|Cocos Island National Park*|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|State Party||Costa Rica|
|Inscription||1997 (21st Session)|
|* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.|
† Region as classified by UNESCO.
Cocos Island (Spanish: Isla del Coco) is an island located off the shore of Costa Rica. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex As of 2008 there are a total of 878 World Heritage Sites located in 145 "State Parties" Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica,) is a Country in A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex This is a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex An island (ˈaɪlənd or isle (/ˈaɪl/ is any piece of land that is completely surrounded by water in two dimensions above high tide and isolated from other significant Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica,) is a Country in It constitutes the 11th district  (one of 13) of Puntarenas Canton of the province of Puntarenas. Puntarenas is the name of the first canton in the province of Puntarenas in Costa Rica. . It is one of the National Parks of Costa Rica. List of National Parks of Costa Rica 1Refugio Nacional de Fauna Silvestre Isla Bolaños 2 It is located in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 550 km (340 mi) from the Pacific shore of Costa Rica , at . The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth 's Oceanic divisions With an area of approximately 23. 85 km² (9. 2 mi²), about 8×3 km (5×1. 9 mi) and a perimeter of around 23. 3 km  this island is more or less rectangular in shape.
Surrounded by deep waters with counter-currents, Cocos Island is admired by scuba divers for its populations of Hammerhead sharks, rays, dolphins and other large marine species. A scuba set is an independent breathing set that provides a scuba diver with the Breathing gas necessary to breathe underwater during Scuba diving. Hammerhead sharks of the Genus Sphyrna are members of the family Sphyrnidiae. Batoidea is a Superorder of cartilaginous fish containing more than 500 described species in thirteen families Dolphins are Marine mammals that are closely related to Whales and Porpoises There are almost forty species of dolphin in seventeen genera. The extremely wet climate and oceanic character give Cocos an ecological character that is not shared with either the Galapagos Archipelago or any of the other islands (e. g. , Malpelo or Coiba) in this region of the world 
Cocos Island is an oceanic island of both volcanic and tectonic origin. Malpelo can refer to Malpelo Island off Colombia's Pacific coast Punta Malpelo, a point near Guayaquil Ecuador Malpelo Coiba is the largest island in Central America, off the Pacific coast of the Panamanian province of Veraguas. Plate tectonics and hotspots Divergent plate boundaries At the It is the only emergent island of the Cocos Plate, one of the minor tectonic plates. The Cocos Plate is an oceanic Tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Central America, named for Cocos Island, which rides Plate tectonics (from Greek τέκτων tektōn "builder" or "mason" describes the large scale motions of Earth 's Lithosphere An Argon-Potassium radiometric determination established the age of the oldest rocks between 1. This article pertains to the chemical element For other uses see Argon (disambiguation. Potassium (pəˈtæsiəm is a Chemical element. It has the symbol K (kalium from qalīy Atomic number 19 and Atomic mass 39 91 and 2. 44 million years (Late Pliocene)  and is composed primarily of basalt, which is formed by cooling lava. Basalt (bəˈsɔːlt ˈbeisɔːlt ˈbæsɔːlt is a common Extrusive Volcanic rock. The landscape is mountainous and irregular and the summit is Cerro Iglesias at 575. 5 m . In spite of its mountainous character, there are flatter areas between 200-260 m in elevation in the central part of the island, which have been told to be a transitional stage of the geomorphological cycle of V-shaped valleys . With four bays, three of them in the north side (Wafer, Chatham and Weston), Cocos Island has a number of short rivers and streams that drain the abundant rainfall into them. The largest rivers are the Genio and the Pittier, which drain their water into Wafer Bay. The mountainous landscape and the tropical climate combine to create over 200 waterfalls throughout the island. The island's soils are classified as entisols which are highly acidic and could be easily eroded by the Island's high rainfall on the steep slopes, were it not for the dense forest coverage. In USA soil taxonomy, Entisols are defined as soils that do not show any profile development
The climate of the island is mostly determined by the latitudinal movement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone which creates a constant cloudiness and precipitation that is constant throughout the year . The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ, also known as the Intertropical Front, Monsoon trough, Doldrums or the Equatorial This makes the climate in the island to be humid and tropical with an average annual temperature of 23. 6 ºC (74. The Celsius Temperature scale was previously known as the centigrade scale. 5 ºF) and an average annual rainfall of over 7,000 mm (275 in). Fahrenheit is a temperature scale named after Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736 a German Physicist who proposed it in 1724 Rainfall is high throughout the year, although lower from January through March and slightly lower during late September and October . Numerous oceanic currents from the central Pacific Ocean that converge on the island also have an important influence. The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth 's Oceanic divisions
Cocos Island is home to dense and exuberant tropical moist forests. Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (TSMF also known as tropical moist forests, are a Tropical and Subtropical Forest It is the only oceanic island in the eastern Pacific region with such rain forests and their characteristic types of flora and fauna. The cloud forests at higher elevations are also unique in the eastern Pacific. A cloud forest, also called a fog forest, is a generally Tropical or Subtropical evergreen Montane moist forest characterized by a The island was never linked to a continent, so the flora and fauna arrived via long distance dispersal from the Americas. Biological dispersal refers to those processes by which a Species maintains ecosystem The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the Continents of North America and South America The island has therefore a high proportion of endemic species. Endemism is the Ecological state of being unique to a place Endemic species are not naturally found elsewhere
The island has 235 known species of flowering plants, of which 70, or nearly 30%, are endemic. The flowering plants or angiosperms ( Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta) are the most widespread group A good comprehensive study on the flora of the island is provided in the journal Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences . Also, 74 species of ferns and fern allies (lycopodiophytes and pteridophytes, see), and 128 species of mosses and liverworts (bryophytes, see ), 90 species of fungi and 41 species of slimemolds  have been reported . A fern is any one of a group of about 20000 Species of Plants classified in the phylum or division Pteridophyta, also known as Filicophyta Fern ally is a general term covering a somewhat diverse group of Vascular plants that are not Flowering plants and not true Ferns Like ferns these plants The Division Lycopodiophyta (sometimes called Lycophyta) is a tracheophyte subdivision of the Kingdom Plantae It is the oldest extant (living The pteridophytes are Vascular plants (plants with Xylem and Phloem) that neither Flower nor produce Seeds hence they are called vascular Mosses are small soft Plants that are typically 1–10  cm (0 Bryophytes are all Embryophytes ('land Plants) that are non-vascular: they have tissues and enclosed reproductive systems but they lack Vascular tissue A fungus (ˈfʌŋgəs is a eukaryotic Organism that is a member of the kingdom Fungi (ˈfʌndʒaɪ Nevertheless, more exhaustive investigations are expected to reveal many more species. The island has three main plant communities. The coastal forests extend from the seacoast up to 50 meters elevation. Purple Coral Tree (Erythrina fusca), Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera), and Pond-apple (Annona glabra) are the predominant trees, with an understory of ferns, shrubs of the Rubiaceae and Solanaceae families, sedges and grasses, and herbaceous plants of the Leguminosae and Malvaceae families. The Legume tree Erythrina fusca is known by many common names including coral bean, purple coraltree, gallito, bois immortelle The Coconut Palm ( Cocos nucifera) is a member of the Family Arecaceae (palm family Annona glabra. commonly known as the Pond-apple, is a tropical fruit tree in the family Annonaceae, in the same genus as the Soursop and Rubiaceae is a family of Flowering plants variously called the Madder family, Bedstraw family or coffee The Solanaceae is a family of Flowering plants that contains a number of important agricultural plants as well as many toxic plants Fabaceae or Leguminosae is a large and economically important family of Flowering plants which is commonly known as the legume family, pea Malvaceae, or the mallow family, is a family of Flowering plants containing over 200 genera with close to 2300 species
The inland forests extend from 50 to 500 meters elevation. "Palo de hierro" or huriki (Sacoglottis holdridgei), "avocado" (Ocotea insularis) and the endemic Cecropia pittieri are the most common canopy trees. The trees are festooned at all levels with epiphytic plants, including as orchids, ferns, bromeliads and mosses. An epiphyte is an organism that grows upon or attaches to a living plant The understory includes sedges such as Hypolitrum amplum and various species of ferns and tree ferns including Cyathea armata and Danaea media. The order Cyatheales is a Taxonomic division of the Fern subclass Cyatheatae, which includes the tree ferns. Danaea Sm is a Fern genus of approximately 50 species in the Eusporangiate fern family Marattiaceae. The endemic palm Rooseveltia frankliniana is also common.
Cloud forests are found at the highest elevations, over 500 meters. Melastoma spp. Melastoma is a genus in the family Melastomataceae. It has about 50 species distributed around Southeast Asia, India and Australia is predominant.
The island has over 400 known species of insects, of which 65 (16%) are endemic. The greatest diversity is found among the Lepidoptera and Formicidae. Lepidoptera is an order of Insect that includes Moths and butterflies. Ants are social Insects of the family Formicidae and along with the related families of Wasps and Bees belong to the order Over 50 species of other arthropods have been described (spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and isopods), including the endemic spider Wendilgarda galapagensis. Spiders are Predatory Invertebrate Animals that have two body segments, eight legs no chewing mouth parts and no wings Centipedes (from Latin prefix centi-, "hundred" and Greek ποδός podos, " Foot " are Millipedes (Class Diplopoda, previously also known as Chilognatha are Arthropods that have two pairs of legs per segment (except for the first segment behind Isopods are one of the most diverse orders of Crustaceans with many species living in all environments but are most common in shallow marine waters
Two species of lizard are found on the island, a anole (Norops townsendii) and a gecko (Sphaerodactylus pacificus); both are endemic. Lizards are a large and widespread group of Reptiles of the order Squamata, with nearly 5000 species and ranging across all continents except Geckos are small to average sized Lizards belonging to the family Gekkonidae which are found in warm climates throughout the world No amphibians have been reported. Prehistoric amphibian Amphibians (class Amphibia such as Frogs Toads Salamanders Newts Gymnophiona, Sirens and
Nearly 90 bird species have been reported. The island and neighboring rocks are home to large nesting colonies of migratory seabirds, including the Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Red-footed Booby (Sula sula), Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), White Tern (Gygis alba) and Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus). Seabirds are Birds that have adapted to life within the marine environment The Brown Booby ( Sula leucogaster) is a large Seabird of the Gannet family Sulidae. The Red-footed Booby, Sula sula, is a large Seabird of the Gannet family Sulidae. The Great Frigatebird ( Fregata minor) is a large dispersive Seabird in the Frigatebird family. The White Tern ( Gygis alba) is a small Seabird found across the Tropical oceans of the world The Brown Noddy or Common Noddy Anous stolidus is a Seabird from the Tern family. Seven species of land birds inhabit the island, including three endemics: the Cocos Cuckoo (Coccyzus ferrugineus), Cocos Flycatcher (Nesotriccus ridgwayi) and Cocos Finch (Pinaroloxias inornata). UserPolbot. -->The Cocos Cuckoo ( Coccyzus ferrugineus) is a species of Cuckoo in the Cuculidae UserPolbot. -->The Cocos Flycatcher ( Nesotriccus ridgwayi) is a species of Bird in the Tyrannidae family The Cocos Island Finch or Cocos Finch, Pinaroloxias inornata, is the only one of Darwin's finches not native to the Galápagos Islands,
The island has five land mammal species, including pigs, deer, cats and rats. Mammals ( class Mammalia) are a class of Vertebrate Animals characterized by the presence of Sweat glands, including sweat glands All these land mammals were introduced by humans. The Costa Rican government has vowed to control the populations of these animals, as they are harmful to the local ecosystems.
The rich coral reef, volcanic tunnels, caves, massifs and deeper waters surrounding Cocos Island are home to more than 30 species of coral, 60 species of crustaceans, 600 species of molluscs and over 300 species of fish. These include large populations of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), giant mantas (Manta birostris), sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) and sharks, such as white-tips (Triaenodon obesus) and hammerheads (Sphyrna lewini). The yellowfin tuna ( Thunnus albacares) is a type of Tuna. It is found in open waters of Tropical and subtropical Seas worldwide The manta ray ( Manta birostris) is the largest of the rays, with the largest known specimen having been more than 7 This article is about the fish For the submarines see ''USS'' Sailfish. The whitetip reef shark, Triaenodon obesus, is a Requiem shark of the family Carcharhinidae, the only member of the Genus Hammerhead sharks of the Genus Sphyrna are members of the family Sphyrnidiae. The largest of all species of fish is also present, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus). The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow filter feeding Shark that is the largest living Fish Species.
Other large marine animals include humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), sea lions (Zalophus californianus), hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). The humpback whale ( Megaptera novaeangliae) is a Baleen Whale. The pilot whale is either of two Species of Cetacean in the Genus Globicephala. The Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most common and well-known Dolphins. The California Sea Lion ( Zalophus californianus) is a coastal Sea lion of the northern Pacific Ocean. The hawksbill turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata) is a Critically endangered Sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. "Chelonia" redirects here It is also the name of the Superorder uniting turtles tortoises and terrapins ( Testudines) with the "proto-turtle" Also see Kemp's Ridley turtle. The Olive Ridley ( Lepidochelys olivacea) also known as the Pacific Ridley, is one of
J. Lines (Diario de Costa Rica, May 12, 1940) cites Fernández de Oviedo who claims that the first discoverer of the island was Johan Cabeças. Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (August 1478 - 1557 was a Spanish Historian and Writer. Other sources claim that Joan Cabezas de Grado was not a Portuguese sailor but an Asturian. Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. The Principality of Asturias ( Spanish: Principado de Asturias, Asturian: Principáu d'Asturies or Asturies) is an D. Lievre, Una isla desierta en el Pacífico; la isla del Coco in Los viajes de Cockburn y Lievre por Costa Rica (1962: 134) tells that the first document with the name "Isle de Coques" is a map painted on pergamen, called that of Henry II that appeared in 1542 during the reign of Francis I of France. Henry II (Henri II (31 March 1519 &ndash 10 July 1559 of the House of Valois and the son and successor of Francis I, was King of France from 31 Francis I (September 12 1494 &ndash March 31 1547 was crowned King of France in 1515 in the cathedral at Reims and reigned until 1547 The planisphere of Nicolás Desliens (1556, Dieppe) places this Ysle de Coques about one and half degrees north of the Equator. The equator (sometimes referred to colloquially as "the Line") is the intersection of the Earth 's surface with the plane perpendicular to the (See also Mario A. Boza and Rolando Mendoza, Los parques nacionales de Costa Rica, Madrid, 1981. ) Blaeu's Grand Atlas, originally published in 1662, has a colour world map on the back of its front cover which shows I. de Cocos right on the Equator. Frederik De Witt's Atlas, 1680 shows it similarly. The Hondius Broadside map of 1590 shows I. Jodocus Hondius ( October 14 1563, Wakken &mdash February 12, 1612, Amsterdam) sometimes called Jodocus Hondius de Cocos at the latitude of 2 degrees and 30 minutes northern latitude, while in 1596 Theodore de Bry shows the Galapagos Islands near six degrees north of the Equator. Theodorus de Bry (1528 – 1598 was a Engraver, Goldsmith and editor who travelled around Europe starting from the City of Liège (where he E. Bowen, A Complete system of Geography, Volume II (London, 1747: 586) tells that the Galapagos stretch 5 degrees north of the Equator.
In October 1863 the ship the "Adelante" dumped 426 Polynesian ex-slaves on the island, the captain being too lazy to bring them home as promised. Polynesia (from Greek: πολύς many, νῆσος island) is a Subregion of Oceania, comprising a large grouping of over When they were saved by the "Tumbes", one month later, only 38 were left obver, the rest had already perished from smallpox. (See: 'Ata). Ata is a small rocky island in the far south of the Tonga archipelago situated on.
In 1897 the Costa Rican government named the German adventurer and treasure hunter August Gissler the first Governor of Cocos Island and allowed him to establish a short-lived colony there. August Gissler (born 1857 in Remscheid - died 8 August 1935 in New York City) was a German Adventurer and Treasure
Cocos Island officially became part of Costa Rica by the promulgation of the Constitution of Costa Rica on November 7, 1949. On May 12, 1970 the insular territory of Cocos Island was incorporated administratively into Central Canton of the Province of Puntarenas by means of Executive Decree No. 27, making it the Eleventh District of Central Canton.
The island was declared a National Park by means of Executive Decree in 1978. Cocos Island National Park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on November 16 In 2002, the World Heritage Site designation was extended to include an expanded marine zone of 1,997 km². In addition, it is included in the list of "Wetlands of International Importance".
Thanks to the breathtaking marine life in its waters (see fauna section above), Cocos Island was named one of the best 10 scuba diving spots in the world; a "must", according to experts. For many, the main attractions are the large pelagic species, which are very abundant in this unique meeting point between deep and shallow waters. Some of the largest schools of hammerhead sharks in the World are consistently reported there. Encounters with dozens if not hundreds of these and other large animals are nearly certain in every dive. Smaller and colorful species area also abundant in one of the most extensive and rich reefs of the south eastern pacific. The oceanographer Jacques Cousteau visited the island several times and in 1994 called it "the most beautiful island in the world". Jacques-Yves Cousteau ( 11 June 1910 – 25 June 1997) was a French naval officer explorer, Ecologist,
The only persons allowed to live on Cocos Island are Costa Rican Park Rangers, who have established two encampments, including one at English Bay. Tourists are allowed ashore only with permission of island rangers, and are not permitted to camp, stay overnight or collect any flora, fauna or minerals from the island. The islands' 33 residents, the Costa Rican park rangers, were allowed to vote for the first time in Costa Rica's February 5, 2006 election. Events 1576 - Henry of Navarre converts to Roman Catholicism in order to ensure his right to the throne of France. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar.
The mostly unperturbed habitats are, however, under growing human pressure. Illegal fishing in and around its protected waters has become a main concern. Growing local and worldwide demand for tuna, shark fin soup and other seafood is threatening the island's fragile ecosystems. Shark fin soup (or shark's fin soup) is a Chinese cuisine Delicacy since Ming Dynasty, commonly served as part of a Chinese feast, The relatively poor government of Costa Rica has been openly accused of passivity and even benefiting corruptly from illegal shark fin and other seafood trade to large markets, such as China. Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica,) is a Country in The government has nevertheless also committed to protecting the island's natural richnesses and prosecute poachers. Efforts to patrol the waters and enforce environmental laws face big financial and technical difficulties, as well as being prone to the corruption of local, national and international authorities.
Recent events show that large-scale illegal poaching keeps happening. Despite initial hope in stopping and charging poachers, who have been caught with abundant evidence, they have been quickly released under suspicious circumstances. Also, efforts to raise funds for protection have been dwarfed.
Marvin Orlando Cerdas, a judge with the local Puntarenas Court of Justice, obscurely allowed 22 poachers caught red-handed to escape the country.
Also under highly suspicious and allegedly corrupt circumstances, the District Attorney Michael Morales Molina, stopped the auction for public benefit of confiscated goods, immediately after the spokesman of the large illegal poacher ship "Tiuna" simply made the request.
The book Desert Island proposed the highly detailed theory that Daniel Defoe used the Isla del Coco as an accurate model for his descriptions of the island inhabited by the marooned Robinson Crusoe. Daniel Defoe (1659/1661 — April 24, 1731 was an English Writer, Journalist, and Pamphleteer, who gained enduring fame for The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (of York Mariner Who lived Eight and Twenty Years all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America near the Mouth However Defoe placed Crusoe's island not in the Pacific, but rather off the coast of Venezuela in the Atlantic Ocean. 
Robinson's neighbouring Terra Firma is shown on the colour map of Joannes Jansson (Amsterdam) depicting the northeastern corner of South America, entitled Terra Firma et Novum Regnum Granatense et Popayan. Johannes Janssonius (1588 Arnhem – buried July 11 1664, Amsterdam) (born Jan Janszoon, in English usually Jan Jansson South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a It belongs to the early group of plates printed by William Blaeu from 1630 onwards. The properly called Terra Firma was the Isthmus of Darien . Crusoe's two references to Mexico are against a South American island as well.
The Michael Crichton novel Jurassic Park centers on the fictitious Isla Nublar that is off of the west coast of Costa Rica. John Michael Crichton, ˈkraɪtən, (born October 23 1942 is an American author Film producer, Film director, Medical doctor, and Television producer Jurassic Park is a Science fiction Novel that was written by Michael Crichton and published in 1990. Isla del Coco may be the inspiration for this island. Supporting this argument is the Dreamworks Interactive game Jurassic Park: Trespasser (1998) which used Cocos Island's topography as a substitute for the fictional island on which it takes place. EA Los Angeles was founded in 1995 as DreamWorks Interactive, a subsidiary of DreamWorks SKG. Jurassic Park Trespasser (also known as Trespasser) is a Computer game, which was released in 1998 for Microsoft Windows after much hype Also, "Isla Nublar" is intended to mean "Clouded Island", and Cocos Island is the only island with cloud forests in the eastern pacific.