Visitors Guide to Santa Rosa’s Historic Casona now online

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 4.15.30 PMJohan Martínez and Adriana Chavarría of the ACG’s ecotourism program have authored a visitors guide to the Historic Casona of Santa Rosa and have made it available at the ACG website.

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Capuchin Populations in Santa Rosa

Photo Fernando Campos

Photo Fernando Campos

ACG researcher Fernando Campos, of the University of Calgary, has published an important study of capuchin (Cebus cappucinus) populations in ACG dry forest. The authors looked at a 42-year run of population data and compared it to climate oscillations and changes in forest structure over the same period. Long-time ACG researchers Kathy Jack and Linda Fedigan were co-authors on the study.

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Marita Weather Station

A weather station has been installed at Maritza. Stream researcher Rafa Morales sends these images and writes:

Saludos a todos aqui les comparto estas imagenes de la nueva estacion que montamos en Maritza.

Gracias a Jara por toda su ayuda y su tiempo para terminar de programar la estacion.


Click here for the live station data

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Green Turtles on Isla San Jose

ACG sea-turtle researcher Luis Fonseca López writes:

Adjunto una imagen con los resultados obtenidos en Isla San José sobre el monitoreo de tortuga verde. Esta continua siendo la temporada con más alta anidación desde el 2012 en que empezamos el proyecto / I attach an image with the results obtained from the green turtle monitoring project on Isla San José. This continues to be the most nesting we have seen in a season since we began the project in 2012.

data and image by Luis Fonseca López

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Tropical Dry Forest Animation

From the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, great for teaching. Also available in Spanish

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Deadline for ACG open house registration

If you haven’t registered for the ACG open house please do so before March 6.

Click here to see more details and to register.

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Alvaro Ugalde

Don Alvaro Ugalde has passed away. All of us who work in Costa Rica’s national parks and conservation areas owe him a great debt, he was truly one of the giants of conservation in Central America and the Neotropics. He had a particularly important role as an early administrator of Santa Rosa National Park, establishing Santa Rosa in the face of internal and external threats, and was a key ally in establishing the ACG in the 1980s and 90s.

In his own words:

“The Ultimate goal is to maintain Central America as an ecological bridge . . . That of course is a very difficult dream, because it doesn’t depend on us, it depends on every little country in this region. But yes, on a national basis, that is the ultimate dream. How do we keep genes flowing north and south, and evolving? I know it’s farfetched. Not only that, but to try to save every single species in the country, which is also a far-fetched vision. But my feeling is that if you don’t go for the highest, then how will you decide where to go? So we have to go for big, big visions.”

from The Quetzal and the Macaw, by David Rains Wallace.

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ACG Research Open House 2015

We are pleased to invite you to the second ACG Scientific Open House. It will be held at the Horizontes Experimental Forest Research Station of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste on June 2nd and 3rd, 2015. The title of the open house will be “Communicating the value of the ACG.”

The objective of this open house is to share information among ACG researchers and between ACG researchers and ACG staff. We will be organizing both oral and poster sessions, and encourage submissions that describe past work but also emphasize opportunities for future collaboration.

If you or your students are interested in atttending, please get in touch through the link provided below. Please feel free to share the link with others. Our current plans include:
• A poster session for student projects
• Research talks, giving an overview of projects accessible to a general audience
• Talks by members of the program staff of the ACG describing their current initiatives and emphasizing areas of potential collaboration
• Discussion and brainstorming sessions geared towards identifying and describing areas of possible collaboration among groups

To register, please visit the link below. There will be no cost for attending the meeting, however participants will be responsible for food and lodging expenses. We will provide transportation between Santa Rosa and Horizontes and from Liberia to Horizontes on the days of the event.


Following the meeting on the 4th or June we will hold a meeting of the board of directors of InvestigadoresACG in which we will discuss elections and the organizational budget. This meeting will be open to anyone interested in the future of iACG as an institution or in taking on a leadership role with iACG going forward.
Thanks, please contact us with any questions, and we look forward to seeing you in the ACG!

Jennifer Powers, Jeff Klemens, Cathy Hulshof, y Sal Agosta
Downloadable invitation letter in pdf in english and spanish
flier eng
Cronograma tent. iACG 2015

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Nación article on ACG research

La Nación spotlighted research being conducted in Santa Rosa by the Tropi-Dry team. It includes a great diagram describing the remote sensing technology being used in this effort.

Canopy tower, Santa Rosa (image credit Arturo Sanchez)

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GMOs and Agricultural Viability

Interesting article in Science Magazine on the effect of deploying genetically modified oil palm varieties. On the one hand, the higher yields produced should allow for more production on less land, which would reduce pressure on tropical forests. On the other hand, it may make land which is currently marginal for oil palm production economically viable, increasing pressure on forests.

Did anyone anticipate this? Here’s Dan Janzen in Science Magazine, 1987:.

Tropical wildlands and most of the earth’s contemporary species still exist because humanity has not had organisms capable of converting all tropical land surfaces to profitable agriculture and animal husbandry. Within one to three decades, organisms modified through genetic engineering will be capable of making agriculture or animal husbandry, or both, profitable on virtually any tropical land surface. Agricultural inviability, the single greatest tropical conservation force, will be gone.

Both papers are worth reading in full. The palm oil paper contains a discussion of the global market dynamics for oil crops that complicates the picture even further.

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