By Bob Mason, Liz Lucas, and Kate Cleary
On our first day at the Cerro Osa Station, we met Max Villalobos, our Internship Coordinator. He led us on a hike through some of the beautiful trails between the Cerro Osa and Piro Biological stations. Along the way, Max taught us about the native wildlife, briefed us on Osa Conservation's mission to promote biodiversity and awareness, and explained how we would be able to lend a hand. Our contribution would be to survey the secondary forest and create a baseline of data for their reforestation efforts, which are now in their third year.
After a day of photographing several patches of forest to help document changes in the landscape, we began our surveying project with a staff member, Agustin Mendoza. Without Agustin’s expansive knowledge of the Peninsula’s flora and fauna, not to mention his prowess with a machete, our work would have been almost impossible to complete. Over the next three weeks, we marked 117 12x12-meter subplots and took notes on the planted species within them. Additionally, we documented the percent canopy cover of each subplot and the number of Pachote
trees, which are now remnants of the previous plantation here. With this data, Osa Conservation will be able to track their reforestation progress by pin-pointing the best locations for individual tree species.