The Wildlife of the Osa Peninsula in Southern Costa Rica

If you are looking for the real Costa Rica experience of wild nature and lush rain forests.   Take a look to the South.

The Osa Peninsula, in the south pacific coast of Costa Rica, is worldly famous for its astonishing biodiversity. Aside from being the last remaining tract of primary rainforest on the pacific coast in all Mesoamerica, the variety of species found at this place is off the charts: estimated in as much as 2,5% of the total species in the world. Part of its uniqueness is also reflected by the unusually high rate of endemism, that is, many species naturally occur here and nowhere else in the world!

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Motion Camera Picture of a Strong healthy Puma on the Lapa Rios Ridge Trail on the Osa Peninsula

Among the myriad of animals that inhabit this biological gem are five of the six species of wildcats that can be found in Costa Rica. The jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarondi, and margay, all dwell in these lush jungles. Though they may have thrived in the past throughout all the country and beyond, nowadays their populations have become scarce due to hunting and loss of habitat.

Corcovado National Park is a major haven for big species like the wildcats. But it”™s not enough. Efforts are being made in creating biological corridors that connect the several different protected areas in the region. At Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, a nature reserve of a thousand acres is a part of this network of protected corridors. This will allow animals to move from one to another, increasing their hunting areas and health of their genetic pools. But in order to create these corridors and decide at which points the protection of the land is of crucial importance, first, the numbers of their populations and transit routes already in use need to be determined.

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White-lipped peccaries are bigger and harder to see on the Osa Peninsula than the other species of collared peccaries.

It is for this purpose that Lapa Rios Eco Lodge takes part in a program of monitoring the animal activity with motion-activated cameras. This is a joint effort that involves the participation of The University of Alabama, local NGO Osa Conservation, and the Smithsonian Institute.

The exciting news is that as soon as one week after installing the cameras we got some very promising results, images were captured of a puma (Puma concolor), as well as a pack of its staple diet item, the white lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari).

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The Tayra is seen at and around the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge especially at night.

Based on the data obtained from this non-invasive method we can properly prioritize where and how to focus the conservation efforts. Also, it allows the privilege of obtaining improbable photos of elusive animals in the wild, such as the tayra (Eira barbara).

The  Cayuga Collection  of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Eco Lodges operates several resorts and lodges between Manuel Antonio and the Osa Peninsula.  They serve as the perfect base to explore this very special part of Costa Rica.

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Hammock on private deck at Lapa Rios Ecolodge on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica

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