Friends of the Osa (FOO) is a nonprofit conservation organization founded to protect the Osa Peninsula's globally significant biodiversity which comprises a large amount of Costa Rica's wildlife. We actively conserve 4,200 acres of Costa Rican rainforest through direct land stewardship and operate the Osa Biodiversity Center, a Costa Rican biological station and conservation center with facilities to accommodate student groups, researchers, sea turtle volunteers, conservation professionals and other visitors to the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Our extensive trail network covers diverse ecosystems including primary and secondary rainforest, coastal habitats and numerous freshwater resources.
The Osa Peninsula is a popular destination for nature lovers, wildlife photographers, birding groups, tropical ecology and biology student groups, tropical researchers, and other visitors interested in Costa Rican conservation issues.
FOO was founded in 2003 and is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Our team consists of dedicated Costa Rican and international biologists conducting scientific research, environmental educators and land conservation managers. While we maintain small offices in Washington, DC and Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica, our center of operations is the Osa Biodiversity Center (OBC).
You Make a Difference
This is FOO's most well established volunteer program. Our goal is to guarantee the health and ecological success of the sea turtles nesting on the Osa Peninsula by integrating conservation, research and educational outreach.
Our volunteers come from all over the world in order to help save sea turtles. With the help of volunteers we have protected more than 16,000 sea turtle hatchlings over the last two nesting seasons and carried out a number of educational projects to raise local awareness about the importance of conservation on the Osa Peninsula. We rely on volunteers to provide the level of coverage that makes this project successful and it is our goal to provide an enriching personal experience for everyone who contributes their time to this project.
This program allows volunteers to participate in supervised research and provides the opportunity to get close to these truly magnificent creatures and other wildlife in their natural habitats while making a true difference to sea turtle conservation. Helping to save sea turtles is a great volunteer opportunity.
You can make a difference, visit our website to learn more.
To maintain a largely forested landscape surrounded by an intact coastal zone that protects Costa Rican wildlife on the Osa Peninsula and the Osa's unparalleled wealth of biodiversity while supporting sustainable human livelihoods.
To conserve the globally significant biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. We accomplish our mission through our three main program areas: Science, Land Stewardship, and Education.
Where we work?
Our efforts are concentrated in the area extending southeast from Corcovado National Park to Cabo Matapalo. This expanse of critical wildlife habitat is a complex mosaic of mostly privately-owned land and is commonly referred to as the Corcovado-Matapalo Biological Corridor. This land serves as a de facto extension of the boundaries of the national park. FOO's efforts are particularly concentrated in the Osa National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR), a private conservation initiative that spans over 6,000 acres of primary lowland forest within the biological corridor. We work closely with landowners and the Costa Rican government to provide oversight and land stewardship for the refuge. Ensuring the integrity of this land is crucial for conservation because this area provides the continuity of habitat for keystone Costa Rican wildlife species like the jaguar, tapir and white-lipped peccary as well as hundreds of other species that depend on this biologically diverse habitat to survive.
We are currently the only conservation organization with on-the-ground presence in the Corcovado-Matapalo Biological Corridor.
Why is the Osa Peninsula so important?
Located in southwestern Costa Rica, the Osa is hailed by many as Costa Rica's "last frontier" as it remains a largely untouched, remote wilderness. The Osa's high level of biological diversity coupled with its unique combination of 13 distinct tropical ecosystems have made it a high global conservation priority. With a total area of only 300,000 acres, the Osa is home to 50% of species found in Costa Rica, including many endemic species. When one considers the small size of the Osa, there are few places left on earth that rival its intense biological diversity. It is here one can find the largest intact mangrove ecosystem in Pacific Mesoamerica, the most significant remaining areas of lowland Pacific tropical rainforest, and one of only four tropical fjords on the planet, the Golfo Dulce. These ecosystems, and numerous others, provide habitat that is essential for the Osa's plentiful wildlife.
The Osa Peninsula is home to:
* 2-3% of Earth's flora found nowhere else
* 323 endemic species of plants and vertebrates
* Largest population of Scarlet Macaws in Central America
* 4,000+ vascular plants
* 10,000+ insects
* 700+ tree species
* 463 bird species
* 140 mammals including 25 species of dolphins and whales
* 4 sea turtle species
The support of individuals is vital to the conservation of Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula. Your generous contribution helps us monitor and protect the Osa's wildlife and ecosystems, funds applied scientific research, helps develop environmental education and outreach programs, and continues our effort to seek sustainable economic opportunities in the Osa.