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.
Community Outreach, Environmental Education, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Miscellaneous, Sea Turtles / 30.11.2012

[caption id="attachment_4712" align="alignleft" width="300"] RFA's and interns pose for a photo at our annual Sea Turtle festival this past September[/caption] November is the peak of the rainy season here in Osa, an ideal time for staying in, curling up with a good book and listening to the sheets of rain pelt the tin roof. Not so for the OC staff and our brave visitors and volunteers who have been working rain and shine to help us with various conservation projects! This month we're finishing up the Sea Turtle season and will be saying our goodbyes to our amazing Research Field Assistants that have made the program possible. Sai, Emily, Bre and Katie, we are incredibly grateful for your dedication and contribution this season. Thank you also to Katharine, Jamie and Alyssa, our field assistants who joined us for the first half of the season and all of our volunteers.
Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 27.11.2012

[caption id="attachment_4691" align="alignleft" width="225"] A recently planted Zapote Olimpico seedling.[/caption] During this past July, while walking through the Cerro Osa forest, Agustín Mendoza, one of the most charismatic members of Osa Conservation’s conservation and land management team, heard sounds and a great deal of activity at the top of the canopy. As he came closer to the site, he realized that the clamor was coming exclusively from a Zapote tree (Pauteria Sp). This tree was full of juicy fruits characterized by an exquisite orange color and a sweet scent that invaded the monotonous serenity of the forest. In the top of the tree he found a complete troop of spider monkeys that jumped from branch to branch, 35 meters in the air, taking advantage of the sudden abundance of this unusual feast.
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...

Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 30.08.2011

[caption id="attachment_2228" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Alex Henríquez (General Manager or Trust of Banco Nacional de Costa Rica), Ana Lorena Guevara (Vice Minister of Environment), Carlos M. Rodriguez (Representative, Conservation International), Manuel Ramirez (Executive Director, Osa Conservation)"][/caption] In a historic moment for conservation in Costa Rica, Osa Conservation (OC) and Conservation International (CI) signed the world’s first public-private Biodiversity Trust Fund in San Jose, Costa Rica on August 8TH.  Both OC and CI each contributed $500,000 to the Fund, which was matched with a $1 million contribution from the Costa...

Community Outreach, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 12.10.2010

On September 26th, Friends of the Osa participated in the second annual Puerto Jiménez mangrove and beach cleanup. This activity is part of a global Ocean Conservancy initiative, with  Terra Nostra as the Costa Rican organizer and the Puerto Jiménez Environmental Coalition as the local organizer. We had around 60 participants, including students, girl scouts, Frontier volunteers, community members, hotel staff from Lapa Rios, Bosque del Cabo, El Remanso and other local organizations such as ASCONA.  In total, we cleaned 1.5km of beach and 0.5km of mangrove. Looking at the results...