Community Outreach, Environmental Education, Science and Research, Volunteers and Visitors

Environmental Festivals in the Osa

World Environment Day, 2nd Anniversary of the Luis Jorge Poveda Álvarez Arboretum and inauguration of the Centenary Forest.

In early June, we had three important celebrations: World Environment Day, the 2nd anniversary of the Jorge Poveda Álvarez Arboretum and the inauguration of the Centenary Forest.

World Environment Day was celebrated in early June, and had participation from diverse groups of people. We had students from various educational centers participate as well as people from organizations and businesses with various fields of focus, like mangroves in the case of Fundación Neotrópica, sea turtles in the case of LAST (Latin American Sea Turtles) and sustainable forest plantations in the case of LACT. The support and participation of local farmers and artisans with the exhibition and sale of their products topped off a great turnout.

Furthermore, this y11011808_442506935917583_1591210675148998070_near we celebrated two important events in forest culture. First, the second anniversary of the Luis Jorge Poveda Álvarez Arboretum was on June 14. This museum of trees on the Osa Peninsula includes emblematic and threatened species like the ajo negro (Anthodiscus chocoensis), the camíbar (Copaifera aromatica), the nazareno or purpleheart (Peltogyne purpurea Pittier), the cristóbal (Platymiscium pinnatum) and the breadnut or Maya nut (Brosimum alicastrum).

Lastly, on June 15 was the inauguration of the Centenary Forest. This day pays homage to the 100 years of the institutionalization of National Tree Day by President Alfredo González Flores, and also to honor the people and institutions that have worked toward the conservation of the forests like Don Álvaro Ugalde, Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwach. This has been and initiative of the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve, as a strategy to promote forest culture in the communities of the Osa and to promote an appreciation for the forests and their ecosystem services.

Celebrations like these are crucial to community outreach, especially to the younger generations. By celebrating how far we’ve come and our accomplishments in conservation, we get people excited about nature and inspire more action to protect it in the future!

Environmental Education, Science and Research, Uncategorized, Volunteers and Visitors

A Visit from La Paz Community School

Written by: David Parreno Duque

Translated by: Florencia Franzini

Students receive a "creek talk" about the local Osa Ecosystem.

Students receive a “creek talk” about the local Osa Ecosystem.

From June 12 to June 17 we had the pleasure of being able to work with a group of students from the La Paz Community School of Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

The main on-going project that the alumni focused on was comparing water quality assessments of the Piro River and the Coyunda River – students examined and related the chemical composition of these two rivers, while also examining the different macroinvertebrates between the two rivers as an indicator of water quality.

After the general water quality assessment comparisons, alumni formed independent groups in order to carry out different projects: biodiversity analysis of a still-water ecosystem (local lagoon), studies of flora biodiversity on local trails, and also in-depth water quality analysis spanning several different parameters at different points of the local rivers.


Students work in groups with Kick-Nets in order to collect macroinvertebrates that can later be used as water quality assessors.

Students work in groups with Kick-Nets in order to collect macroinvertebrates that can later be used as water quality assessors.

During their short but intense stay the La Paz students truly demonstrated their passion for the Osa wildlife and a great capacity to work amongst each other in groups – something that can result for many as a challenge. Clearly these students are a example that should be followed, and we hope that they will visit us again soon!



Gulfo Dulce Talks

Written by: Pilar Bernal

Translated & Edited by: Florencia Franzini

On April 23rd I was invited to participate in the 10th annual Biodiversity Symposium of the Osa Peninsula, sponsored by the Conservation Area of Osa (ACOSA), in order to promote the exchange of ideas and give rise to awareness of the newly marked biodiversity zones, to a sensitive and environmentally active public. The previous years talks in the symposium had included mainly land issue topics focusing on trees, primates, bats, and aves, but this year we kick-started the conversations with a focus on marine sciences.

A photo overlooking the Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.

A photo overlooking the Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.

This talk had one of the highest turnouts of participants, all of whom demonstrated their interest in learning and understanding how the complex Golfo Dulce ecosystem functions. One of my objectives during the talks was to make sure that the public understood the unique characteristics that result in the Gulf being classified as a Tropical Fjord. These included things like: topography that results in the reduced exchange of ocean water in the gulf, heavy upper surface area current circulation, anoxic waters conditions at 215 meters, and pronounced gradients of temperature, salinity and oxygen concentrations within the 50-60 meter range.


Photo of a marine ecology talk as presented at the 10th annual Biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula Symposium

Some of the most important ecosystems within the Golfo Dulce include mangroves and coral reefs; they were both described in detail according to their composition and distribution within the Gulf. Some species that received an important emphasis in regards to their conservation aspects included the Pavona frondifera, a species of coral that presently has large sized colony scattered throughout the Oriental Pacific, particularly in a patch of territory on Sandalo.

Another species that was described according to it’s vulnerability status and touristic importance was the Northern and Southern Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), that visit the Golfo Dulce twice a year due to the fact that they breed, nurse, and mate here. There is also a distinct importance in genetic exchange because the Northern and Southern Humpback whales both have coinciding migrations to the Golfo Dulce to breed between October and December, if not they rarely encounter one another in the wild due to their hemispheric migratory patterns.

The public was also incredibly interesting in talking about the marine snake Pelamis platura, more commonly referred to as the yellow-bellied snake. This snake is unique in that it has made it’s way to other warm parts of the world, but cannot be found anywhere else in Central or South America besides the Golfo Dulce and Panama. They can also survive entirely in ocean waters, living, mating, and birthing in open waters.

These talks were a good start in motivating the local Oseno peoples, for them to learn more about wildlife of the Osa they call home, and to help instill a sense a pride and privilege for the land they call home.

Community Outreach, Environmental Education, Sea Turtles

Food, Fun and Facepaint: 2012 Sea Turtle Festival A Success

It was a beautiful sunny day in Carate, where the fourth annual Osa Peninsula Sea Turtle Festival took place last Sunday, September 23.

The Sea Turtle Festival aims to raise community awareness about the importance of joint efforts in the conservation of sea turtle species that frequent Osa beaches in the nesting months, and to share the objectives and results of Osa Conservation’s Sea Turtle Volunteer program with the community.

People from Carate, and other surrounding areas such as Piro, Rio Oro and Puerto Jimenez made their way out to the festival around 10 am, where they found music, food, drinks, face paint, and educational posters about Sea Turtle activity and Osa Conservation’s work in Piro, Pejeperro and other beaches on the peninsula.

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Birds, Environmental Education

Conserving the Scarlet Macaw

As part of conservation efforts for the Scarlet Macaw, artificial nests have been installed in two colleges and five schools. In each school, trees with easy visibility were chosen for students based on  characteristics of diameter and height for the installation of the nests.

Students of these schools attended a workshop on ecology, life cycles and the importance of conservation of the species Ara macao. Students from the 5th, 6th, and 9th grades are in charge of monitoring macaw activities and noting events such as flights and perching near the nests and when a macaw investigates the inside of a nest. They also monitor the activity of other species near the nest.

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