Golfo Dulce supports more than 1000 species, including endangered and endemic taxons. In this known biodiversity hotspot, charismatic fauna such as whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sea snakes, and sharks, are commonly seen. Coral reefs and mangroves provide critical habitat. For example, near the community of Puerto Jiménez, the estuary Platanares is home to caimans, Caiman crocodylus, and American crocodiles, Crocodylus acutus—crocodiles are also sometimes seen in the marine.


Bessesen, B.L. 2015. Occurrence and distribution patterns of several marine vertebrates in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Revista de Biología Tropical 63(Supl.1):261-272. [link]

Bessesen, B.L., and M. González-Suárez. 2021. The value and limitations of local ecological knowledge: Longitudinal and retrospective assessment of flagship species in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. People and Nature 3: 627-638. [link]

Bessesen, B.L., and M. González-Suárez (traducido por Daniel Colgan). 2021. El valor y limitaciones del conocimiento ecológico local: Una evaluación longitudinal y retrospectiva de especies bandera en Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Universidad de Reading, CentAUR. [link]

Morales-Ramírez, A. 2011. La diversidad marina del Golfo Dulce, Pacífico sur de Costa Rica: amenazas a su conservación. Biocenosis 24:9–20. [link]

Scientific Theses, Reports & Posters

Monge, J. 1996. Pacific Coastal Ecosystems of Costa Rica with Emphasis on the Golfo Dulce and Adjacent Areas: A Synoptic View Based on the RV Victor Hensen Expedition 1993–1994 and Previous Studies. Oficina de Publica de la Universidad de Costa Rica, 238 pp. [no link available]