Toucans, Parrots, and Other Wildlife in Costa Rica's Forests
Over the past 70 years, more than 80 percent of the original tropical forest in Coto Brus, Costa Rica has disappeared. Help scientists explore new, sustainable methods to conserve these ecosystems.
The landscape of Coto Brus, Costa Rica was once dominated by a rich tropical forest. Today, much of these forests have disappeared, cleared to make way for agriculture or livestock. This means that for the forests to regenerate, “seed dispersers,” like toucans, parrots, and monkeys, need to travel long distances between fragmented patches of forest. However, hunting and habitat loss have impacted these seed dispersers, threatening forest recovery and biodiversity in Costa Rica.
In Coto Brus, some rural farmers and other landowners plant fruiting trees on their properties, which they intersperse among homes and agricultural fields across the landscape. Scientists hypothesize that these trees hold the secret to improving the resilience of forest ecosystems and could restore the continuity of Costa Rica’s tropical forests, which would have major benefits for both people and wildlife. By demonstrating the ecological benefits of these fruiting trees, scientists could help to inform policies that support local communities, enabling landowners to continue or possibly scale up their tree-planting practices.
Join scientists in the mountains and foothills of southern Costa Rica to monitor monkeys, toucans, parrots, other tropical birds, and reptiles. You’ll help to conserve the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica, including the 2,000 plant species, 100 mammal species, and more than 400 species of birds that occur in this region.
A Typical Itinerary
- DAY 1 Arrival, introductions, travel to field station
- DAY 2-5 Observe animals in fruiting trees, monitor wildlife
- DAY 6-9 Survey for fruiting tree, collect seeds from seed traps in forest
- DAY 10 Departure
HOW WILL YOU HELP
Survey fruiting trees
At the edges of forests and farm fields, you'll survey the presence and distribution of fruiting trees.
Observe wildlife in fruiting trees
Identify and record animal species—including tropical birds, monkeys, and reptiles—that are eating the fruits and seeds in the planted trees, as well as their behaviors.
Collect seeds and plant in greenhouse
Gather seeds that have fallen into seed traps so they can be sorted by species; plant seeds that are deemed intact in germination flats and help to maintain them.
Field conditions and research needs can lead to changes in the itinerary and activities. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.
3 Reviews on this Expedition
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