Nicaragua is one of the largest countries in Central America with a varied and beautiful landscape that encompasses volcanoes, unique freshwater habitats (including Lake Nicaragua – the region’s largest lake), and spectacular marine environments off the country’s two, very different, coastlines. The country is also blessed with seven different types of forest, from tropical rainforest, cloud forest and mangroves to tropical dry forest.
These diverse environments in turn support an incredible diversity of wildlife, many of which occur only in Nicaragua, including amphibians such as the Ometepe salamander, confined to the island of that name.
The country is also an important area for birds, particularly on Ometepe. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, situated in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, harbours the largest remaining population of the endangered yellow-naped parrot and is home to 170 bird species, 55 of them migratory.
What’s more, Nicaragua’s beaches also provide crucially important nesting habitat for hawksbill, leatherback and olive ridley turtles.
Sadly, much of Nicaragua’s biodiversity is in danger of disappearing. Despite the best efforts of the Nicaraguan government to protect its wildlife, habitat loss (driven by poverty and population growth), poaching and climate change are all putting pressure on the country’s habitats.