Science and Research, Uncategorized, Wildcats / 05.12.2013

by Juan Carlos Cruz Díaz, Science Program Manager Mammals are a very important element in ecosystems, and the rainforest is no exception. Wildcats as the top predators in an ecosystem provide control for the lower levels of the food web such as herbivorous animals, which in turn control biomass production. Everything is in perfect balance, so if a top predator is missing from the ecosystem, herbivores will increase in number and that will tremendously affect the biomass production, potentially leading to ecosystem collapse. For this reason it is highly important...

Miscellaneous, Science and Research / 26.11.2013

The epic battle of predator and prey in the jungle by: Max Villalobos, Land Conservation Manager [caption id="attachment_5695" align="alignnone" width="2816"] Snake captures an unsuspecting frog. Photo by Manuel Sánchez.[/caption]   It’s almost midday, and the forest is drowsy with the intense heat and humidity that you find during the rainy season in the Osa Peninsula, where the temperature can easily surpass 90 degrees. I direct all of my attention to the forest floor in search of the sweet and fleshy fruits of the Zapote tree. The spider monkeys that also eat from...

Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Miscellaneous, Science and Research / 08.11.2013

by Lauren Lipuma and Florencia Franzini [caption id="attachment_5647" align="alignnone" width="720"] Executive Director Manuel Ramirez (center) and board members Adrian Forsyth (left) and Craig Thompson (right) survey the Osa Verde property.[/caption] Osa Conservation has had a busy summer and fall this year.  From renovations and land purchases to project expansions, the work never ceases to lose momentum here at OC! Here are a few things that have been going on at Osa Conservation this summer and fall: The Agro-Ecology Farm at Osa Verde has had a huge facelift! OC is gearing up...

Community Outreach, Environmental Education, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration, Science and Research / 11.10.2013

By Andrés Jiménez, Wetlands Program Coordinator   Recently I had the opportunity to spend time with Doctor Jurgenne Primavera, a world-class mangrove scientist from the Philippines. A quiet yet cheerful scientist, she shows a special glitter in her eyes every time she talks about mangroves. After more than 40 years of working with these trees, she still smiles when showing a picture of herself climbing one. I have to admit, at this moment I had no idea of what was happening in the Philippines. The only vague concept I had about...

Environmental Education, Science and Research / 25.09.2013

by Jim Palmer, PhD [caption id="attachment_5412" align="alignnone" width="500"] Osa Conservation staff members Pilar Bernal, Juan Carlos Cruz Diaz and Manuel Sanchez add reagents to a dissolved oxygen test.[/caption]   Osa Conservation staff and volunteers ‘kicked around’ in Rio Piro to get a quick snapshot of stream health during a field workshop in the Osa Peninsula in June 2013.  The workshop was led by biologist Jim Palmer, Director of Creek Connections, a watershed education program based at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.   Staff and volunteers used field water chemical tests and macro-invertebrate kick-net...

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, 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...

Science and Research / 04.01.2013

As some of you may know from following our Facebook and Twitter posts, Manuel Sanchez Mendoza, our Research Assistant and Sea Turtle Conservation Program Field Coordinator, has one heck of a talented eye for photographing wildlife. As an Osa native, born and raised in the peninsula, Manuel has always been fascinated with wildlife, and although he has no formal training in photography, we like to think he has a natural-born knack for it. The past few weeks in particular have been very successful for Manuel and his camera, and we at Osa Conservation are excited to share his sightings with you! All of these photos were taken at or around our Piro Biological Center. [caption id="attachment_4779" align="aligncenter" width="640"] White-faced capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4780" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Great Curassow (Crax rubra)[/caption]