Deforestation and forest

Deforested and eroded ridge, Costa Rica. This hillside was probably deforested about 50 years before this photograph was taken, and for much of that time, the land was used as cattle pasture. This image was taken during the wet season, but this same location has a dry season that lasts nearly five months and brings very little rain. Due to overgrazing, steep slopes, and the intense variation in rainfall, the hillside is suffering from considerable erosion. Despite the degraded condition of this landscape, the small remaining patches of forest, such as the one on the left, serve a vital role during the annual altitudinal migration of birds such as quetzals and bellbirds, which stop in these patches and feed on fruit in the avocado family.