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Conservation Efforts in Costa Rica - History, Projects & Organizations


Environmental conservation efforts in Costa Rica go back to the years of indepence (1828), as the local goverments were given the assignment "to fight for the conservation and reforestation of mountains and plantations". Subsequently, in 1945, the protected wildlife areas begun to establisch more and more and from now on Costa Rica took its first step towards a more comprehensive nature conservancy of different areas, subdivided in different categorys of environmental protection.

Currently there are 11 areas of conservation existing in Costa Rica from wich 126 state-owned areas are subdivided into different categories and therfore also operated in different ways. A network of private reserves with more than 70 members are supporting nature conservation on a private initiative. For instance alternate mechanism and managment of the resources are being establisched through biological corridors, conservation and-drainage areas.

Areas of Conservation in Costa Rica:

ACG - Area de Conservación Guanacaste
ACT - Area de Conservación Tempisque
ACA-T - Area de Conservación Arenal - Tempisque
ACA-HN - Area de Conservación Huetar Norte
ACCVC - Area de Conservación Cordillera Volcánica Central
ACOPAC - Area de Conservación Pacífico Central
ACLAP - Area de Conservación La Amistad - Pacífico
ACOSA - Area de Conservación Osa
ACMIC - Area de Conservación Marina Isla del Coco
ACTO - Area de Conservación Tortuguero
ACLAC - Area de Conservación La Amistad Caribe

Areas de conservación de Costa Rica

More information on the Conservation Areas and National Parks of Costa Rica

More than 25% of the country's territory are protected areas, a number that's increasing thanks to the support of several private initiatives and the creation of private reserves.

With a land surface of 51,100 km2 (0,03% of the global surface) and territorial sea of 589,000 km2 Costa Rica is consequently considered as one of 20 countrys with the richest biodiversity of the world. Its geographic position, two coasts and mountainranges, which provide numerous and different microclimates, are only some of the reasons which can explain the many plants, the abundant ecosystem and the rich nature. More than the 500.000 species that are supposed to be found on this little territory, which represents nearby 4% of the total number of species worldwide.

It is also very important to emphasize that the indigenous people of Costa Rica have made a very valuable contribution to nature conservation. Thanks to their point of view, using the resources of nature in a rational way, respecting and worshiping Mother Nature they have had a big influence on today's nature conservation. Currently eight indigenous tribes, distribuited on 24 territorys, exist in Costa Rica. This is no coincidence because many of the tribes are situated in an area, which belongs to some category of protection.

Few countries of the world have made such an effort for conservation as Costa Rica has. Furthermore, the country has invested much resources for the well-being for as well present as coming generations. A proof of this are the natural and-cultural world heritages selected from UNESCO:

Sites of World Heritage:

  • Coco Island (Isla de Coco) National Park
  • La Amistad National Park
  • Guanacaste Conservation Area

Biosphere Reserves:

  • La Amistad
  • Cordillera Volcánica Central
  • Agua y Paz

Cultural Heritage:

  • Traditional ox cart

Furthermore the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) has awarded the Guyabo National Monument the International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Award.

Besides the above mentioned denominations, Costa Rica has 12 areas of The Ramsar Convention on wetlands, in total there are 569,742 hectare.

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunication (MINAET) and, above all, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) in Costa Rica are responsable for the maintenance of sustainable conservation and advancement of the biodiversity in the country.



APREFLOFAS (Asociación Preservacionista de Flora y Fauna)

Apreflofas - Asociacion Preservacionista de Flora y FaunaThe Association for Preservation of Flora and Fauna is a non-profit, non-governmental organization which was founded in Costa Rica in 1985 in order to strive for the preservation and protection of nature through direct actions, which are supported by research programs and environmental education.

The association emerged from a group of Costa Rican citizens, who were concerned about this environmental problem, which confronted Costa Rica since the 1970’s. On 21st of May 1985 the association got formed legally.

Some of their constantly developing activities are:

  • Flora of the Corcovado National ParkEnvironmental education: Communication about the environment through mass information media. This method is used with the objective of education and to create a consciousness at a national level. Moreover through art, theater buildings, sports activities and championships in schools recycling is possible.
  • Political impact: Historically, APREFLOFAS started to include the importance of nature in the Costa Rican legislation. In the same way the world congresses of the UICN had an effect on global politics which monitor the natural well-being. Moreover, we mention some of these actions: Executive resolution for the prohibition of circuses with wildlife in the country, legal action in order to stop importing used cars, which are not conform with the gas emission regulations. Presentation of a new draft law for the preservation of the fauna, which is supported by the collection of signatures of the Costa Ricans. The fight for whales through the creation of the Coalition for whales, in order that Costa Rica participates in the discussion in the mentioned committee to contribute with its vote against whaling.
  • Direct Actions: Support of the operative monitoring of environmental maledictions, campaign against CAFTA, opposition to the logging of native trees in Sabana Sur, combating trafficking wildlife and holding of wildlife in captivity, collection of signatures for the creation of the new law Water Resources.
  • Investigation: Investigation of the environmental perception of holding and trafficking of wild animals across the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, socio-ecological impact of deforestation on the Osa Peninsula, Case of studies of the Gold Mining board of Abangares, among others.

It has also been worked on the following projects such as:

  • Support of the Canton Civic Movement of the Union of Tres Ríos (Three Rivers), to protect the Cerro de la Carpintera (Hill of the Carpenter).
  • The no-feeding of wildlife: posters on this subject, and prohibition of having wildlife at home.
Aviarios del Caribe (Sloth Sanctuary)

Sloth Sanctuary, Costa RicaHistory
The couple, formed by Luis Arroyo (recently deceased) and Yuri Arroyo, had been those who initiated this project. When the earthquake of 1991 Lemon destroyed their house, they decided to rebuild and transform it into a boutique hotel. But fate changed in 1992 when three neighboring girls brought them a surprise: a three-toed sloth orphan.

It was called Buttercup. They found sparse of useful information about the sloths, mostly gained from experience and they got a strong dose of common sense. From there they began to adopt sloths. Soon they were known, as authorities for rescuing and upbringing of sloths.

Also in the center they teach children to appreciate sloths and forestal ecosystems and they provide a center for exchanging information and techniques about sloths care and upbringing.

At Present
Sloth, Costa Rica The main objective was to consolidate the sanctuary as an organization that promotes and implements the protection and rehabilitation of sloths in Costa Rica. This is done through observation, study, care and analysis of animals in recovery, to encourage actions to elucidate the population. As well as facilitating education, to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of sloth in Costa Rica.

Rescuing and rehabilitating sloths with special needs in the sanctuary and the use of environmental alternatives to improve their wellbeing and quality of life, is part of the work that is done. Also studying and understanding the behavior, lifestyle, physiology and pathology of sloths through research and information exchange belongs to their work.

Sloth Sanctuary Aviaros is mainly composed of an educational learning center offering public tours and a rescue center with Slothpital (medical centers) and housings for more than a hundred sloths that are recovering from illness, injury or which can not survive independently in nature. Because the main focus of the center is the wellbeing of the animals, most of the sloths are not shown to the public.

However, the tour offers a close observation contact and the opportunity to take pictures with several of its ambassadors or special sloths (including the famous Buttercup), a walk through the installation, new nursery (baby sloths), and an excellent opportunity to see many wild sloths, birds and other animals that visit that area.

Aviarios also offers a small boutique hotel and a gift shop, whose profits are intended to maintain the operations in primary education and ongoing rescue. Amongst others volunteer programs, “adoption” of sloths and donations are possible.

Children's Eternal Rainforest / "Bosque Eterno de los Niños" (BEN)

Chilrens Eternal Rainforest, Monteverde, Costa RicaThe Children's Eternal Forest (BEN) is the largest private reservation in the country with an area of 20,000 hectares of protected tropical forest in northwestern Costa Rica. The BEN borders the Arenal Volcano National Park, the top of Monteverde and Miramar and reaches Alberto Manuel Brenes Reservation in San Ramon. It continues to the region of San Carlos near the towns of San Jorge, La Tigra, San Isidro de Peñas Blancas, Chachagua and El Castillo.

The BEN exists because of the help of children, adults, around the world who have taken part in a movement known as the Children's Eternal Forest. Its fundraising campaign began in Sweden and the United States in 1987, than it expanded around the world. Up till now, 44 countries have contributed to the acquisition and protection of the lands of BEN.

Currently BEN is part of the Biosphere Reserve and Water and Peace, which was declared on September 18, 2007 by UNESCO.

The Monteverde Conservation League (Asociación Conservacionista de Monteverde (ACM)) is responsible for managing the forest. It is a civil and non profit organization, declared to benefit to the public of the state's interests. Its mission is "to conserve, preserve and rehabilitate tropical ecosystems and their biodiversity". The organization was created in 1986 by a group of local residents (Monteverde), who were driven by conservationists’ conscience.

During these twenty four years, ACM has implemented several projects in the area of influence and within the BEN, including Chilrens Eternal Rainforest, Monteverde, Costa Rica:

  • Reforestation program: Called "Forests on Farms" and "Project Guacimal Basin”. About 600,000 trees were planted in patterns of windbreaks, watershed restoration and connections between the Pacific slope forests. In addition to the projects "La Tigra Basin" and "Continuous Forest" there were planted over 100,000 trees on the Atlantic side along rivers and in between forests.
  • Protection and monitoring program: Primarily this is done through preventive patrols and routine operating according to time and place in order to try to avoid advancement of illegal practices such as hunting, logging, poaching plants, birds and other species.
  • Maintenance and operations program: This program provides support to all sectors of the BEN open to the public, especially in maintenance and improvement of trails, roads, infrastructure, signage, etc. Furthermore it deals with maintaining adjacencies of BEN farms, such as rails, fences and patrols, excelling as a determinant role in the Land of BEN, etc. Additionally this program provides support to the Protection and Monitoring Program and additional work with volunteers.
  • Environmental education and natural history program: This program is done in the communities surrounding the BEN creating awareness among people.
  • Research projects of endangered species: such as umbrella bird, tapir, jaguar, puma, and agouti. Moreover monitoring of mammals through fingerprint collection and study of ecology of the green-eyed frog are realized. 

BEN also has many interesting places for visitors, which are all located in the forest, where there is a large variety of flora and fauna. The ACM has endeavored to ensure that tourism had not had as much impact as in other reservations and ecotourism sites:

  • Trails “Bajo del Tigre”, located in Monteverde: There are trails and a visitor and education center, where recreational and educational activities can be organized. It has 4.5 kilometers of trails and moreover there is the Children's Cottage, which contains several educational toys for children. This signifies a small sector of the Children's Eternal Forest, which possesses a unique and rich diversity of flora and fauna. It is a transition zone due to its location on the Pacific slope. Due to its location on the Pacific slope, in elevation located between 1,020 and 1,350 meters and humidity, Bajo del Tigre is a very different habitat to other reserves in the area. You can walk on trails, or take part in a walk day or night. The entrance of Bajo del Tigre is between Monteverde Centre and the Cheese Factory.
  • Finca Steller in San Gerardo de La Tigra: Is located in La Tigra de San Carlos and it consists of a path, nursery, educational auditorium and a small house for children, where you can organize recreational and educational activities. It also has a unique nature, just like a recently discovered tree without a name yet you can find only in this area.
  • San Gerardo Biological Station: Is located 7 kilometers from Santa Elena/Monteverde (province Puntarenas) at 1,220 meters above sea level. It has a capacity for 32 people. Moreover the station offers 5 kilometers of trails, education auditorium, spectacular view of Arenal Volcano, rainforest full of life with two waterfalls, food (3 meals daily) and basic lodging. The station is the ideal hostel for classes of biology and tropical ecology and other groups like tourists who seek a more secluded place and close nature. The forest also invites for many types of research. To the researchers the ACM provides a more comfortable price to contribute to this important task for conservation. To reach San Gerardo Biological Station you go to the parking lot of the Biological Reserve of Santa Elena and then walk for an hour to get to the station.
  • Pocosol Biological Station: Located 13 kilometers from La Tigra de San Carlos, at 720 meters above sea level, with a precipitation range from 4.000 to 4.500 mm per year, with a pleasant temperature varying from 17 to 20°C. This station has got a capacity for 24 people and offers 10 kilometers of trails, educational auditorium, fumaroles and volcanic mud, a beautiful lake of 3.5 hectares, and a waterfall, food (3 meals daily) and basic lodging. For students, researchers and tourists there is offered a unique opportunity to escape to the forest and invites for either research studies, to relax and forget about the world. To get to the Biological Station Pocosol you have to go with a four wheel drive vehicle. To reach the station from the community of La Tigra you can get a taxi (Pick Up, four wheel drive). The office of the ACM in the Tigra can organize transportation which has an approximate cost of $ 60 per trip.
Sea Turtle Conservancy (anteriormente CCC - Caribbean Conservation Corporation)

Sea Turtle Conservancy, Costa RicaThe Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is the oldest group of research and conservation of sea turtles in the world. It is an international non-profit organization, which was founded in 1959 by the renowned expert for sea turtles Dr. Archie Carr. The aim was to save sea turtles from the eminent extinction by rigorous science-based conservation. The organization is based in Florida and runs programs around the world to conserve and recover sea turtle populations through research, education, promotion and protection of natural habitats on which they depend.

Conservation Program Green Turtle and Leatherback Turtle

Marine turtles, Costa RicaFor 50 years, the Caribbean Conservation Corporation has conducted annual monitoring of nesting sea turtles, that at mile 21 in a black sand beach in Tortuguero. It is a nesting site for green turtles which has always been in danger of harassment from other agents. Since it began in the 1950s by Dr. Archie Carr, the surveillance program has provided much information on the reproductive ecology and migratory habits of sea turtles. A recent analysis showed a positive trend in the activity of green turtle nesting. Through this initiative of conservation, STC has reversed the decline of green turtles in the Caribbean.

The overall objective of STC is doing research on sea turtles. The conservation efforts in Tortuguero are to conserve the populations of leatherback and green turtles in the nesting areas so that for these species can fulfill their ecological functions.

The strategies used to achieve this goal are:

  • Leatherback turtle, Costa RicaMonitoring and study of nesting turtles in Tortuguero,
  • Working closely with the government of Costa Rica, the Tortuguero community and others to protect nesting turtles from poachers,
  • Training of young scientists, conservationists and others to help to ensure the continuation of efforts to protect sea turtles in Tortuguero and elsewhere, and
  • Educate the public about sea turtles and the threats to their survival

Also there may be mentioned the following methods:

  • Research Methods: include the turtle tagging, tracking surveys of turtles, collection of biometric data, determination of nest survival and hatching success, the physical data collection and collation of data of human impact on the beaches and turtles.
  • Methods of protection: include a cooperative effort with Tortuguero National Park authorities and law enforcement to reduce poaching of eggs and turtles.
  • Training methods include training of research assistants, recruited largely from Latin America, and the formation of Tortuguero National Park guards and guides in sea turtle biology and conservation.
  • Methods of dissemination to the public: include teaching children from the school of Tortuguero, local adults and tourists about sea turtles. And work in the international media to raise awareness about sea turtles and the threat to their survival.

    The survival of sea turtles in Tortuguero require many years of protection, but STC believes that it is a feasible goal which can be achieved. At the same time it is an opportunity for research, training of professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean. Furthermore, it is an opportunity for the education of locals and the economic development for the community through “turtle tourism” in Tortuguero.

Tropical Science Center - "Centro Científico Tropical" (CCT)

Tropical Science Center - CCT, Costa RicaTSC is a non-governmental scientific and environmental organization, the first in Costa Rica. Since its founding in 1962 and through the work of noted scientists and professionals, TSC has become one of the most outstanding and influential institutions in Latin America in terms of science and conservation.
The incomes of TSC are invested in protection and conservation of the environment, efficient in more than 4000 hectares of cloud und moist forests reserves: Reserva del Bosque Nuboso de Monteverde, Reserva Biológica San Luis, Refugio de Aves Dr Alexander Skutch, “Los Cusingos", and Reserva Biológica Kelady. So, they are contributing to protection and conservation of the country's biodiversity.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve “Reserva del Bosque Nuboso Monteverde”
Its history goes back to the year of 1968, six years after the organization "Centro Científico Tropical" was founded. In 1968 Dr. Leslie Holdridge and Dr. Joseph Tosi visited the area Monteverde de Puntarenas with the objective to partly closure up a study on the northern region of the country. Together with the leader of the Quaker community which was established in this area, they explored the primeval forests which surrounded the village. Impressed by the beauty of the cloud forests and the biodiversity, they recommended the Quaker community to conserve these forests in order to protect their water resources.

Wildlife Refuge Centre Las Pumas "Centro de Rescate Las Pumas"

Wildlife Rescue Center Las Pumas, Cañas, Costa RicaThe wildlife refuge “Centro de Rescate Las Pumas” was founded 40 years ago by the Swiss Mrs. Lilly Bodmer von Hagnauer. At this period of time, wild life was affected by numerous problems: the motiveless hunting, the hunting with the purpose of domesticating animals, the loss of habitat because of the deforestation, the growth of population and agriculture. These were the reasons for the disappearance and danger of extinction for the wild animals. Facing this situation, Mrs. Hagnauer decided to create a wildlife refuge for those animals which had been extracted from their natural habitat.

Wildlife Rescue Center Las Pumas, Cañas, Costa RicaMrs. Hagnauer passed away in 2001 and in order to keep her work of a lifetime, the non-profit Hagnauer Foundation was created in 2003. The goal of the organization is to counter the impacts of hunting, deforestation and captivity of wild animals in the region of Guanacaste.

The wildlife refuge specializes in providing a shelter for five of the six endangered native felines in Costa Rica. Furthermore, you will find other rescued animals at the refuge: like the Red Macaw or the yellow-napped Amazon, and monkeys as well. Due to various reasons, it is not always possible to release the received animals. In these cases the animals will be given a fenced area, which shall be similar to their natural habitat.

The received animals have been confiscated ore donated from private persons and are evaluated from qualified staff (veterinaries and biologists) in order to judge if they can be rehabilitated, released or if it would be better to let them stay at the refuge centre for education. Those animals which cannot return to their natural habitat will be given the necessary care and good living conditions as long as they are alive.

Corcovado Foundation - "Fundación Corcovado"

Fundacion Corcovado - Corcovado Foundation, Costa RicaThe Corcovado Foundation was created by members of neighboring communities of Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, who worried about the impending destruction of the rainforest in the area, worked to create a non-profit organization advocating the defense natural resource in our area.

Since then, our organization has helped and supported the Corcovado National Park and the Osa Conservation Area. To accomplish this, the Foundation established an agreement with the Ministry of Environment (MINAE). Corcovado National Park - TapirThis agreement allows the foundation to hire park rangers with private funds and make them work in the park system.

From 2001 to 2007, the Corcovado Foundation successfully raised and managed funds for more than 45 programs and projects of the Osa. With these funds, hired and managed the return of 62 rangers, 2 environmental lawyers, a forester, and 2 environmental educators and others to a total of 79 employees hired by the Osa Conservation Area (ACOSA), which corresponded to 55 % of total staff ACOSA.

These achievements enabled a considerable reduction in hunting and other illegal activities in protected areas on the Osa: Piedras Blancas and Corcovado National Park, Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve and Golfito Wildlife Refuge.

Between 2005 and 2008 it has built 5 operational centers Plans and Los Patos in Corcovado National Park, El Naranjal in the Wildlife Refuge of Golfito, La Gamba in the Piedras Blancas National Park and Reserve in Rancho Quemado Golfo Dulce Forest.
Because hunting their preferred prey, peccaries, jaguar population was pushed to the edge of protected areas in search of other prey. They were hunted by the locals, fearing an attack, to protect their livestock and pets and selling their skins. To the extent that their existence in the long term in Corcovado was in doubt due to the lack of genetic viability. However, thanks to the presence of more rangers in the area, hunting has been mitigated and endangered species have had a chance to recover, and now have a chance to survive.

Other projects include:

  • Corcovado National Park - MacawsTechnical Coalition Osa Biological Corridor: participated actively in the creation of the biological corridor. He founded and led the program "Monitoring Committees of natural resources." These committees are made up of people from communities who are committed to protecting the environment.
  • Environmental Education Program: Since 2003, it hired an environmental educator who visits local schools Drake. Thanks to this the community has improved dramatically and children show awareness of what is happening in their surroundings. They recycle and protect natural resources.
  • Recycling Program: In 2004 was built in Sierpe a collection center for collection of recyclable materials, which helps start the recycling program in Drake Bay. The Sierpe Telesecundaria is responsible for receiving the material and then sell to different recycling companies. The proceeds are used for the expenses of the Telesecundaria of Sierpe. To help communities to do the same, the Corcovado Foundation worked with ten other communities to help them organize in the solid waste management. They provided training and equipment. In addition, a network of recycling to continue to strengthen these projects by working together
  • Sustainable Tourism: Since 2003, dedicated to the promotion of responsible relationships between tourism businesses, communities and nature. Has been promoted motivational seminars and workshops to people from different hotels in Osa. Over 10 hotel companies are now implementing sustainable practices into their operations in areas such as Drake Bay, Golfito, Puerto Jimenez, Dominical and the Central Pacific.
  • Conservation Project Sea Turtle: In 2006, the Corcovado Foundation raised the funding to start a conservation of sea turtles at Playa El Progreso. With the support of volunteers, local hotel owners and some small donations from friends and donations from NGOs, this project was funded for two seasons 2006 and 2007. The greatest achievement of the project is perhaps the release of 14,000 sea turtles that arrive every year.
  • Grants of non-essential services in ACOSA: This project is part of the strengthening process for the System of Conservation Areas carried out The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Among the goals of this project is the search for the Financial Sustainability of the Osa Conservation Area. This grant of non-essential services, has two components: Institutional, Economic Survey is the Corcovado National Park Marino Ballena National Park. And the Community, working together with the TNC. For the implementation of this project is hiring a consultant to the CATIE team because of their extensive experience and results obtained in a similar study in the Chirripo National Park.
  • Rural Community Tourism Promotion for the conservation of forests in the Osa Conservation Area: The purpose of this project is to facilitate the conservation and recovery of forest areas in the region through the strengthening of community groups to create a Rural community tourism network, able to participate successfully in the tourism market as a means to address the lack of sustainable productive activities in the area.
  • Pilot scheme for generating sustainable economic activities from the rural community tourism in four communities in the Osa Peninsula: The main objective is to strengthen the capacities of the communities of La Tarde, Rancho Quemado and El Progreso, for generating participatory sustainable economic alternatives through the development of rural community tourism circuits and integrated management of natural resources. This is to be complemented by other projects implemented in the Corcovado Foundation.
Fundación Neotrópica

La Fundación Neotrópica es una Organización No Gubernamental (ONG), privada y sin fines de lucro, dedicada desde 1985 a la búsqueda de un equilibrio entre el bienestar del ser humano y la conservación de la naturaleza.

La conservación de los recursos naturales por sí misma no tiene razón de ser sin considerar la participación de los seres humanos que, como parte de todo el sistema, buscan el mejoramiento continuo en su calidad de vida.

Asimismo desarrollan varios programas, tales como:

  • Ciudadanía ambiental global: dirigidas a crear alianzas con ciudadanos y organizaciones de otros países de manera que mediante una experiencia de red, facilitada por o de intercambio con la Fundación Neotrópica mediante programas educativos, voluntariados o trabajos de investigación.
  • Empoderamiento comunal y gestión socioambiental: contiene las medidas para la generación de conocimientos y capacidades para la aplicación de técnicas innovadoras en el uso y manejo adecuado de los recursos naturales y los servicios que estos brindan a la sociedad, considerando como eje principal la consolidación de la autogestión comunitaria, así como la aplicación de experiencias o iniciativas de desarrollo sostenible participativo.
  • Soluciones productivas sostenibles: busca promover actividades y prácticas productivas sostenibles que permitan a las comunidades aprovechar los recursos naturales sin explotar los recursos naturales disponibles.
    Para la realización de este programa la Fundación Neotrópica brinda capacitaciones y talleres a las comunidades cercanas a sus zonas de influencia en los Centros de Estudio y Empoderamiento Comunal. Y como uno de sus objetivos principales está el crear un plan para la gestión de financiamiento de iniciativas de este tipo de producción.

Asimismo se tienen varias estaciones, las cuales brindan un aporte importante por el involucramiento de la organización en la realidad socioambiental, la facilitación de espacios que permita mejorar los estándares educativos regionales, la investigación como herramienta que sirva para respaldar las opciones de desarrollo sostenible en un largo plazo y el trabajo en redes. Las estaciones serían:

  • Centro de Estudios y Empoderamiento Comunal Dr. Alvaro Wille Trejos (CEEC-AWT): Ubicado en la Península de Osa, en la comunidad de Agua Buena de Rincón en el cantón de Osa, en medio de la Reserva Forestal Golfo Dulce, el Parque Nacional Corcovado y a solo minutos de las aguas del Golfo Dulce.
  • Estación Coyolito: ubicada en las cercanías del Golfo de Nicoya en la Provincia de Puntarenas, cerca de las comunidades de Coyolito y Manzanillo.
  • Estación Atirro: Ubicada en el cantón de Turrialba en la provincia de Cartago, cuenta con unas 100 hectáreas de las cuales la mayoría están bajo cobertura boscosa.
INBIO - National Biodiversity Institute

INBio - National Biodiversity Institute, Costa RicaThe National Biodiversity Institute (INBio), is a private, non-profit organisation with public interest, whose mission is to promote greater awareness of the value of biodiversity, thereby ensuring its conservation and improve the quality of life of human.

This center of research and biodiversity management was established in 1989 to support efforts to meet the country's biological diversity and promote their sustainable use. The institute works under the premise that the best way to conserve biodiversity is to study, evaluate and exploit the opportunities it offers to improve the quality of human life. It also works closely with various government agencies, universities, business sector and other public and private entities inside and outside the country.

His work is mainly in the following areas:

  • Inventory and Monitoring: Generates information on the diversity of species and ecosystems in the country. It also generates information about the different ecosystems of the country.
  • Conservation: the information generated by INBio in decision-making processes for protection and sustainable use of biodiversity, by both public and private sectors. INBio works closely with the System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), considering it a strategic partner for the conservation of protected areas in the country.
  • Communication and education: shares information and knowledge about biodiversity with different audiences, seeking to create greater awareness of the value of it. Much of this effort focuses on INBioparque, a theme park opened in 2000 which aims to bring families and visitors to the natural wealth of Costa Rica
  • Bioinformatics: Develops and applies software tools to support the generation, management, analysis and dissemination of biodiversity data. The information for each specimen in the biodiversity inventory is in a database called Atta, which the public can access through INBio website.
  • Bioprospecting: Searches for sustainable uses and commercial application of biodiversity resources. INBio has been a pioneer in establishing research agreements to search for chemicals, genes, etc.., Present in plants, insects, marine organisms and microorganisms that can be used by the pharmaceutical, medical, biotechnology, cosmetics, food and agriculture.

Although INBio is a national initiative of its sphere of action, it has become an international effort aimed at integrating conservation and development. The application of scientific knowledge of biodiversity to economic activities such as ecotourism, medicine, agriculture, or the development of mechanisms for collection and payment of environmental services exemplify this integration effort, and are part of the activities that attract the attention international community.

INBioparque, Costa RicaUpon reaching its tenth anniversary, INBio sought to strengthen its role bioalfabetizar to society, and created the INBioparque in 2000, an ecological park that offers an introduction to Costa Rica all in one place. Offering visitors an interactive experience that brings families, students and visitors to the natural wealth of Costa Rica. Your adventure will be unforgettable thanks to the expertise of the guides.
The tour begins with a short presentation about INBio and biodiversity in Costa Rica. After that, visitors tour the park by a series of trails with different representative samples of tropical forests: the Rainforest, Pre-Montano Forest, Wetlands and Dry Forest.

It consists of a beautiful butterfly garden, pond with underwater viewer, different species of native fauna of the country, including spiders, frogs, snakes, turtles, deer, sloths, caimans, iguanas, among many others.

Travel through the protected areas of Costa Rica, and enjoy the light and sound presentation, you want to explore and conquer these beautiful places Costa Rica offers.
The walk concludes with a presentation on national parks and protected areas in Costa Rica. For your convenience, we offer a restaurant, gift shop and crafts, coffee shop, ample parking and wheelchair accessibility.

It is located in Santo Domingo de Heredia, which is just 20 minutes from San Jose. INBioparque offers an interactive experience with nature and the biological richness of Costa Rica, giving great importance to its preservation.

CATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza)

Jardín Botánico del CATIE
Jardín Botánico del CATIECATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza), es un centro regional de excelencia que trabaja desde 1973 para mejorar los medios de vida de los pobladores rurales de América Latina y el Caribe mediante la gestión integrada de la agricultura y los recursos naturales. Es una de las pocas instituciones en el mundo que combina investigación científica, educación de posgrado y cooperación técnica para poner manos a la obra en proyectos que generan resultados tangibles en sus países miembros y en la región. CATIE se enfoca en mantener un balance entre la conservación y la sostenibilidad de los sistemas productivos, llegando más allá de las fincas y cultivos particulares para trabajar en un manejo territorial integral.

Jardín Botánico del CATIESu misión es “Contribuir a la reducción de la pobreza rural promoviendo una agricultura y manejo de recursos naturales competitivo y sostenible, a través de la educación superior, investigación y cooperación técnica”.

La sede central del CATIE, ubicada en Turrialba es el hogar de un impresionante número de especies de flora y fauna que dan vida y color a sus jardines. Desde hace más de 60 años resguarda valiosas colecciones de germoplasma importantes internacionalmente.

Gran parte de este mundo tropical se protege en el jardín botánico debido a su ambiente único, donde se encuentran especies frutales, tales como el mangostán considerado uno de los frutos más sabrosos del planeta. La jaca, distinguida por su fruto adherido a su tronco, la fruta milagrosa que altera el paladar de ácido a dulce y el litchi valorado como una de las frutas más finas del mundo.

Durante la visita se puede observar, oler y tocar una variedad de frutas tropicales. Las especies conservadas en el Jardín Botánico del CATIE exhiben una riqueza de diversidad genética que permite a los científicos, estudiantes y público en general concientizarse más sobre el significado de estos recursos naturales como fuente de alimento, medicina y madera.

Entre las colecciones que se pueden ver están:

  • CATIE - CacaoCacao: la segunda colección de cacao más grande en el mundo de dominio público, con 1.070 introducciones de cacao de varios países de América tropical. Observe la gigantesca gama de formas, tamaños y colores de sus frutos, llamados mazorcas, de donde se extraen las semillas para producir chocolate y otros productos. Desde 1944 se conserva la variabilidad genética de la especie Theobroma cacao en el CATIE y se promueve su uso en investigación, mejoramiento genético e intercambio de germoplasma. El Proyecto Cacao Centroamérica de CATIE, en conjunto con socios nacionales e internacionales, trabaja con 6.000 familias centroamericanas para aumentar la productividad del cacao en armonía con el ambiente, utilizando variedades de cacao desarrolladas a partir de plantas en la colección.

  • CATIE - CaféCafé: la colección más grande de café en América Latina y la segunda colección más importante del mundo en Coffea arabica. Comprende 12 especies, con 1.992 muestras de material genético. Se puede conocer plantas de Etiopía, Kenia, Tanzania, Colombia, Brasil, México, Guatemala y otros países de América, áfrica y Asia. Aprender del nuevo híbrido F1, desarrollado de las variedades en la colección del CATIE, el cual aumenta la producción hasta en 150% en algunos casos.

  • Arboles exóticos: más de 95 especies de árboles nativos y exóticos de uso maderable, medicinal, ornamental, frutal y fuente de nueces.Ver más de 160 muestras de material genético de árboles de diversas partes del mundo tropical, distribuidos en 30 familias.

  • Pejibaye: más de 600 introducciones de pejibaye provenientes de Costa Rica, Panamá, Brasil, Colombia, Perú y Bolivia. Admirar sus frutos de variados colores, que van de amarillo a naranja y de roja y púrpura—frutos estimados por sus valores nutritivos. El pejibaye también es una fuente de palmito, el cual se ha convertido en un producto de consumo local y de exportación. La técnica de producción del pejibaye para el palmito fue desarrollada por el CATIE en la década de los 70 y luego difundida al resto de América.

  • Achiote: cerca de 100 introducciones de Centroamérica y América del Sur. El color rojo anaranjado que se obtiene de las semillas se utiliza como colorante natural en comidas y en la industria cosmética y dermatológica.

  • Guayaba: 66 introducciones del Brasil, Mesoamérica y América del Sur. Aprender cómo se usan las frutas, que contienen proporciones altas en carbohidratos y son ricas en carotenos, niacina y ácido ascórbico.

Recorrido del Campus

La visita al Edificio Wallace abre una ventana a la historia del CATIE, su misión y la trascendencia internacional de su trabajo. En los años 40 sus paredes contenían las aulas, los dormitorios, la biblioteca, el comedor y las oficinas - todo bajo el mismo techo. Hoy es el centro administrativo, albergando las oficinas de la alta gerencia y varios programas científicos, además de un banco, una agencia de viajes, una oficina de correo y una tienda de regalos. Deje tiempo para pasar al lago del CATIE, donde podrá observar de cerca la variada y atractiva avifauna que habita el lugar. La lista de aves en el campus llega a más de 300 especies.

Tel: 2556 2700

Refugio Privado de Vida Silvestre La Marta

La Marta Refugio de Vida SilvestreEl Refugio Privado de Vida Silvestre La Marta es un área protegida de 1515ha, ubicada en el distrito Pejibaye del cantón de Jiménez, provincia de Cartago. Tiene como límite Sur el Parque Internacional La Amistad, al Sureste limita con el Parque Nacional Tapantí-Macizo de la Muerte, por lo que La Marta es zona de amortiguamiento.
Constituye además uno de los frentes de contención más importantes en cuanto a los avances de la colonización agrícola espontánea en las faldas occidentales de la Cordillera de Talamanca
La Marta forma parte de la Reserva de la Biosfera de la Amistad, considerada por la UNESCO Patrimonio Natural de la Humanidad.
Actualmente es administrada por la Universidad Metropolitana Castro Carazo.

En sus instalaciones se puede observar la infraestructura agrícola que se desarrolló a finales del siglo XIX, entre ellos: el beneficio para el despulpe del café, el trapiche para el tratamiento de la caña de azúcar, el aserradero, la lechería, la planta hidroeléctrica, etc.
Otros atractivos agregados a La Marta es la increíble biodiversidad de la zona, el enriquecimiento cultural a través del tour histórico, zona techada para camping, albergue rústico, entre otros.

La Marta cuenta con 6 programas de específicos de manejo, los cuales son:

  • Protección y Vigilancia.
  • Investigaciones y cooperación científica.
  • Educación Ambiental.
  • Turismo Ecológico.
  • Relaciones Públicas y Extensión.
  • Reforestación.

Asimismo se está en construcción del primer sendero para personas con discapacidad.
Entre los tours que se pueden desarrollar, se tienen:

La Marta Refugio de Vida Silvestre, Costa RicaTour de aves: Horario de martes a domingo 6 am.
Descripción del tour: este tour se realiza en horas muy tempranas en la mañana, ya que éstas son las mejores horas para ver aves. Se realiza en diferentes lugares de la reserva, acompañado por un guía naturalista experto en la observación de aves.

Tour Histórico: 2 horas aprox. Horarios de martes a domingo.
Descripción del tour: En estas 2 horas de tour los turistas descubren, no solo la historia que encierra La Marta, sino también acerca de la historia de Costa Rica, se  pasea por una magnificas ruinas rodeadas de bosque, acompañados por un guía naturalista especializado en el tema.

Tour de Historia Natural: 2 horas aprox. Horarios de martes a domingo.
Descripción del tour: En este tour se podrá recorrer en más de 14 kilómetros de senderos observar: plantas, árboles, insectos y mucho más y descubrir miradores, cascadas y conocer mas de las maravillas que encierra el Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Marta.

Tour Nocturno: 2 horas aprox. Horarios de martes a domingos de 6 p.m. en adelante.
Descripción del tour: Comenzando la noche se recorren los senderos del refugio en busca de mamíferos, insectos y mucho más que sólo se  puede descubrir al caer la noche. Va acompañado con guía naturalista especializado.

Tour árboles: Se podrá hacer un recorrido por los árboles más importantes y significativos de La Marta y se aprende acerca de sus beneficios, historia y belleza pura para nunca olvidar.

Horario regular: Todos los días 8:00 am a 17:00 pm

Refugio de Aves Dr Alexander Skutch, “Los Cusingos"

Los Cusingos Refugio de AvesAdquirida en 1941 por el Dr Alexander Skutch, esta finca de 78 ha (192 acres) se encuentra ubicada en Quizarrá de Pérez Zeledón, a 130 kilómetros al Sureste de San José. Con el fin de salvaguardar el sitio donde generó su obra, le  fue comprada en 1993 por el Centro Científico Tropical (CCT), organización privada, sin fines de lucro, que desde su creación en 1962, se ha dedicado al estudio de la naturaleza y su relación con el ser humano y de la cual desde 1964 y hasta su fallecimiento Don Alexander fue asociado.

Los Cusingos forma parte de un Corredor Biológico que lleva el nombre de Don Alexander y que se inicia en este refugio a 800 msnm y va hasta el Parque Nacional Chirripó a 3820 msnm. Se encuentra una gran cantidad de mamíferos, y entre su avifauna se pueden fácilmente observar cusingos, tangaras, mieleros, carpinteros, colibríes, etc, lo que lo hace un lugar predilecto para los amantes de las aves. Además existen una gran cantidad de mariposas y miles de insectos.

Con respecto al recurso hídrico, Los Cusingos es atravesado por el Río Peñas Blancas. Como rasgo cultural en el refugio existen reductos arqueológicos. La casa donde el Dr Skutch vivió por más de 60 años y donde escribió sus obras, fue convertida por el CCT en un museo en el cual se conserva su estilo de vida sencillo y austero.

“La vida de un naturalista”
Los Cusingos Tucan Pteroglossus frantziiEl Dr Alexander Skutch, nace en Baltimore, Maryland, USA, en 1904. Recibe su doctorado en Botánica en la Universidad Johns  Hopkins en 1928. En 1935 viene a Costa Rica a recolectar plantas; luego realiza otras visitas al país, del cual dijo lo siguiente:•“De las muchas partes de la Tierra llamadas paraíso de los naturalistas por entusiastas científicos, ninguna merecía este elogio mas que Costa Rica como era en esa época.”

En 1941, se establece definitivamente en Quizarrá de Pérez Zeledón, donde compró una finca al lado del Río Peñas Blancas, a la cual llamó “Los Cusingos”, por el nombre local del tucancillo piquianaranjado, Pteroglossus frantzii, halló en ese lugar un sitio idóneo para llevar una vida coherente con su filosofía y su esencia de naturalista. En 1950 contrae matrimonio con Pamela Lankester quien le acompaño hasta su muerte en junio de 2001. El Dr Skutch  fue autor de más de 30 libros y cientos de artículos sobre ornitología, botánica y filosofía.

Por su obra “Un naturalista en Costa Rica” recibe en 1977 el Premio Nacional de Literatura “ Aquileo J. Echeverría. En 1999 recibió el Premio INBio, “Al Mérito en la Conservación de la Biodiversidad Costarricense” En el año 2004, muere en Los Cusingos a la edad de casi 100 años.

Contribución a la ornitología
Entre los aportes más importantes del Don Alexander a la Ornitología está haber realizado estudios completos de los hábitos de vida de cerca de 300 aves del trópico americano.

Contribución a la Botánica 
Sus estudios y colecciones de plantas para varios museos y jardines botánicos, resultaron en el descubrimiento de nuevas especies florísticas. Como un reconocimiento a estos aportes a la ciencia, autores dieron el nombre de skutchii a varias especies de plantas. Así queda hoy en Los Cusingos y en sus obras el paradigma del naturalista puro, del hombre bueno, estudioso, honesto y pacífico.

ONG MarViva, Costa RicaEn el año 2002, un grupo de filántropos preocupados por proteger la gran riqueza marina del Pacífico Tropical Oriental, hizo un viaje exploratorio por Ecuador, Colombia, Panamá y Costa Rica.

Desde sus inicios, MarViva trabaja en estos tres países como una ONG, sin fines de lucro, orientada a la conservación y el uso sostenible de los bienes y servicios marinos y costeros con especial atención a las áreas Marinas Protegidas; y actualmente con prioridad a los procesos de Ordenamiento Espacial Marino.
Estos visionarios, encabezados por la ciudadana suiza Erica Knie, identificaron serias amenazas para la conservación de esta vasta zona biodiversa y rica en recursos  para el desarrollo costero.
Por tal razón, propusieron un modelo para el manejo y uso responsable de los recursos basados en un inicio, en el apoyo de actividades de control y vigilancia, en el establecimiento de normas y en el mejoramiento de procedimientos legales.
Fue así como en el año 2003, la Fundación MarViva inició operaciones en Costa Rica y Panamá. Posteriormente en el 2006 también se instaló en Colombia.

MarViva - DelfinesPara apoyar con la conservación en el Pacífico Tropical Oriental, MarViva ejecuta programas de incidencia política, desarrollo comunitario, investigación y sensibilización en cinco zonas específicas:

  • Golfo de Nicoya: Se ubica en las provincias de Guanacaste y Puntarenas, cuenta con numerosas islas como Chira y Venado. En esta región MarViva trabaja con algunas de las comunidades en proyectos de pesca responsable; para esto se cuenta con una comunidad modelo a la que se le ha asesorado y orientado para que logre un desarrollo sostenible a partir de los recursos marinos y costeros con que cuentan.
  • Península de Osa: Situada en el Pacífico Sur de Costa Rica, contiene cerca del 2.5% de la biodiversidad del Planeta. MarViva trabaja con los pescadores de la zona para ofrecerles capacitaciones y fortalecimientos en el desarrollo de programas amigables con el recurso marino, para dedicarse a diferentes actividades relacionadas con el turismo y la pesca responsable. Además, la fundación propicia la participación activa y el empoderamiento de líderes locales en espacios de discusión y concertación nacional sobre Ordenamiento Espacial Marino.
  • Golfo de Chiriquí: Comprende la zona costera, insular y marina del noreste de Panamá.
  • El Choco: Se localiza en el oeste de Colombia.
  • Isla del Coco: Por su excelente estado de conservación esta isla es uno de los sitios naturales de mayor reconocimiento mundial por su diversidad biológica. En este parque MarViva ha estado siempre vigilante de las actividades ilegales de pesca para reportarlo a las autoridades competentes en la materia.

Para el área de Conservación Isla del Coco, MarViva participó en un proceso que culminó en marzo de 2011 con la firma del Decreto Ejecutivo que creó el área Marina de Manejo de Montes Submarinos. La creación de esta primer área Marina Protegida oceánica la cual es unas 11 veces más grande que el espacio terrestre, representa un hito en la historia nacional de conservación y producción marina, ya que juega un papel vital como zona de amortiguamiento para el Parque Nacional Isla del Coco, designado Patrimonio Mundial de la Humanidad por la UNESCO en 1997, así como permitirá garantizar tanto el uso sostenible y la conservación a largo plazo.

El área Marina de Manejo de Montes Submarinos comprende una extensión aproximada de 9,640 km2 donde se ubica la zona de montañas submarinas conocida como “Las Gemelas”. Esta zona se destaca por sus características oceanográficas que propician biodiversidad marina única. Los recursos pesqueros más importantes en el área son los tiburones y el atún.

Aunque un ínfimo 0,79% de las aguas totales de nuestro país se encontraba protegido bajo alguna categoría de manejo, ninguna de estas áreas se ubicaba fuera de las aguas territoriales. Con la firma del decreto se ha sentado la base para procurar un Ordenamiento Espacial Marino en esta vital área oceánica.

Entre los próximos pasos, las ONG que han estado apoyando el proceso, entre estas la Fundación MarViva, contemplan la necesidad de elaborar de un Plan General de Manejo que deberá ser aprobado por el Sistema Nacional de áreas de Conservación (SINAC).

Asimismo entre sus campañas de educación en los principales medios de comunicación de Latinoamérica, se pueden mencionar:

  • Reconocer las áreas Marinas Protegidas, como oasis dentro del inmenso mar.
  • Consumo responsable de pescado y mariscos.
  • Eliminación de la sobrepesca.
  • No al aleteo de tiburón.

Durante siglos se ha visto al océano como un vasto espacio continuo de inagotables recursos. Hoy se sabe que los recursos marinos son limitados tanto en su abundancia como en su distribución espacial. La extracción irrestricta de recursos y el creciente número de usuarios del mar están generando fuertes conflictos entre los usuarios y el ambiente, y entre los diferentes usuarios.

Fundación MarViva considera que solo una visión integral y multisectorial respecto a esta destrucción inminente asegurará el manejo sostenible y la conservación de los recursos y ecosistemas marinos. 

Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) - "Organizacion para Estudios Tropicales (OET)"

Organization for Tropical Studies - OTSThe Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a non-profit consortium that has grown to include 63 universities and research institutions from the United States, Latin America and Australia. In the early 1960's, scientists from U.S. universities forged working relationships with colleagues at the Universidad de Costa Rica in the interest of strengthening education and research in tropical biology. Intense interest both in the U.S. and Costa Rica led to the founding of OTS in 1963. OTS was founded to provide leadership in education, research and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics.

OTS owns and operated three biological stations in Costa Rica:

  • Organization for Tropical Studies - OTSLa Selva Biological Station is located in the Caribbean lowland at the northern base of Braulio Carrillo National Park and recognized internationally as one of the premier facilities for rain forest research.
  • Palo Verde Biological Station lies in the heart of Palo Verde National Park in the northwestern Pacific lowlands and known for its deciduous dry forest, freshwater marsh and extensive wetlands.
  • Las Cruces Biological Station & Wilson Botanical Garden on Costa Rica's southern Pacific slopes, noted for its extensive collection of palms, bromeliads and endangered plants. Las Cruces is part of the Amistad Biosphere Reserve.

La Selva Biological Station
At the confluence of two major rivers in the Caribbean lowlands of northern Costa Rica, La Selva comprises 1,600 hectares (3,900 acres) of tropical wet forests and disturbed lands. La Selva was originally established in 1954 by Dr. Leslie Holdridge, as a farm dedicated to experimentation on mixed plantations for the improvement of natural resources management. It was purchased in 1968 by the Organization for Tropical Studies and declared a private biological reserve and station. Since then, it has become one of the most important sites in the world for research on tropical rain forest.
La Selva repesents one of the most important science institutions for investigation of tropical ecosystems in the world thanks to its laboratorys, Geographic Information System (GIS), meterological dates, herbarium, the digital database Flora, extends trails and the enormous forest reserve which borders on the National Park Braulio Carrillo.

  • Different habitats: primary tropical forest with easy access, agricultural land of regeneration and an arboretum.
  • Hosts more than the half of the 886 of the bird species in Costa Rica.
  • Hosts more than five of six cat species in the country.
  • Hosts more than 70 types of bats.
  • Hosts more than 1,850 types of root plants.
  • Every year more than 350 researchers from 25 countries are visiting La Selva to study the rainforest.
  • The accomplished studies have resulted in the publication of more than 2,655 scientific articles.
  • Billingual biological naturalist guides are guiding  walks on a daily basis in order to explore the tropical wet forest. The 61km (37,28 miles) of trails are well maintained, some of them are even accesible for disabled.

Las Cruces Biological Station
Las Cruces is located at 1200 m above sea level along a spur of the Fila Cruces pacific coastal range in Coto Brus County in southern Costa Rica. It is just under 300 km by road from the capital San Jose. Dieser Teil ist von der OTS
Robert und Catherine Wilson created this garden after they had migrated to southern Costa Rica in 1962. The terrain upon which they created the garden was originally an abandoned coffee planting and was supposed to be used for cattle grazing and subsidence farming. Robert Burle Marx, a Brazilian famous landscape architect and friend of the Wilson's, assisted designing the first part. In 1973 Las Cruces was purchased from the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS).

The Botanical Garden presents a rich collection of tropical plants from all over the world and has an international reputation. More than 1000 kinds of more than 200 plant familys forms a unique collection, all part of Las Cruces Biological Station. On the 12 hectares station you will find aroids, bromeliads, ferns and marantas.

  • The Botanical Garden Wilson is part of the biosphere reserve La Amistad of 427, 000 hectares und buffer zones. These buffer zones are located on the southern side of the mountain ranges Talamanca, in the South Pacific Ocean.
  • Hundreds of bromeliads und orchids; dozens of philodendron plants and other aroids in all sizes: dozens of heliconias, futhermore the giant bambu and more than 650 palm tree species.
  • Abundant rainforest: indigenous plants (approximately 2000 species) and animals. There are about 400 bird species, more than 800 butterfly types, more than 100 mammal species (just 40 of them are bats) and an enormous diversity of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Wood and bambu furnished rooms in rustic style. Private balcony with view of the exuberant garden. The perfect palce to observe birds and other animals.
  • Meals are family style and a place where researchers, students and tourists meet on a spacious and friendly location. 

Palo Verde Biological Station
In 1968 the area of Palo Verde was chosen to developed a project from OTS, which was based on a comparative study on ecosystems and supported from the National Science Foundation in Northamerica. One of the few remains of Tropical Dry Forest in Central America belongs to the area of Palo Verde.
In 1977, the government of Costa Rica declared the area of Palo Verde to a National Wildlife sanctuary. This not only because of the concentrations of aquatic birds, which seasonal were being spotted on the wetlands, but also with the purpose of protecting the remains of the Tropical Dry Forest. In 1980 a property was added to the bordering conservation area. From this day on, the Wildlife Sanctuary and the new property turned into to the actual Palo Verde National Park, which contains 19,800 hectares.
Palo Verde is, for the migratory and indigenous aquatic birds, one of the most important sanctuaries in Central America. Visitors will discover the beauty of the Tropical Dry Forests and the magnificent wetlands: a splendid mosaic which hosts 15 different habitats.
The swamps, which can be spotted from the station, are accessible on foot in just a few minutes.  During the major part of the year the swamps are a home for many migratory and aquatic birds such as: Herons, Storks, Argentine Blue-bills, Ibises, Lily-trotters and ducks.

  • More than 20 threatened tree species are being protected.
  • The wetlands in Palo Verde is considered as one of the most important swamps in Central America and is recognized as a Ramsar area.
  • It’s an important refugee for migratory and domestic birds.
  • The fauna is abundant and easy to spot, above all during the dry season when the Collared Peccarys, Armadillos, Jaguarundis, Coatis, Rodents, deers and monkeys are approaching the water points.
  • Since 2001 OTS, MINAE and the National Wetland Program (Programa Nacional de Humedales) are working closely together to restore the wetlands.
  • More than 60 species return and use this wetland to eat, rest and to reproduct.
  • Hosts the Mexican Burrowing Toad, endangered specie, which lives underneath the earth and only comes out during the beginning of wet season to reproduce.
  • The river Tempisque hosts one the greatest colonies of crocodiles in Costa Rica.
PRETOMA (Programa de Restauración de Tortugas Marinas)

PRETOMA - Programa de Restauracion de Tortugas MarinasPRETOMA (Programa de Restauración de Tiburones y Tortugas Marinas) es una ONG Costarricense fundada en 1997. Es una organización de protección e investigación marina que trabaja para proteger los recursos oceánicos y promover políticas de pesca responsable y sostenible en Costa Rica y Centroamérica.

Costa Rica tiene la imagen de país conservacionista y posee muchas leyes y regulaciones positivas. Sin embargo en el área de conservación marina Costa Rica está varios pasos atrás en comparación con al área de conservación terrestre. Además, muchas de las leyes con las que cuenta el país no son defendidas.

Como resultados sus esfuerzos se enfocan en las siguientes categorías:

  1. Participación directa en proyectos de conservación
  2. Investigación y participación a bordo de embarcaciones de pesca comerciales
  3. Incidencia y educación al público
  4. Litigación e incidencia política

Actividades específicas:

  • PRETOMA - Tortuga MarinaCampañas públicas en contra del aleteo de tiburones en Costa Rica reuniendo más de 80.000 firmas en petición de que el Gobierno prohíba esta actividad.
  • Proyectos en donde se involucran el sector de pesca comercial para introducir prácticas y uso de dispositivos (ej. TED y “de-hoockers”) que reducen el impacto sobre capturas accidentales de otras especies.
  • Proyectos enfocados a la conservación de tortugas marinas y sus nidos en playas en la costa del Pacífico (más de 170.000 crías de tortuga protegidas).
  • Campañas de concientización pública sobre conservación marina a lo largo de todo el año incluyendo proyectos en escuelas primarias, secundarias y universidades
  • Trabajo directo con el Ministerio de Ambiente y el Congreso de Costa Rica, en donde se emiten demandas contra agencias del gobierno incluyendo al Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuacultura cuando existen políticas que promueven prácticas de explotación marina no sostenibles.
  • Pesca Sostenible del Pargo Mancha en Coyote y Bejuco, Nandayure en Guanacaste.
  • Marcaje de tortugas y tiburones mediante telemetría acústica y satelital (Guanacaste, Isla del Coco, Río Sirena)
  • Protección de playas de anidación de tortugas en asociación con comunidades costeras: San Miguel, Corozalito, Costa de Oro, Caletas (Nandayure) y Punta Banco (Puntarenas)
  • Pruebas de campo a bordo de embarcaciones palangreras para mitigar el impacto de la operación sobre tortugas marinas
  • Incidencia Política (campañas, Comunicaciones, demandas)
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

The Nature ConservancySu misión es la conservación de tierras y aguas ecológicamente importantes para la gente y para la naturaleza.
TNC fue fundada en 1951 en los Estados Unidos, y hoy tiene presencia en más de 30 países alrededor del mundo.

TNC en su colaboración con socios locales y el gobierno de Costa Rica han trabajado para garantizar la continuada preservación de una variedad de hábitats a nivel nacional. Junto con el gobierno costarricense y una sólida red de entidades asociadas, TNC ha trabajado para proteger y conservar los bosques y las áreas costeras del país. El trabajo se ha focalizado en la región La Amistad, y también en la Península Osa:

  • Área Marina de Manejo Montes Submarinos: Costa Rica declaró una nueva área Marina Protegida (AMP), la más grande del país, y la cual comprende más de 9000 km2; se asemeja en tamaño al Parque Yellowstone en Estados Unidos y es el segundo después del Parque Nacional Galápagos en Ecuador en términos de áreas marinas protegidas en el Pacífico Tropical Oriental. El papel de TNC es este proceso fue crucial para la declaratoria del área. A lo largo de seis años, TNC contribuyó en la evaluación ecoregional del área marina de Costa Rica y los vacíos de conservación. Este análisis científico identificó los montes submarinos de la Isla del Coco como área prioritaria de conservación. También desarrolló, junto con los demás socios, la justificación técnica para la declaratoria. De otro lado, se facilitó la consulta previa con sector pesquero, turismo, academia, gobierno, y comunidades, entre otros. Igualmente, TNC se acreditó ante el Concejo del área de Conservación de la Isla del Coco para votar a favor de esta iniciativa y así contrarrestar la oposición que surgió desde el sector pesquero.

  • The Nature ConservancyParque Nacional La Amistad: Se ha trabajado de cerca con las comunidades para ayudarlas a crear medios de subsistencia alternativos. Ha capacitado a dichas comunidades al ayudarlas en la creación de redes, para la participan en turismo y en las actividades de gestión de parques, en asociación con los gobiernos locales.
    En el sector del Caribe del parque, 17 grupos comunitarios de la Reserva Indígena de Talamanca en La Amistad han constituido la Red Indígena de Turismo. En el sector del Pacífico de La Amistad, cuatro comunidades locales se organizaron en la Red Quercus. TNC también ha trabajado para proveer pagos a los servicios ambientales por medio de la fijación de aranceles al uso de agua, por los cuales las industrias del sector privado que dependen de las cuencas de la región realizan "pagos por los servicios ambientales" que sustentan el desarrollo de la comunidad y la gestión de los recursos naturales.

  • Península de Osa: Junto con el gobierno costarricense y una sólida red de entidades asociadas, TNC ha trabajado para proteger y conservar los bosques y las áreas costeras de la Península de Osa. Se ha hecho de diferentes maneras, por medio de acciones como las siguientes:
    - Adquisición y protección de tierras.
    - Fortalecimiento de la administración de áreas protegidas.
    - Contratación y capacitación del personal de los parques.
    - Creación de 140.000 hectáreas de caminos naturales entre los parques nacionales de Corcovado y Piedras Blancas.
    - Creación de nuevas oportunidades de trabajo sostenible basado en los montes.
    - Establecimiento de una red de áreas marinas protegidas.



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