An Anteater or Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana) tries to hide from us in between the trees. Anteaters have really bad eyesight, they instead use their nose to sense danger or food. We encountered this anteater on our way back from our daily morning patrol in Piro beach at Osa Conservation´s biological station.
Stong conservation communities are the foundations of successful conservation. During my stay at Osa Conservation, I had the incredible opportunity of working with and getting to know the communities of Rancho Quemado and Rio Tigre. These communities have focused development efforts into creating eco-tourism, wildlife monitoring and environmental education practices. All with the goal of living a sustainable life, in balance with nature. This picture was taken during an exchange of ideas between the two communities.
A Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) feeding on a Balsa tree flower seed. Macaws have made a strong conservation recovery thanks to conservation efforts of protection of their habitats and law efforts to prevent illegal trading, These monogamous colourful birds always fly in pairs and their lucky mate will stay with them for their entire life. Beautiful eh? Not as beautiful as their calls.
This photo was taken at Osa Conservation's biological station. Where a huge balsa tree sits in front of the lab always distracted me by attracting incredible wildlife.
The foundations of successful conservation rely on youth. After all, they will take on the mistakes that previous generations have made, and improve the sustainable groundworks we are creating. Rancho Quemado community in the Osa Peninsula, have started well in creating these groundworks. Youth are motivated, active learners, protecting their forest home. That is what conservation is all about.
Small steps are needed to make bigger steps. If the younger generations continue taking these steps, they will be able to inspire greater change to their greater society in the future. Rancho Quemado community is setting an example and a high standard of how a sustainable community should look like. Their activities include reforestation, river restoration, wildlife monitoring of White-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari), in between others. They have managed to turn hunters into conservationists and preventing youth from doing so by creating a sustainable future for them.
Rivers are as important as the forest themselves. Rio Tigre river where these kids are having fun used to be heavily mined for gold. It runs from the heart of Corcovado National Park into the ocean. Thanks to heavy protection and strong conservations work from the Community of Rio Tigre, gold mining has decreased. and the river is recovering.
Conservation technology is increasingly being used to prevent illegal logging and hunting in real-time. At Osa Conservation, we installed several GSM cameras surrounding National Parks and the biological station. These cameras send a photo or video in real-time to a smartphone whenever somebody is detected passing by. In this way, it is possible to alert nearby ranger stations. The future of conservation is bright if we can effectively bring technology to process information more efficiently.
A spider monkey Ateles geoffroyi enjoys another flower seed from the Balsa tree in front of Piro biological station's lab. Balsa trees are rapid growing native trees that attract a great variety of pollinizers and seed dispersers. Osa Conservation's restoration efforts have focused on experimental Balsa tree plantations. This with the goal of increasing re-forestation rates through attracting a great variety of seed dispersers such as Spider Monkeys and Macaws.
A mighty Trachops Cirrhosus caught during the first-ever Mesoamerican Christmas bat count organized at Osa Conservation's Piro biological station. Bats are great pollinators, seed dispersers and pest controllers of different habitats. Therefore, they perform an important role within the ecosystem. I am very passionate about bats, their complex behaviour and their relationship with humans. My favourite nights are bating nights!
My journey through Costa Rica and conservation began here. Working close to the ocean where these ancient female Sea Turtles lay around a hundred eggs or so. Sea Turtle hatchling remember where they hatched through their first-ever steps down to the ocean, and only one in a thousand hatchlings survive to adulthood. The survival rate is so low due to Anthropogenic activities such as plastics pollution, unsustainable development of beaches, overfishing, poaching of eggs and turtle shells, etc. Teaching these facts to visitors was often heartbroken to them, and it always gave me goosebumps. However, I always found the resilience of these incredible species so inspiring. They inspire me to come back.