News + Stories

Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Science and Research / 23.09.2011

[caption id="attachment_2260" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Peltogyne Purpurea: An endemic species of Costa Rica and Western Panama, now very scarce because of overexplotation for its valuable timber."][/caption] Visiting a tropical forest can be overwhelming because of the enormous number of species found there, especially if you are talking about the Osa Peninsula, one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. This diversity is especially evident amongst plants which, as immobile organisms, are easily observed.  This same diversity, however, can be distressing for a person interested in identifying a species...

Birds / 26.09.2010

[caption id="attachment_1483" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Pale-billed Woodpecker Male. Photograph by Alan Dahl"][/caption] Of the eight woodpecker species that are found on the Osa Peninsula, the Pale-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis) is the largest with a length of 35 cm (14 inches) rivaling only the superficially similar, and range overlapping Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus).  In fact, the Pale-billed Woodpecker is most closely related to the extremely elusive north temperate species the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, both belonging to the same genus, Campephilus.  This species ranges from southern Mexico to Western Panama. The Pale-billed is...

Birds / 05.09.2010

[caption id="attachment_1239" align="alignleft" width="240"] White-whiskered Puffbird by Gianfranco Gomez[/caption] Not only does the White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis) rank pretty high on the cuteness scale, it is also an interesting species from an ecological perspective.  Puffbirds are most closely related to jacamars, toucans and woodpeckers.  They are primarily insect and arthropod eaters and are considered to be flycatching birds along with tyrant flycatchers, and nunbirds.  Even though they eat spiders, frogs and lizards taken from the ground they are known for sitting perfectly still in the forest understory until a...