This list reflects only a handful of the core science databases from the Osa Conservation Science team available under request. 

The full Osa Conservation data can be accessed through

Osa Conservation’s Open Science Framework Page.

For enquiries related to datasets and potential collaborations, please contact the Osa Conservation Scientific Committee at For general enquiries, please contact

Ridge to Reef Megasurvey

This is a multi-level altitudinal assessment of biodiversity across 125km from 0 – 3,000m encompassing 3 protected areas (Corcovado National Park, Piedras Blancas National Park, and La Amistad International Park) and their connecting biological corridors. The dataset was collected in 2020 – 2021 and includes mammals and terrestrial bird data monitored via camera traps, dung beetles collected with baited pitfall traps, soil chemical analyses, wildlife acoustics obtained by Cornell Swift Devices and social and perspective information collected via questionnaire surveys.

This map shows the locations where camera traps and acoustic devices were deployed, and where soil & dung beetles samples were taken.

Bony and cartilaginous fish Monitoring in coastal waters of the Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce

This dataset used BRUVS (Baited Remote Underwater Video Station) methodology data from 4 field trips at Golfo Dulce, Corcovado National Park Marine Area and adjacent areas, in the South Pacific of Costa Rica. Seabed floor BRUVS and midwater BRUVS were used. Temporal scope July 202021 – March 12, 2022, One survey per season.

Deployment data collected: deployment geographic coordinates, pick up geographic coordinates, deployment time, pick-up time, high tide time, low tide time, state of the tide, depth, and temperature.

Biological data: fishes were identified at the lowest possible taxonomic level, when identification was not possible they were recorded as unidentified. Abundance data were recorded using the NMax parameter, The maximum number of individuals of a given species observed in a given video frame.

Baited Remote Underwater Videocameras monitor the coastal waters of the Osa Peninsula.

Calling activity of the Golfodulcean poison dart frog in the Osa Peninsula

10 passive acoustic recorders (Cornell rugged 6-batteries recorder) were deployed opportunistically in key locations where the golfodulcean poison dart frog (Phyllobates vittatus) was previously seen at the Osa Conservation Campus. Additionally 10 individual males were actively recorded using a Zoom H2n recorder. All recordings were collected between April and August 2021, during the breeding season. Raw data format is .WAV audio files of 10-20 minutes for the swift recorder and .WAV audio files of 1-5 minutes for the Zoom H2n recorder.

Baited Remote Underwater Videocameras monitor the coastal waters of the Osa Peninsula.

Monitoring Mangrove Restoration

This database corresponds to the monitoring efforts of different sites where mangrove restoration actions have been developed within the National Wetland Terraba-Sierpe.The data collected between 2021 and 2022, of the sites planted in 2021 is consigned here. The permanent monitoring plots (pmp) were initially 28, between the 3 hectare complete remotion site (8 pmp) and the 11 hectares 22 meter-width rows, site (20). 

In 2023 a new monitoring protocol was launched, which included monitoring of older sites planted in 2019, 2020 and new sites planted in 2022. This new monitoring design included the measurement of control treatments of Negraforra sites (4 pmp) and mature mangrove ecosystem sites (4 pmp), in order to define a reference ecosystem, to guide the restoration efforts. The total of new 32 pmp established included a total of and the data collected in 2023 of this site is consigned here.

The monitoring of the sites planted in 2021, are also included in this new protocol, but the number of initial pmp established (28) was reduced to 8 pmp. The previous sampling intensity was useful to calculate the coefficient of variation applied for the new experimental design.  The total amount of pmp included in the new monitoring protocol of sites planted from 2019 to 2022, includes a total of 40 pmp.

The sites restored in 2023 are going to be included in the experimental design, following the monitoring protocol standards. 

Data collected: structural components, physicochemical variables, richness and abundance of gastropods, list species of birds in restoration sites, environmental variables.

Mangrove bird composition as an indicator of the restoration treatments in the Térraba-Sierpe National Wetland

This effort utilized 22 passive acoustic recorders (Cornell rugged 6-batteries recorder), deployed across the Térraba-Sierpe National Wetland from March 2021 to May 2021; 5 recorders were deployed in the total cleared fern restoration treatment, 5 in the partial cleared fern restoration treatment, 6 recorders were deployed in the Negra forra fern campus, and 6 in the mangrove forest, in a height above 1 meter and below 5 meters. Raw data format is .WAV audio files of 20 minutes.

Location of 22 passive acoustic recorders deployed throughout the Terraba Sierpe National Wetland.

Monitoring Restoration

Measures tree growth and survival, as well as natural soil fertility and recruitment on 25 selected farms. Permanent monitoring plots measuring 400 meters squared are installed in restoration areas planted in 2022 and 2023. The variables that are evaluated are: species, height, crown diameter, and normal diameter. A numbered tag is assigned to each individual. In addition, each naturally regenerating individual is marked, counted, and identified at the species or family level.

The establishment of the plots began in 2022; this is a long term monitoring plan.

Our long-term monitoring efforts span 25 farms across our working landscape.

Monitoring Wildlife in Restoration Plots

Wildlife and soil baseline data was collected prior to planting (2017) and is collected every two years (2019 and 2021 has been collected so far), the data collected assess the forest structure, biodiversity recovery and soil rejuvenation and sampling took place in the center of each plot: 

    • Dung Beetles – Two rounds of baited pitfall trap (one round of dung and one round of carrion) for 24 hours per plot. 
    • Amphibians – Three rounds of 20 minute search survey with herp box (to measure distance) per plot.
    • Birds – Three rounds of 10 minute point count (plus 5 minute resting period) per plot.
    • Butterflies – Two rounds of baited butterfly traps (one round with rotting fish and one round with banana) for 24 hours per plot.
    • Soil Samples – Within a 10m radius from the center of each plot 10 subsamples were collected at least a meter from each other, removing the vegetation and leaf litter by avoiding the first 10-20 cm of soil. One ziploc plastic bag was filled with 2 kg of soil in every plot, cleaning hands and shovel in between sampling different plots. The general soil chemistry was described for each plot, including soil carbon and nitrogen.
    • Bats – Baseline was collected in 2018 and currently no repeated data collection has taken place. Thirty of the forty plots were sampled via three rounds, using mist nets and acoustic devices.
    • Bat Boxes – Since 2022, once a month checks have been carried out in our 20 bat boxes  deployed in half of our restorations plots, recording the number of individuals and genera they belong to.
Wildlife and soil baseline data collected across colored plots, distinguished by flora composition.

Monitoring Natural Regeneration

This work measures the number of trees and the species naturally growing in 10 of our restored farms planted in 2020 and 2021 (2 to 8 plots per farm). A total of 48 circular temporary plots of 50 m2 (r = 4 m) were installed. The variables that were recorded are: number of individuals of natural regeneration, species, height and number of trees planted.

We monitor natural regeneration across a subset of 10 farms that span our working landscape. 

Restoring Biological Corridors

This community restoration network was launched in 2020 with the goal to increase forest connectivity and biodiversity for key biological corridors across the south pacific of Costa Rica. Over 200 private farms are now actively restoring their lands to achieve this goal. A subset of 27 farms were selected and a long-term monitoring initiative was established, establishing baselines in 2022 and data will be collected every 2 years. Data was collected on the following taxa groups using the associated method in the restoration site paired with neighbouring forest [54 sites in total – two per farm]: 

    • Terrestrial mammal and birds and via continued camera traps
    • Birds via point counts of 10 minutes with 3 repetitions 
    • Macroinvertebrates via D-net sampling in rivers with 1 sample per round
    • Dung beetles via baited [carrion and feces] pitfall traps with one 24 hour sample period
    • For each tree planted at the restorations sites, we record and monitor: species,  tree mortality, tree replacement, growth and phytosanitary conditions of planted trees
    • Composed soil sample was taken at each restoration site
Restoration farms identified by circles, with red circles are the subset of farms selected for long-term monitoring, the yellow circles do not undergo any monitoring and are only restored. The green triangles identify the tree nurseries across the landscape.

Avian Monitoring

This is a long-term monitoring effort that is still in progress. Data available includes:

Bird count points: A total of 60 different bird count points in the South Pacific of Costa Rica along an altitudinal gradient. The count points were sampled during the years 2021, 2022 and 2023.   The points were distributed by the most predominant land uses in the region and classified according to, Forests, pastures, coffee plantations and restoration sites.

Motus stations: Two motus stations installed in the South Pacific of Costa Rica, a total record of 11 migratory routes of two different species; Swainson’s Thrush (10) Bank swallow (11). The register are from Vancouver, New York, and Colombia. Dates of flight, flight times, coordinates of the migration flow record; saved in google drive, with summary report of preliminary results divided by folders between Lomas and Piro. More stations will be installed, and data will be collected during the migratory season.

Citizen science: 6 communities have been visited along the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica, more than 50 participants and more than 100 bird species recorded in total among the different communities. Workshops are held every two months and include bird watching and training on the importance of citizen bird monitoring.

This long-term avian monitoring effort tracks birds using a network of motus towers deployed throughout the region. 

Monitoring Cavities 

Long term monitoring via camera traps at natural 22 natural cavities to monitor and record behavior. Pictures are uploaded to Wildlife Insight platform, and videos from cavity monitoring are collected sorted every three months. This is an ongoing, long-term monitoring effort. 

This map shows the points for the 22 natural cavities we continue to monitor. 

Deploying Arboreal Bridges Across Roads to Build and Monitor Connectivity 

This long-term monitoring effort accounts for 17 arboreal bridges, first deployed in 2021. Data is sorted and wildlife crossing events are recorded by species. This effort is in progress, with 34 camera traps monitoring arboreal bridges at both sides since 2022.

Our team deployed dozens of bridges across the landscape using different designs to encourage crossing activities.

Monitoring Canopy Species 

Forty thermal drone flights were conducted to record wildlife in the canopy, along four transects, each ~ 4 km in total length, during April 2021 (late dry season) in forested habitat using the Autel Robotics EVO II Dual 8 K Drone. We performed five repeat flights per transect between 11pm and 7am, at intervals of every two-hours (flight take-off times for these five repeats were 11pm, 1am, 3am, 5am, and 7am). The drone was flown  at two different speeds – 20 flights at 18 km/h and 20 flights at 10 km/h with a standard repeat across transects (ten flights over each transect) and time periods (eight at each time-period). 

Transects flight by the drone represented in different colors, four in total.

Detecting campfires using drone-mounted infrared sensor

30 thermal drone flights were conducted to detect 23 active campfires along the Piro River in the Osa Peninsula in 2021 using the Autel Robotics EVO II Dual 8 K Drone. We performed five flights between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. (flight take-off times for these five rounds were 18h, 20h, 22h, 05h, 07h, and 09h), with a flight time of 20 minutes. We programmed the drone to fly automatically 1 km distance at a speed of 10.8km/h, minimum height was 90 masl and maximum 120 masl, considering topography variations and trees heights; and finally, the thermal camera was in an 90 degrees angle and on the “Hottest” mode for people and campfire effective detection.

Fires detected using drone sensors along the Piro River.

Monitoring River Logs and Artificial Cavities

Camera traps record activity at river logs (18 sites, half of them monitored with 2 CT over 6 months) and in artificial cavities in 2021. The goal of the river long monitoring was to detect the importance of fallen trees for river crossing by wildlife species. The goal of artificial cavity monitoring was to address which species use these artificial structures in restored areas.  Tree natural cavities were also monitored in the forest as a control (10 natural cavities and 20 in restored areas, 6 month monitoring).

Camera traps monitor river crossing activity throughout the Osa Conservation Campus. 

Road Study: Wildlife Road Use and Roadkill

Camera traps were deployed for 6 month in the field in 2021. Cameras recorded video footage at 78 locations at different distances from the road (200m to 1000m) across 2 sections of paved roads – InterAmerica Road section Chacarita-Rio Claro (27.5km) and 245 Road section Mogos-Chacarita (15km).

Camera traps monitor road crossing and wildlife activity across 78 locations along the inter-American highway. 

Monitoring Dung Beetle Diversity

Dung beetle survey were conducted across five habitat types via baited pitfall traps: agricultural matrix, remnant forest strips in the agricultural matrix, regenerating secondary forest, primary forest, and secondary forest ex plantation. This data was collected in 2017 and consists of two rounds of 24-hour trapping were executed, one round was with fece baited traps and the second round was with carrion baited traps.

Dung beetle surveys conducted across the Osa Conservation Campus.

Studying Spider Monkey Latrines

This effort monitored roosting and latrine sites of the Central American spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi). This dataset was collected in 2018 and includes species records and their behaviour in the canopy and the forest floor via camera traps, as well as floristic assessments via quadrats, soil chemical analysis and dung beetles via pitfall traps for a subset of 10 sleeping trees (yellow triangles, see map below).

The 37 spider monkey latrine/sleeping sites identified at the Osa Conservation Campus (red and yellow triangles), the subset [n=10] of the latrines that were assessed in detail are identified by yellow triangles.

Osa Camera Trap Grids

In 2017, a grid of 56 camera traps with a minimum spacing of 500m was deployed across the following landscapes: 10 camera traps in the agricultural matrix, 14 in the natural renerating secondary forest, 20 in the primary forest, and 11 in the secondary forest ex plantation.

In 2018, the first Osa-wide assessment using camera traps was executed, 30 years since the previous assessment using traditional techniques such as transects to identify wildlife tracks and feces. This camera trap grid was made up of 111 locations [black circles] with paired stations [222 camera traps in total] with a spacing of 4 km between each station covering Osa’s two national parks [Corcovado and Piedras Blancas, and the surrounding areas.  

In 2019, Camera trap monitoring efforts were focused on the Matapalo – Carate biological corridor where a grid of 29 paired camera trap stations spaced 1500 m apart, in a hexagonal arrangement were deployed across a landscape matrix.

Location of the camera trap study area on the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica.

Southern Costa Rica Floristic Survey & Plant Checklist

10 botanic expeditions have been carried out in understudied and remote areas of Southern Costa Rica with the aim of gathering demographic information on 18 target threatened species of trees with distance sampling. The dataset includes taxonomic identification, diameter at breast height, estimated height, perpendicular distance to transect, phenological status, coordinates of each tree, and elevation. This data set is accompanied by floristic lists of each site and lists of herbarium vouchers.

This database contains information about all species of plants spotted and identified during our 10 botanical expeditions in Southern Costa Rica. It specifies the sub-site it was spotted, and taxonomic information.

Botanical expeditions, both executed and programmed, to survey and monitor the region’s threatened tree species.

Phenological survey of threatened trees of the Osa Peninsula

A sample of endangered trees from the Osa Peninsula are monitored monthly to determine their phenological status. The data set includes tree ID and taxonomical information, GPS coordinates, scale of flowering intensity, scale of fruiting intensity.

Yellow points indicate sample locations of sample of endangered trees on the Osa Peninsula, which are monitored monthly to determine their phenological status.

Botanical collections by the Osa Conservation team across Osa and Amistosa deposited in herbariums and botanical gardens

Taxonomic and collection information regarding botanical vouchers or plants collected for herbarium and botanical gardens in Osa and Amistosa corridor. It contains collector, consecutive collection number, collection date, location, coordinates, species, determined by, determination date, field notes, institution, and whether DNA or liquid samples were also deposited.

Yellow points indicate botanical collection locations, taken by the Osa Conservation team across Osa and Amistosa and deposited in herbariums and botanical gardens.

Osa Arboretum; In-situ Collection

An inventory of all trees selected and tagged as part of the Osa Arboretum’s in-situ collection. This inventory has 1395 entries with information such as consecutive, code, species, family, coordinates, trail, date, diameter, habitat, phenology, and comments. For more information, see

Yellow points mark inventory entries for the Osa Arboretum In-Situ collection.

Monitoring sea turtle nesting activity & relocating nests 

From 2017 to the present, nesting activity (sea turtle species and number of nests and false crawls), predation (type of predator) and poaching rates were recorded on Piro Beach (2 km) during daily morning census and on Pejeperro (4.5 km) during weekly morning census. Since 2021, the database also includes GPS coordinates, sector (1-20 on Piro and 1-45 on Pejeperro) and beach zone (open, border, and vegetation) for each nest.

Since 2021, data includes nests relocated on Piro beach. The database includes number of eggs, hatching success, fertility (percentage of eggs with embryo development), incubation length (time that takes for a nest to hatch), incubation temperature from HOBO data loggers, egg contamination (bacteria, fungus, mites, maggots, ants, or crabs), and proportion of cooked eggs.

Sea turtle nesting habitat is monitored throughout Piro Beach at the Osa Conservation Campus.

Tagged Sea Turtles on Piro and Pejeperro Beaches

A total of 1043 sea turtles (855 olive ridley, 185 green and 3 hawksbill sea turtles), have been measured (curved carapace length and curve carapace width) and tagged since 2008 on Piro and Pejeperro beach. The database includes code tags and general health condition of the nesting turtles.

Since 2008, sea turtles are tagged and monitored during nesting activity. 

Researching Nighttime Patrols for Sea Turtle Monitoring

This information studied detections by the thermal drone sensors and human patrollers during nighttime patrols. Detections observed in the thermal footage by the video reviewer and by the people patrol: sea turtle events (tracks and/or turtles), animals predating nests, other animals walking on the beach, resting on trees, or flying), and people on the beach. The database also includes the time the reviewer and patrollers observed the detections. To learn more about our results, read our publication here

Sea turtle nesting activity is monitored using thermal drone technology.

New World Vulture Movements in Tropical Rainforests

This is an ongoing, long-term initative that was launched in February 2022. Stay updated with the project here or by using the free Animal Tracker App.

GPS Data Collection: Project identifier on Movebank = ‘OC Vultures’; data included = Location (latitude and longitude), flight height, speed and triaxial acceleration data for vultures captured in and around the Osa Peninsula (Costa Rica) and Madre de Dios (Peru) regions. The temporal resolution of the data collection is typically 10 minutes when the bird is active, and every 30 minutes when it is inactive.  

Biological samples: When vultures are captured for tracking devices deployment, we also take a suite of biological samples to be analysed for individual health and condition. Samples taken include blood and feather samples, and cloacal and oral swabs.

Vulture flight activity is tracked using solar powered GPS backpacks. This information is available via Movebank and Animal Tracker. 

Tapir Movements in the Osa Biological Corridor

This is an ongoing, long-term initiative that was launched in 2022. Stay updated with our project here or by using the free Animal Tracker App. 

GPS Data Collection: Project identifier on Movebank = ‘Osa Conservation – Tapirs (Costa Rica); data included = Location (latitude and longitude) and speed for tapirs captured in and around the Osa Peninsula (Costa Rica). The temporal resolution of the data collection is typically every two hours.  

Biological samples: When vultures are captured for tracking devices deployment, we also take a suite of biological samples to be analysed for individual health and condition. Samples taken include blood and hair samples, and oral swabs.

Tapir movement activity is tracked using GPS collars. This information is available via Movebank and Animal Tracker. 

Post Release Monitoring of a Rehabilitated Ocelot

Six months of GPS data, collecting a GPS location every 5 hours for 6 months [Jan -July 2023] for a young male ocelot who was rehabilitated and released in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica after a road collision accident. Stay updated via Movebank. Our project identifier is: “Using GPS technology to track a rehabilitated, male, Ocelot”

Monitoring data shows animal location (pink) of rehabilitated ocelot, in collaboration with Las Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Osa Biodiversity Survey & The AmistOsa Biodiversity Survey: Biodiversity inventory by citizen scientist on the southern Pacific of Costa Rica

Using the iNaturalist app, citizen scientists and researchers are inventorying the biodiversity of the south of Costa Rica. The database includes total observations, total species, total observers, total identifiers, total observations of 45 focal species and total observations in 12 key locations. This is an ongoing project. More information can be found at &

The full Osa Conservation data can be accessed through

Osa Conservation’s Open Science Framework Page.