Hacienda Barú and vicinity
Hacienda Barú Wildlife Refuge is located in the South Pacific of Costa Rica, near Dominical. It is part of Paso de la Danta (Tapir path) biological corredor, created in 2000 with a territorial extension of 82 128,17 hectares. This important rainforest extension is favoring altitudinal and longitudinal ecological processes among the Central and South Pacific. The South part of this sanctuary is bordered by Barú River, it has 330 hectares of protected areas, including three kilometers of beach and one kilometer along the river. The reserve contains assortment-attractive topography that reaches up to 300 meters above sea level and hosts several ecosystems, including primary and secondary tropical rainforest, wetlands, mangroves and coast.
This Biological Center starts operating in 2012. Improve conservation and restoration of the ecosystems of the Hacienda Barú and vacinity is one of the main objectives, same as spreading scientific knowledge about wildlife and the social environment in surrounding communities. Some facilities are provided for researchers and students, including lodging and lab access.
Wildlife Crossing Structures: Numerous sewers, more than 15 square tunnels and 3 air bridges were install along part of the Panamerican highway that crosses the reserve. Some of the wildlife reported using the crossing structures are Racoons, Pecaries, Monkeys, Tinamou birds, Pumas and Ocelots.
Camera Trap: Camera traps have been set up in different locations through the reserve to monitor wildlife, terrestrial mammals especially. White-collared Pecaries, Pumas and Ocelots natural history have been documented thanks to this successful research method.
Sea Turtles Conservation Project: This important project consists in the conservation of the Green Sea turtle. Green Sea Turtles visit Barú reserve to lay their eggs, those are protected from predators and poaching by members of the project. Rangers, locals of all ages, specially school kids from different communities are involve into this important action.
Environmental Education: the main purpose of the biological center is to share with the communities about the importance of conservation through environmental education activities. Volunteering, guided walks in the reserve, visits to schools are important tools to involve more people in the protection and proper management of natural resources.