Most incredibly, this reserve used to be entirely covered by grassland for cattle. The conservation organization, Jocotoco, regenerated the area through the cultivation of endemic and threatened species. The trees now offer an ideal habitat for epiphytes, plants that grow on the surface of other plants, deriving their moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and debris accumulating around them. This group includes the many species of orchids found in the area, now severely endangered by rampant deforestation. Since the Buenaventura Reserve is the only protected forest in the region, it is the only remaining habitat available for these intriguing orchids, as well as many kinds of wildlife, especially birds.