Black-mandibled toucan in the rainforest canopy of La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica
© Greg Basco/Minden Picture
Bird's-eye view on World Environment Day
For World Environment Day today we're in northeastern Costa Rica, a nature lover's paradise. The UN established World Environment Day in 1974 to encourage awareness and action for the protection of the environment. It begins with research, which is exactly what happens in this pristine corner of the planet. The misty canopy of forest pictured here is part of La Selva Biological Station, an internationally renowned center for tropical forest research that's associated with universities and research institutions in the United States, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico.
The scientists chose a prime location to conduct their studies. Covering nearly 4,000 acres, this is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. Researchers and students here at La Selva Biological Station can study at least 2,000 species of plants, 125 species of mammals, 87 species of reptiles, and tens of thousands of insects, arachnids, and other arthropods. And don't forget the 470 species of birds. Can you spot the black-mandibled toucan in our image?