Wildlife Conservation and Sustainability

Wildlife Conservation and Sustainability

Dates: August 2-17, 2017

Program fee: $2500

Application deadline: June 1, 2017

Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Sponsoring Organization: DANTA: Association for Conservation of the Tropics in collaboration with Osa Conservation and Planet Conservation

Course Description

The proximate and ultimate causes of declines of rain forest habitats and biodiversity will be examined through a combination of direct observations in the field, lectures, and critical reviews of the literature. Topics will include the role of hunting, logging, agriculture, disease, predation, expanding human populations and their consumption of natural resources as they affect forest and biodiversity conservation. Emphasis will be on sustainable solutions and  how today’s human societies can endure in the face of climate change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations.


The majority of the course will be conducted at Osa Conservation‘s Piro Research Station in Costa Rica’s spectacular Osa Peninsula. As one of the largest tracts of rain forest north of the Amazon (roughly 400,000 acres in the Osa Conservation Area), it is renowned for high species diversity. It is one of only a few sites in Costa Rica that contain 4 species of primate (mantled howler monkey, black-handed spider monkey, white-faced capuchin and the Central American squirrel monkey). Four species of sea turtle also nest along its beaches. Students gain hands-on experience through participation in Osa Conservation’s sustainable agriculture, wildlife monitoring and reforestation programs. Problems of various land-use activities will be evaluated with side trips to an oil palm plantation, a coffee plantation, and small-scale agricultural plots.


During the course participants will visit a wildlife rehabilitation center, sustainable chocolate plantation,and take a boat tour of the Golfo Dulce for dolphin viewing and snorkeling. We overnight on the Boruca Indigenous Reserve where we will learn about the community and their traditional lifeways, and help with needed projects. All within country travel is in cooperation with Planet Conservation, our sustainable travel partner. Every effort is made to implement eco-friendly and socially responsible practices into our day-to-day operations, field courses and overall mission.

Enrollment is limited to 15 students. The course is open to both credit and non-credit seeking students. University credit can be arranged through your home institution.

For more information about the field course, please visit our website and/or email us at conservation@danta.info.


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