Over the past 70 years, more than 80 percent of the original tropical forest in Coto Brus, Costa Rica has disappeared.

The landscape of Coto Brus, Costa Rica was once comprised of a rich tropical forest. Today, it is made up of mixed-use agricultural fields, some of which have been abandoned, while others are still in use for crops or cattle. These lands are interspersed with remaining forest reserves. These forests are teeming with wildlife—more than 2,000 plant species, 100 mammal species, and more than 400 species of birds occur in this region. But ongoing habitat fragmentation and destruction are putting these species at risk.

In recent years, scientists working in Coto Brus have noticed something unique. Local landowners have begun planting fruiting trees on their properties—although the specific reasons for this are not yet clear. Scientists hypothesize that these trees hold the secret to improving the resilience of forest ecosystems, and restore the continuity of Costa Rica’s tropical forests, which benefits both people and wildlife. As part of this study, you’ll work directly with researchers to study the ecological benefits of fruiting trees, and the motivations of the tree-planters themselves.

Join scientists in the mountains and foothills of southern Costa Rica to monitor monkeys, toucans, parrots, and other tropical birds, and reptiles. Explore the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica while helping to conserve the critical tropical forests of Coto Brus.

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Las Cruces, Coto Brus, Costa Rica



Includes all accommodation, meals, transfers, insurance and research activities


10 days

2020 Dates

  • 8 June
  • 2 July SOLD OUT
  • 7 August

Activity Level


Lead Scientist

Clare Aslan