In view of the conditions of many natural areas in our world today it is obvious that an active approach to in situ conservation is needed. Most natural areas have been greatly influenced directly or indirectly by humans for tens, hundreds, or even thousands of years. Much of this historical human influence has resulted in damaging many of our more sensitive habitats.
The C.R.A.R.C. owns and operates two biological reserves, the Guayacán Rainforest Reserve, and the Río Vereh Cloud Forest Reserve. Within both of the reserves the C.R.A.R.C. is actively conducting in situ conservation projects to increase the diversity and abundance of the flora and fauna native to both regions.
The C.R.A.R.C. reserves have a large percentage of their area covered in old-growth forest, but upon a closer look in some apparently pristine areas one can find evidence of invasive species, and human disturbance in certain areas. We have dedicated much time and resources trying to restore certain parts of the reserve, and in doing so increase the vigor of the flora and fauna. Our in situ conservation efforts include activities such as planting native plants and trees to increase not only species diversity, but also genetic diversity; increasing the abundance of certain tree and herbaceous plant species that are an important natural food source for animals in the area; rehabilitating key terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that have been damaged by human activity prior to being a biological reserve; creating terrestrial and aquatic habitats that have become rare or were naturally rare due to specifics; enhancing key ecosystems to allow for maximum productivity; eliminating non-native invasive species; and reforesting severely damaged areas such as pasture or other historically mono-specific agricultural zones.
In situ Amphibian Conservation: At the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center a large focus of our in situ work revolves around designing and putting into practice several pioneering methods of amphibian conservation. Our amphibian in situ conservation projects are focused on species that exists within our reserves, or were historically present in the regions. The in situ amphibian projects range from creating artificial breeding sites in favorable habitats specific to the target taxa, rehabilitating natural breeding sites that were damaged by prior human activity, or simply enhancing breeding sites in “healthy” habitats to increase breeding potential.
Examples of two in situ conservation projects in the C.R.A.R.C. Guayacán Rainforest Reserve:
Our efforts are made possible thanks to the funds that are generated by our visitors and private donations. Please consider helping support our efforts by coming to visit us on your next trip to Costa Rica or by making a donation.