Paso Pacifico’s mission includes conservation efforts throughout Central America’s Pacific slope, which boasts some of the world’s highest levels of biodiversity. Across short distances, landscapes transition from coastal-marine areas to tropical dry forests, and from tropical moist forests to fresh-water lakes and wetlands. Over 70% of Central American people live in communities within this western landscape, often causing fragmentation of ecosystems and loss of wildlife.
At present, our efforts are focused in Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, second only to Haiti. Insufficient economic resources and a challenging political history have put pressure on the nation’s fragile ecosystems, making restoration and conservation in Nicaragua a priority for Paso Pacifico’s efforts in Central America.
Paso Pacifico’s current work specifically targets Nicaragua’s Paso del Istmo (see above). Located along the 12-mile-wide isthmus between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean, this narrow passageway has historically served as a land bridge for wildlife migrating between North and South America. In recent decades, however, irresponsible land development and rapidly increasing international investments have had serious consequences for the region’s climate, forests, and wildlife.
The Paso del Istmo’s potential to connect numerous distinct ecosystems in such a short distance makes it a strategic component to conservation in Nicaragua. Additionally, its close proximity to complete ecosystems in neighboring Costa Rica means that Costa Rican wildlife can help repopulate the Isthmus with species that are locally extinct in most of western Nicaragua. Through the Paso del Istmo, Paso Pacífico is laying the groundwork for future restoration and conservation along Nicaragua’s Pacific slope.
Keep up with news from the Paso del Istmo on our blog.
PO Box 1244 • Ventura, CA 93002-1244
Carretera a Masaya Km 12.4
Residencial Villas del Prado, Casa No. 7
© 2006 Paso Pacífico