News + Stories

Uncategorized / 26.02.2019

Blog por Hilary Brumberg, Coordinadora del Programa ‘Ríos Saludables’ Gracias a National Science Foundation (NSF), mejoraremos las instalaciones de investigación, la comunicación y el equipo en nuestra Estación Biológica Osa Verde, la cual se posicionará como un centro líder en investigación, educación y conservación tropical. Con nueva infraestructura, tendremos más capacidad para albergar investigadores interdisciplinarios, grupos académicos y para proveer capacitaciones en ciencia ciudadana. Así, contribuiremos al conocimiento sobre ecología tropical y a la alfabetización científica. [caption id="attachment_12217" align="aligncenter" width="640"] La ubicación del nuevo laboratorio en la Estación Osa Verde.[/caption] Estamos...

Environmental Education, Science and Research, Volunteers and Visitors / 21.08.2015

Bats. These nocturnal creatures tend to get a bad rap. Associated for centuries with mythical creatures of the night, and used as Halloween decorations to add eeriness to a haunted house, the real life mammal often gets overlooked. OC aims to change that by collaborating with experts and educating the public on the crucial role bats play in restoration. [gallery columns="1" size="full" ids="8019"] Recently, Osa Conservation was honored with a visit from 2 remarkable scientists in the bat world: Cullen Geiselman, bat biologist and board member of Bat Conservation International & Gloriana Chaverri,...

Science and Research, Volunteers and Visitors / 07.08.2015

Submitted by Steven Waldron; Seattle, WA Twenty years ago, I backpacked and hiked along the wild beaches and coastal rainforests of the Osa peninsula and became acquainted with some of the fantastic wildlife that the region is well-known for. Near the Sirena station at Corcovado National Park, I became intimate with the loud squawks of Scarlet Macaws sailing overhead, the crash of surprised tapirs bolting through the forest, and the pre-dawn chorus of Howler monkeys. One of the sensory aspects I appreciate most about exploring this region is the...

Environmental Education, Science and Research, Volunteers and Visitors / 14.07.2015

The Magnificent Gleaning Phyllostomines of the Osa Submitted by : Doris Audet and Elène Haave Audet, University of Alberta, Canada Among the rich bat fauna to call Osa Conservation home, a select group speaks to the pristine nature of its old-growth forest: the gleaning phyllostomines.  These large-eared members of the highly diverse leaf-nosed bat family favour habitats of high ecological integrity that include mature forests and undisturbed riparian corridors. [caption id="attachment_8035" align="alignleft" width="300"] They kindly allowed us to take their photos before going on with their lives.[/caption] Phyllostomines are typically found in low abundance...

Marine Conservation, Science and Research / 12.10.2012

[caption id="attachment_4566" align="alignleft" width="300"] Mogos Islands mark the highest waters of Golfo Dulce.[/caption] By Brooke Bessesen While Jorge and I both loved working on the water, the results of our research brought the greatest rewards. Golfo Dulce is a true bio-gem—one of Costa Rica’s preeminent riches. Several hundred Green sea turtles, critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtles, Olive Ridley sea turtles and (reportedly) Pacific Leatherback sea turtles, rest, feed, mate and nest in the gulf. A rare xanthic colony of pelagic sea snakes resides around the inner basin. Both Northern and Southern Hemisphere Humpback whales enter the inlet to give birth and possibly provide sanctuary for young calves. Whale sharks aggregate in Golfo Dulce. Resident dolphins and other toothed cetaceans breed and raise offspring. Scalloped hammerhead sharks are born there and needlefish spawn. What a remarkably vibrant bionetwork!
Marine Conservation, Science and Research / 30.08.2012

By Brooke Bessesen [caption id="attachment_4304" align="alignleft" width="300"] The name "Brown pelican" belies the attractive hues of a mature bird.[/caption] I’m sure it comes as no surprise that during our 400+ hours of observation in Golfo Dulce, Jorge and I witnessed an astonishing array of marine life. Indeed, we were astounded by the intense biodiversity revealed to us during our research. In addition to the animals I’ve already blogged about in this series, many more are worth mentioning. Some were officially documented, others were not, but all helped define our emerging portrait of Golfo Dulce. Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) are commonly seen in Golfo Dulce and we located a year-round communal roosting area along the banks of Piedras Blancas National Park in the upper half of Golfo Dulce. We saw many other marine birds, too, including Brown boobies, magnificent frigates, osprey, several species of gulls, terns, swallows, herons, ibis and dozens more wading and estuary birds.
Sea Turtles / 22.08.2012

By Jamie Cone [caption id="attachment_4122" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo: Claudio Giovenzana"][/caption] An anticipatory rumble of thunder sounds far away, off shore. It has an almost calming sound as we make our way through the dark squishy forest path, the sky patterned with silhouettes of tree leaves. The jungle is alive with night sounds, from the echoing song of the nightjar to the almost space-invader beep of frogs on Las Rocas trail. A silky white two-toed sloth is spotted, high up in a tree, taking the night off. I envy its slow slumber for just a moment before I remember that this trail is taking me down to the beach, down to witness a spectacular and sacred event, one that only a few people in the world have the chance to be a part of. Tonight, I am walking a stretch of beach along which nesting mother sea turtles will, with great care and diligence, lay their precious eggs in the sand.
Marine Conservation, Science and Research / 06.04.2012

[caption id="attachment_2471" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Side by side, you can begin to see the characteristics that visibly differentiate the three sea turtle species we documented inside Golfo Dulce."][/caption] When we began our research, nobody expected us to find very many sea turtles inside Golfo Dulce — most sea turtle activity was thought to occur on the Pacific side of the Osa Peninsula. It turned out that chelonids were the most frequently seen family of animals, accounting for 38 percent of our total sightings. Discovering such significant numbers of sea turtles was one of our most important findings. Sadly, fishermen with many years of experience in Golfo Dulce say the sea turtles there have declined at least 30 percent in recent years. Jorge and I documented three species: Pacific Black sea turtles, still commonly referred to as “Greens” (Chelonia mydas agassizii), Olive Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). Locals also reported seeing near-extinct Pacific Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) inside Golfo Dulce. That’s four endangered species of sea turtles utilizing the embayment. Amazing! Our biseasonal data show Golfo Dulce to be a year-round feeding and breeding area for endangered Green sea turtles. We logged over a hundred sightings of them between both surveys. This species, by far the most common, was usually observed in the upper regions of the gulf resting at the sea surface. But we also documented Green sea turtles mating in all four quadrants of the inlet, so their use of the fiord waters appears widespread.
Marine Conservation, Science and Research / 23.03.2012

[caption id="attachment_2461" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Dolphin B43 shown alongside a rendered outline of its dorsal fin. We saw this individual five times."][/caption] An unexpected but delightful result of our survey work in Golfo Dulce was the identification of about 80 individual Bottlenose dolphins (Turciops truncatus), some of which can be seen in the Appendix of my 2010 report. How does one go about identifying dolphins? Well, pioneering biologists studying various species discovered ingenious ways to distinguish individuals. Jaguars have unique spots. Gorillas have unique nose prints. Dolphins have unique dorsal fins. By examining the shape, natural markings, scars and trailing edge, a dorsal may appear as distinct as a fingerprint. Of course dolphins don’t sit quietly at the surface while you study the intricacies of their dorsal patterns, so ID work is best done through photos. Luckily, we managed to get photographs for almost 90 percent of our dolphin sightings.
Community Outreach, Environmental Education / 03.02.2012

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="291" caption="The 2012 Osa Science Symposium was attended by 14 presenters and many members of the environmental community"][/caption] Osa Conservation recently hosted a science symposium at the Piro Research Center. The event brought together scientists and conservationists to share information and results from various research conducted throughout the Osa Peninsula.  The symposium was organized in partnership with representatives from ACOSA (Osa Conservation Area) and was attended by 14 presenters and many members of the environmental community. The day began with welcoming remarks from Osa Conservation’s executive director,...