes (Canis latrans) and Variegated Squirrels, besides crocodiles, frogs, iguanas and snakes such as the Central American Coral Snake (Micrurus nigrocinctus), Tropical rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus) and the Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor).

The flora is very similar too, with big trees such as the Pochote (Bombacopsis quinata), the Spanish cedar(Cedrela odorata), the Cocobolo (Dalbergia retusa), the Laurel (Cordia alliodora), the Guanacaste (Enterolobium cyclocarpum) and the Ron Ron (Astronium graveolens) amongst others.

The Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodríguez Caballero National Wildlife Refuge is located in one of the hottest and driest parts of Costa Rica with an annual average temperature of 28ºC. Even though, dry season, from January through March, is considered by some to be the best time to visit the refuge, because access roads are then more passable, and visitors can more easily view the abundant water birds. Although, if visiting during the dry season, be sure to drink plenty of liquid and try to avoid staying in direct sunshine for very long so as to eliminate the risk of heat exhaustion, or worse, heat stroke.

Hiking and camping are permitted but there are no facilities. Other nearby Costa Rica parks include Palo Verde National Park, Lomas de Barbudal Biological Reserve , Cipanci National Widlife Refuge, Palustrino Corral de Piedra Wetlands, Mata Redonda National Wildlife Refuge and Barra Honda National Park.

Getting to Dr. Rafael Lucas Rodriguez Caballero Wildlife Refuge:

From San José, take the Pan-American Highway north to Bagaces. Turn left down a gravel road and travel south about 19 km to the park entrance, following the signs to the Palo Verde National Park. Now you can also take the new Caldera Highway to Puntarenas and then follow the Pan-American Highway.

From Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR), drive south for some 14 km from Liberia to Bagaces. Then turn right down a gravel road and travel south about 19 km to the park entrance, following the signs to the Palo Verde National Park. Now you can also take the new Caldera Highway to Puntarenas and then follow the Pan-American Highway.

By bus

Take a local bus from San Jose – Liberia, which takes about 4 hours making the stop at Bagaces (Pulmitan Liberia, 2222-1650). From here you can rent a car and drive, or take a bus or taxi to the refuge, which is about 15 minutes.

By plane:

You can also take a flight from the Juan Santamaria Airport to Daniel Oduber Airport, either with Sansa Airlines or Nature Air every day. From here you can rent a car and drive, or take a bus or taxi to the refuge, which is about 45 minutes.

Location: near Bagaces, within Palo Verde National Park, district: Bagaces, canton: Bagaces, province: Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 50401.
Bagaces GPS Coordinates: 10.520894,-85.254769 (10°31’15.22″N, 85°15’17.17″W)
Size: 7,354 ha (18,172 acres)
Altitude: from sea level to 200m (656ft)
Tempisque Conservation Area (ACT) Telephone: +(506) 2686-4967 / 2686-4968
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192

Address map: Click here to view directions from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), Alajuela, Costa Rica TO Palo Verde National Park, Guanacaste, Costa Rica at Google Maps


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