Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Miscellaneous / 02.10.2013

by Florencia Franzini [caption id="attachment_5469" align="alignnone" width="400"] Members of the Costa Rican government, including president Laura Chinchilla, and representatives from the World Bank sign a landmark REDD+ agreement. Photo Credit: the World Bank.[/caption] On September 10, 2013, Costa Rica and the World Bank, acting for the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, signed a letter of intent stating the terms of negotiation for its Emissions Reduction Payment Agreement. The ERPA would allow for the FCPF to purchase carbon emissions, or “carbon credits,” for up to a value of $63 million – making...

Aves, Birds, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Uncategorized, Volunteers and Visitors / 13.09.2013

[caption id="attachment_5363" align="aligncenter" width="500"] A pair of Vermiculated Screech Owls. Photo by Alan Dahl[/caption]   Fall is fast approaching, and the change of seasons signals something particularly exciting for the Osa Peninsula – the return of migrating birds! The Osa is home to almost 500 resident bird species and many more who migrate to the peninsula from boreal forests in the US and Canada. Now in the middle of September, the migratory bird season is well under way, with species such as the Golden-winged warbler, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, and the Baltimore...

Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Science and Research, Wildcats / 20.08.2013

by Lauren Lipuma Capturing a photo of an animal in its natural habitat is difficult at best, so for the past hundred-odd years camera traps have provided a distinct advantage to ecologists – allowing researchers to capture an image with minimal disturbance to the animal and without risking bodily harm. The first camera traps, pioneered by wildlife photographer George Shiras III in the late 1890s, consisted of a large camera and a trip wire connected to a car battery. When an animal tripped the wire, the battery would ignite...

Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Marine Conservation, Science and Research / 12.08.2013

Taking advantage of a socio-environmental opportunity, Osa Conservation launches new Wetlands Program in the Terraba Sierpe wetlands by Andrés Jimenez [caption id="attachment_5289" align="alignnone" width="300"] Terraba Sierpe wetlands, Costa Rica. Photo credit: Cavu[/caption]   Wetlands have become a focus of interest worldwide recently, not only because of their ecological importance but also because the climate crisis has reminded us of these ecosystems’ capabilities for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. But why should we all turn our eyes to these wet, swampy, mosquito-infested areas? The answer is simple: protecting wetlands is a very...

Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Uncategorized / 28.02.2013

By: Larry Villalobos and Autumn Rauchwerk When a troop of squirrel monkeys passes near the station it is like watching a band of teenagers. Their antics are of course cute, and they look like they are happy and having fun. Of the four species of monkeys found in Costa Rica, squirrel monkeys are the smallest, weighing about one and a half pounds. This puts them at about the same size as a squirrel. Their fur is a rich orange color, and their faces are unbelievably expressive. These aspects make...

Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Science and Research, Wildcats / 23.01.2013

By Juan Carlos Cruz Jaguars are very charismatic creatures, and for indigenous people and ancient civilizations, were considered symbols of power, majesty and wisdom. While that symbolism still holds true, we now also recognize their intrinsic value for maintaining biodiversity in the forests. They are on the top of the food chain and therefore the health of their population affects all subsequent levels. In the absence of Jaguars, breakdowns occur in the ecosystem such as increases of populations of herbivores, decreases in population of some species of plants (eaten by herbivores) and loss of other species of birds, insects and reptiles that depend on those plants. The presence of Jaguars in a region is an indicator of the health and integrity of the forest since they are the most sensitive species of all large cats to exploitation and habitat alteration. Accordingly, they are also known as “health indicator species.”
Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Science and Research, Uncategorized / 17.01.2013

In addition to celebrating a great year in 2012, Osa Conservation recently honored two staff members as outstanding employees of the year. If you have visited us here in Osa, these are most likely familiar faces. Thanks Agustín and Manuel for all of your hard work and for being such integral and exemplary members of the Osa Conservation team.  Agustín Mendoza Augustín has been working with OC for five years on our land stewardship and maintenance team but has lived in Osa for 38. He grew up in Cerro Arbolito a remote...

Community Outreach, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 14.12.2012

In order to create public access stations for environmental education purposes, Osa Conservation recently built and inaugurated a 2.5-mile interpretive trail. In this easy journey, adventurers will find 23 stations labeled to help them understand and interpret the ecosystems, species and ecological associations that cross the path, which is a representation of the biological richness of the Osa Peninsula.
Birds, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 07.12.2012

The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a species in danger of extinction. In Costa Rica, there are only two healthy populations of scarlet macaws, the largest of which is located on the Osa Peninsula. This population is estimated to be between 800 and 1200 individuals (Dear et al 2010). This population was almost completely eliminated due to the illegal removal of trees for timber and agriculture, hunting for food, and illegal trade of Macaws as pets. During the last two decades, commercial logging and hunting of birds has decreased significantly, and the population of Macaws of the Osa Peninsula has increased rapidly. However, the loss of natural cavities in the trees used as nests for these animals has greatly limited the recovery of their populations. A study in recent years recommended long-term conservation that combines environmental education in local schools, community involvement, and stricter penalties for hunters and the Lapa Roja habitat destroyers (Guittar et al 2008).
Birds, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 05.12.2012

By Carolina Herrera, NRDC Wondering where that brightly colored songbird that visited your yard during the summer disappeared to when the temperature dropped? Many songbirds and other migratory birds spend the cooler months in Latin America’s tropical rainforests, so preserving their winter habitat is essential to their survival. That’s one reason why NRDC partnered with the group Osa Conservation to help Revive a Rainforest on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. With the support of our members we’ve been helping to restore 50 acres of degraded tropical rainforest by planting carefully selected native tree species. Six hundred and fifty species of birds make North America their home and breeding ground. While some of these birds are permanent residents many are migratory, with migration paths varying from short, medium to long. Approximately 350 species breed in the US and Canada and then winter all the way in Latin America and the Caribbean where they need to find sufficient food and safe nesting locations. The Yellow Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, and the Canada Warbler are just three of the many species that journey long distances during their seasonal migrations to Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.