News + Stories

Uncategorized / 07.12.2012

Las Lapas Rojas (Ara macao), son una especie en grave peligro de extinción. En Costa Rica existen solamente dos poblaciones viables de Lapas Rojas, la más grande de las cuales se encuentra en la Península de Osa. Esta población se estima entre 800 y 1200 individuos (Dear et al 2010). Dicha población fue eliminada casi por completo debido a la tala indiscriminada de arboles para madera y agricultura, la casería para consumo, y  el comercio ilegal de estas aves como mascota. Durante las ultimas dos décadas, la tala comercial y la cacería de aves ha disminuido significativamente, y la población de Lapas de la Península de Osa se ha incrementado rápidamente. Sin embargo, la perdida de cavidades naturales usadas como nidos por estos animales ha limitado grandemente la recuperación de sus poblaciones. Un estudio realizado en los últimos anos recomienda usar un sistema de conservación de largo plazo que combine educación ambiental en las escuelas locales, involucramiento de las comunidades, y penalidades mas estrictas para los cazadores y destructores del hábitat de la Lapa Roja (Guittar et al 2008).
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.
Uncategorized / 27.11.2012

Durante el pasado mes de julio mientras caminaba por el bosque de Cerro Osa, Agustín Mendoza uno de los más carismáticos miembros del equipo de conservación y manejo de tierras, percibió ruidos y mucha actividad en lo alto del dosel, con forme se acercaba más al sitio se dio cuenta que toda esta algarabía provenía exclusivamente de un solo árbol de Zapote (Pauteria Sp); este árbol estaba repleto de jugosas frutas de un exquisito color naranja y de cuya pulpa emanaba un olor dulce que invadía la monótona serenidad del bosque; sobre el árbol se encontraba una tropa completa de monos araña los cuales saltaban de rama en rama, a 35 metros de altura, aprovechando la repentina abundancia de este inusual festín, y es que el Zapote Olímpico, como lo llama Agustín, solo fructifica cada 4 años, luego de los cuales permanece desapercibido en la espesura del bosque.
Birds / 16.11.2012

[caption id="attachment_4672" align="alignleft" width="493"] Photo by Manuel Sanchez Mendoza[/caption] If you've ever spent the night in the rainforest you know how deceptive sound can be. Unlike the intriguing daytime peeps, flaps, buzzes and calls that inspire one to explore deeper into holes, hollows, and underbrush, the haunting sounds that pierce the blackness of night cause the uninitiated like me to wholeheartedly question their disbelief of ghosts, goblins and spell-casting forest witches. Nighttime at Piro has a way of transforming torrential downpour into slowly approaching footsteps, guttural howler calls into sinister forest cries. Especially haunting is one sound that I really would have sworn was a ‘bruja’ laughing slowly and eerily into a wooden whistle repeatedly throughout the night.
Science and Research, Sea Turtles / 13.11.2012

By Katie Mascovich [caption id="attachment_4646" align="alignleft" width="300"] The green sea turtle's wounds are healing naturally[/caption] No two night patrols on the Osa are the same, but they usually have the same rhythm. Every now and then, however, something unexpected happens that makes the whole night worthwhile. On November 3, I had one of these experiences. But to fully understand it, I have to tell you about the patrol I had on October 21. That night I was patrolling Pejeperro Beach with Emily, another Research Field Assistant. It was one of those long nights where we knew we would not be back to the station and in our beds until dawn.
Uncategorized / 06.11.2012

Machos y hembras; jóvenes y adultos; amistosos y precavidos; con colores tan variados como los atardeceres que estallan en la Península de Osa; y sobre todo, con un encanto y una simpatía que pocos podrían resistir. Así son los 27 perros que hasta hace pocos meses patrullaban las tibias arenas de playa Pejeperro, en el pacifico sur de Costa Rica. Por mas de 25 años, en un rancho compuesto de otros tantos ranchos, entre arboles de almendra y bulliciosas lapas, vive hasta el día de hoy un hombre que...

Science and Research / 26.10.2012

While the Osa Peninsula, rich with biodiversity and sheer beauty, is a wonderful place to kick back and relax, there are numerous opportunities for visitors to catch a glimpse of some of the world's most fascinating reptiles. Some of which, like the Terciopelo, can be especially hard (and dangerous) to spot. The Terciopelo is a beautiful dark grey, brown or olive green snake, with a dorsal pattern of triangular designs on both sides of its body, resembling a letter 'X' visible from above. It’s a large snake that can grow up to 250 cm (over eight feet!) in length, although the average adult is between 140 and 180 cm (4.6 to 5.9 ft) long. The females are much longer than the males. It principally eats small mammals and birds. The species is viviparous, which means that the embryos grow inside of the mother and are born fully formed. Furthermore, the snake is very fruitful; it can give birth to up to 90 offspring. This high fertility explains in part why the Terciopelo is one of the most abundant snakes in Costa Rica.