5,000 new species catalogued in Costa Rica

Picture of a poisonous frog (Oophaga pumilio) taken in one of the gardens of a private hotel near La Fortuna, in the Costa Rican rainforest some 110 km northwest of San Jose, on April 5, 2010.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Research for the updating of Costa Rica's National Biodiversity Strategy has detected roughly 5,000 new species in the Central American country, officials said.

The number of documented species grew from 87,000 in 2009 to around 92,000 this year, the executive director of the National Commission for Biodiversity Management, Marta Jimenez, told Efe.

But the study also highlighted threats to biodiversity, including the expansion of human settlement, pollution, overexploitation of resources, invasive species and climate change.

The updated strategy will focus on ways to identify and combat the causes of loss of biodiversity and on how ecosystems and natural resources can best be managed.

Costa Rica, a nation of 4.5 million people, accounts for 4.5 percent of the world's biodiversity and has set aside nearly 30 percent of its territory for national parks and nature reserves.