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Osa Conservación 

Beatriz Lopez Guitierrez

                    Beatriz Lopez Guitierrez beatrizlopez@osaconservation.org

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Osa Conservation

Osa Conservation is an international non-profit organization, established in 2003, made up of dedicated Costa Rican and international biologists, educators, and conservation professionals who work to protect the globally significant biodiversity of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula through land stewardship, scientific research, and educational outreach.

Our conservation efforts are based on the Pacific side of the peninsula and our properties contain a mosaic of primary and secondary forest, pristine coastal and mangrove habitat, a range of soil types, freshwater streams and riparian areas, as well as a broad network of diverse land uses–active and abandoned cattle pastures, small-scale timber plantations and reforestation plots, subsistence farms, ecotourism lodges and private vacation home development. Together we manage more than 3000 hectares of land and have a dedicated team of 15 full-time staff members.

As well as independent projects and courses carried out by national and international Universities and researchers, Osa Conservation carries out its own conservation work with the help of students, volunteers, and visitors:

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Visiting our tree Hatchery in Fica Osa Verde

-HABITAT: The survival of Osa’s abundant species and the functioning of its ecosystems is critically dependent upon protecting and restoring its habitat. Our program protects and restores this vital habitat through the creation of private protected areas, replanting deforested areas with native tree species, establishing biological corridors to maintain habitat connectivity, and the support and management of national public protected areas. In the last few years, we have planted more than 160,000 trees of 52 different species, and we have plans to reforest and restore 300 hectares of forest at Finca Osa Verde.

Volunteers helping with reforestation efforts

Volunteers helping with reforestation efforts

Learning about birds with the local school

Learning about birds with the local school

-COMMUNITY: Our goal is to successfully engage society in ecological sustainability to ensure the survival of Osa’s ecosystems and the economic success of its residents. We accomplish this goal through providing environmental education to Osa residents and reaching out to local communities to strengthen environmental awareness and engage citizens in protecting their natural and economic resources.  Our environmental education program is dedicated to increasing society’s engagement with the natural world through science and exploration and to training a new generation of citizen stewards. We engage in community outreach through collaborations with schools, community groups, and government bodies through environmental events, activities and celebrations. We work with more than 20 schools around the Peninsula organizing workshops and teaching about conservation and its benefits for the local community.

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Osa Conservation at the Tortuga Festival in Carate

Volunteer carrying out duties from night patrol

Volunteer carrying out duties from night patrol

-WILDLIFE: We support and protect Osa’s vast array of wildlife through conservation, monitoring and scientific research. Our three main projects are:

Sea Turtles: Our sea turtle conservation program monitors the nesting activity, predation rates, and hatchling success of these incredible species. Our staff and volunteers gather important population and reproductive data, while helping deter and educate poachers who collect turtle eggs for consumption or sale. Osa Conservation has been collecting data and working in communities to support outreach and protection of sea turtles for over six years. Primary work has been located at the Piro Beach and Pejeperro beach, both of which are considered to be critical nesting sites on the Osa Peninsula. We manage a sea turtle hatchery. In 2015, we saved 260 nest from instable parts of the beach and we successfully liberated 20,000 baby turtles from our Hatchery.

Volunteers liberating hatchlings from our nursery

Volunteers liberating hatchlings from our nursery

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Hawksbill hatchling liberation. Pic credit Manuel Sanchez

Sea Turtle Hatchery

Sea Turtle Hatchery

 

 

 

 

 

Wildcats and their Prey: This long-term monitoring program aims to estimate relative abundance of wildcats and their prey, species temporal activity, and population density of spotted cats thought the use of two methods camera traps and systematic track searches.  To track these species we paired up with Costa Rica’s National University to create a Camera Trap Network for the Osa Peninsula, comprised of NGOs, hotels, eco-lodges, and local private landowners who contribute to the research and conservation of wild cats and their prey.

Ocelot pic captured by one of our camera trap in Piro area

Ocelot pic captured by one of our camera trap in Piro area

Collecting camera trap info

Collecting camera trap info

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Ocelot track

Ocelot track

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Puma selfie from camera trap

 

 

 

 

 


Freshwater Biodiversity: The watershed monitoring program started in 2014 with the aim of monitoring the rivers and streams of the Osa Peninsula and to create a higher level of public awareness and involvement in response to water quality and pollution.  With the help of our staff and volunteers from the local community we carry out monthly stream health tests such as water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and conductivity, alkalinity, and nitrate levels. We also measure the numbers of macro-invertebrates and their sensitivity to pollution.  Around the peninsula more than 30 rivers and streams are being monitored.

Monitoring river quality with local community members

Monitoring river quality with local community members

– SUSTAINABILITY:  Our Finca Osa Verde is the place where agriculture and animal husbandry are carried out in a sustainable and wildlife-friendly manner that allows us to both produce food and preserve biodiversity at the same time. The farm, which began operations in 2014, is not only a site for food production but is also a place of experimentation and demonstration where local farmers, ranchers and community members come to learn about rotational grazing, crops production, compost and many other best practices suited to the tropics. Volunteers, student groups and researchers are able to work on the farm and gain hands-on experience and in depth knowledge of best practices in agriculture in the tropics and also have the opportunity to participate in planting and harvesting crops, milking cows, making cheese and yogurt and many more fun activities.

Volunteer helping to plant coriander at Osa Verde

Volunteer helping to plant coriander at Osa Verde

Volunteer helping with the corn

Volunteer helping with the corn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Morning milking

Morning milking

Plaintain from Finca Osa Verde

Plaintain from Finca Osa Verde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please visit our website at www.osaconservation.org to learn more about our projects and how you can contribute to conserve the Osa Peninsula. Alternatively, you can contact us at the following email address volunteer@osaconservation.org or info@osaconservation.org. Te esperamos!

 

 

 

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