Los Guardianes Wildlife Refuge is a private sanctuary of more than 548 hectares of rare coastal rainforest between the indigenous reserve of Kekoeldi and the absolute biological Refuge Gandocca Manzanillo on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It is known to scientists that this extraordinarily biodiverse and unique habitat is threatened by illegal activities like poaching, pet trade, logging and squatting. Our wildlife sanctuary is home to hundreds of amazing birds, monkeys, frogs, snakes and wild cats like the ocelot, also known as the dwarf leopard. Lately, we also spotted a puma with our installed camera traps.
Therefore in the Los Guardianes case, eleven landowners joined forces to work with scientists and volunteers to patrol an overall area of 548 hectares and monitor this private refuge and potentially be an example of how to protect similar private reserves in other places too. The Refuge incorporates several neighbouring pieces of land, including the La Ceiba Reserve, the Finca Currè (Tropica Verde e.V.), Finca Gabriel, Finca NINFA S.A. and Planet One World.
With the help of the German organisation Tropica Verde e.V, we have already built four permanent and one mobile ranger camps to be able to be present in the refuge day and night, and we even started to monitor the entire area, not only through patrols but also with camera traps. We now also count with one ordinary lawyer that represents all participants in case of legal actions against illegal activities in our area. Please see the volunteering page to learn how you could get involved in supporting our Los Guardianes Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers who want to protect the rainforest as a part of the overall tasks are warmly welcome!
As part of the ranger team which is constantly patrolling the area, you are responsible for the safety of Los Guardianes Wildlife Refuge biodiversity. To be a full member, you complete a ranger training which includes navigation and survival in the coastal tropical rainforest as well as the treatment of wild animals and the situational behaviour in a clash with them. You get to know all the different animals and plants which are living in this habitat. Did you yet saw scorpion babies nesting in a tree, a spider which throws an extra web after the passing victims or the natural antibiotic plant? Well then let's go!!!
Our partner RARG (Rainforest Animals Rescue Group) are scientists who know a lot of species in our Refuge. Let yourself be taken on a journey into the coastal tropical rainforest of the Caribbean side of Costa Rican. In a two to three hour tour, you will spot a lot of different animals you even never knew they exist. RARG will explain their behaviour and living in the rainforest more in detail. The main advantage of this night tour is that most of all species are night active which is why you get to see a lot more than by daylight.
We work closely together with the near by Jaguar Rescue Centre reintroducing recovering wild animals back to their natural habitat. This can be a really difficult process! Depending on the species you have to use different tequnices and some animals may come back so that you have to replay the process. As one tasks visitors, volunteers or group travel members are responsible for the welfare of the recovering wild animals on the farm (as far as the particular animal allows that).
Pataxte (Bicolor) is a rare superfood, threatened with extinction in Costa Rica. It can be only found in a few farms in the indigenous reservations and was used by the Mayan Indians for probiotic nutritional value and medicinal effect. The kernels can be eaten so tasted or fermented, tasted and ground to a kind of chocolate processed. Pataxte is so close to cacáo and yet so far away from chocolate. The flavor tastes of a cross between cocoa butter & the mildest Porcelana imaginable. It was used by the Mayans as a currency and also to pay taxes. It is important for the food security of the population because it is more resistant to monoculture diseases like cocoa.
Biodiversity is vital in the maintenance of a healthy ecosystem. The ICUN Red List has assessed more than 70000 species so far and the ruesults are disturbing. Many species facing a high risk of extinction. 41 % of amphibians, 24% of mammals, 13% of birds, 33% of warm waterreef-building corals, 63% of cycades and 34%of conifers are threatend of extinction. The biological annihilation of the last past decades leads searchers to the assumption that the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is underway.
Lately, scientists in Germany researched that the annual average weight of insects found in the traps, which were used for measuring, fell by 76% over the 27-year period of their research. Our programs focus on the preservation of endangered plant and animal species and provide education to the local people so that they can implement successful long-term approaches to conservation. Besides ranger patrols we are also reintroducing recovering wild animals back into their habitat as well as we plant endangered native plants.