"The Environmental Impact of Building"," Additionally, this figure fails to include the energy required to harvest, manufacture, and transport all the materials used in the construction and maintenance of buildings.
The construction of buildings also accounts for the consumption of one fourth of all virgin wood harvested.
Combined, buildings form one of the major catalysts for environmental degradation on the planet.
They serve as a huge storehouse of biological wealth, and are regarded as enormously important regulators of climate.
In the forests of the American neotropics, a visitor can experience such wonders as iridescent blue Morpho butterflies as big as a human hand, brilliantly hued poison dart frogs, and gigantic buttressed trees so covered with orchids, bromeliads, and other plants as to appear to be a forest inside a forest.
This biodiversity attracts nature-loving visitors from all over the world.
Over 50 species of hummingbirds have been recorded in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has over 200 species of mammals.
Mammals such as ocelots, jaguars and tapirs exist but are not often seen.
There are thousands of butterflies, including the dazzling morphos.
The approximately 150 species of amphibians include red, black, blue or yellow poison-arrow frogs.
About half are snakes.
Orchids alone account for some 1200 species, and about 1,400 tree species has been recorded.