Luis Daniel Montero is a kayak tour guide and a local activist
Luis Daniel Montero is a 22-year-old kayak tour guide and volunteer for ASCONA (Asociacion De Servicio Comunitario Nacional y Ambiental), a local non-governmental organization dedicated to community service and environmental conservation on the Osa Peninsula.
Along with a few other ASCONA volunteers, Daniel, as he prefers to be called, is part of an extremely passionate group of activists protesting an American business-owner’s proposal for a large marina development project on the Gulfo Dulce, a proposal met with considerable opposition among Osa residents and various conservationists on and around the peninsula.
The view from Cerro Osa
We at Osa Conservation would like to extend a warm welcome and congratulations to Samantha Weintraub, Kevin Smith and Juan Manuel Ley, this year’s Greg Gund Memorial Fellowship recipients. Osa Conservation’s Greg Gund Memorial Fellowships provide funding for Costa Rican and international researchers to conduct science-based research in the Osa Peninsula. These fellowships are provided through the generous support of the Gund family.
Kevin will be studying amphibian populations, communities and habitat in the southern part of the peninsula and will be developing materials for participatory amphibian monitoring projects on our properties in Osa. These will be a great tool to support of citizen science at our stations!
A Green sea turtle nests on Pejeperro Beach
With the same clumsiness as their mothers, the small reptiles descend slowly down the sloped beach. One by one they go, leaving behind a trail of life in the sand.
Seven weeks ago, after a journey spanning hundreds, perhaps thousands of kilometers, an adult olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) pushed through the foaming waves on Pejeperro beach in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, to begin an ancient, unique and exquisite journey.
As part of conservation efforts for the Scarlet Macaw, artificial nests have been installed in two colleges and five schools. In each school, trees with easy visibility were chosen for students based on characteristics of diameter and height for the installation of the nests.
Students of these schools attended a workshop on ecology, life cycles and the importance of conservation of the species Ara macao. Students from the 5th, 6th, and 9th grades are in charge of monitoring macaw activities and noting events such as flights and perching near the nests and when a macaw investigates the inside of a nest. They also monitor the activity of other species near the nest.
Osa Conservation staff taking a break during patrol training
This week, we had the pleasure of conducting our first Osa Conservation staff training for sea turtle patrols. The event was very productive for everyone, reinforcing knowledge for some, and training others for the first time.
For me, the most interesting part of it all was the fieldwork, where for the first time this season, all of the land conservation staff, volunteers, Max, Manuel Sánchez, and myself (a total of 13 people) conducted a turtle patrol of Pejeperro Beach. We left the Piro Biological Station at 7:30 pm with our flashlights and our fieldwork equipment, and after we walked all the way to sector 10, we encountered our first nesting turtle that was just beginning to excavate her nest. While she was digging, Manuel demonstrated to us the data collection process, including tagging turtles, marking tracks, performing basic health assessments, and other things. After making these techniques clear to everyone, we were eager to perform the tasks ourselves.