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The Gap Year Blog

Project Blogs - Costa Rica


Matthew, our Principal Investigator in Frontier Costa Rica, shares some of his favourite wildlife moments.

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It’s hardly surprising that so many animals can be found here, when the country has an amazing range of different eco-systems, ranging from beaches, volcanoes and forests, to waterfalls, caves, and river canyons. Here are just a few of the creatures you might encounter when visiting Costa Rica:

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There have been two bird of prey species I have longed to see since arriving in the Osa Peninsula almost 6 months ago.

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It is almost assured you will be shown amazing jungle life when you least expect it. Whether this is a cool snake you can add to the snake tally, or your 150th species of bird, the more time you spend with open eyes and a positive outlook, the more of the jungle you will see.

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I have been living here in Camp Osita for 3 months now, running surveys, setting up my absolutely boppin’ project (Birds of Prey (BoP for short)), making new friends, having new experiences and generally enjoying life here in the Osa. Living out here has been something of a dream come true for me. But despite all the amazing wildlife something was still missing...

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From the moment I arrived in Costa Rica, I knew that I was going to have a good time...

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There are things about the jungle that are common sense, but only once you have been out here for a bit. For example, waking up to the haunting cry of howler monkeys is not something anyone warned me about and was certainly a shock on the first morning – at 4 am.

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Approaching a year on Camp Ostia gives me the opportunity to reflect on what has been one of the most interesting years of my life. I started my time in Costa Rica with an open mind ready to push the project on and ensure that the camp provides an enjoyable and engaging project for all our volunteers and strive to push the scientific output of frontier to a new level for our staff and my personal ambitions.

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It’s 4am and my alarm is blaring, it’s time to wake up. Dragging myself out of bed to find my good friend the kettle, dodging the cane toads in the dark, to make myself a big strong cup of coffee to fuel myself in this predawn hour.

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The Potoos - mysterious and enigmatic birds belonging to the neotropical family Nyctibiidae are strictly nocturnal. Their general appearance strongly resembles the well- known European Nightjar, however unlike nightjars they roost in a stiff, upright position.

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