A bird watcher’s dream! Few places boast so many different birds in such a small area — 820 species (more than all of the United States and Canada combined) have been reported in Costa Rica, including 75 different families, like 51 species of hummingbirds, 48 warblers, and 45 tanagers.
Protected by a world-renowned national park system, and well-studied by scientists from around the world, the land bridge of Costa Rica is where the fauna of two continents meet and mingle, making its wildlife exceptional and exciting.
Southern Costa Rica Nature & Birding TourApril 21 - May 1, 2017
Costa Rica Birding & NatureJanuary 13 - 20, 2018
Southern Costa Rica Nature & Birding TourJanuary 25 - February 4, 2018
Southern Costa Rica Nature & Birding TourMarch 10 - 20, 2018
Over a quarter of the land mass in Costa Rica is protected as national parks, refuges, sanctuaries, and reserves. Five percent of the world’s biodiversity can be found in this small country! Few countries have put so many resources into environmental protection. The Costa Rican Embassy's website provides a summary.
However, forest protection remains a critically important conservation goal. One of many non-profit organizations that operate in Costa Rica, the local group Apreflofas offers a short video about a woodcutter who learns the value of forests.
In 2015, Costa Rica produced 99% of its electricity from renewable resources. Wow!
La Selva Biological Station
La Selva Biological Station is run by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), a consortium of nearly sixty universities, colleges, and research institutions from around the world. Long-term research projects on site range widely — a sampling examines the effects of climate on tropical rain forest productivity and dynamics, roosting ecology of neotropical bats, and cooperation in Ocellated Antbirds.
Guayabo National Monument
Guayabo National Monument is home to the largest archeological site in Costa Rica. Pre-Columbian in age, ancient trails, bridges, watertanks, home sites, and petroglyphs are found throughout the site. In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers declared the Guayabo Ceremonial Center an International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center
The Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center works to educate future environmental leaders, support local communities’ organizational capacity and sustainable land use, and to connect tourists to the indigenous community.
The Organization for Tropical Studies
The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) operates both Las Cruces Biological Station and the Wilson Botanical Garden, the most famous botanical garden in Central America and with the second-largest collection of palms in the world.
The biologically rich Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce are under increasing pressure for development. Osa Conservation, a nonprofit organization, works to balance appropriate small scale development with sound environmental practices in the areas around the protected national parks of Corcovado and Piedras Blancas.
The Ara Project
Wild bird trade, hunting, and habitat loss have reduced the populations of Costa Rica’s two native macaws: the Scarlet Macaw and the Great Green Macaw. The Ara Project works to restore both species to their former ranges throughout Costa Rica.