The Wild live Refuge of Curu is the best place in the Nicoya Peninsula to see many different species of animals such as; howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), white face monkeys (Cebus capucinus), and spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi).
THE CURU TOUR
Wild Life Refuge of Curu
Departure: 7:00 am – Back: 1:00 pm
Price: $75 per person
Minimum: 2 pax
Transport from Mal Pais / Santa Teresa or Montezuma (Minivan a/c).
Beverages Naturalist Guide (Spanish, English or Deutsch).
* Private Round Trip Transportation.
* Wild Refuge entrance fee.
* Drinks – Fruits – Water.
* Bilingual Naturist Guide. (English – German – Spanish)
Tel: 011(506) 8849-8569 (Costa Rica)
Fax – Costa Rica: 011(506) 2642-0891
Fax – New York: (646) 417-5171
Fax – Los Angeles: (213) 402-3893
This tour is for nature lovers.
The Wild live Refuge of Curú is the best place in the Nicoya Peninsula to see many different species of animals such as; howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata), white face monkeys (Cebus capucinus), and spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Curu is the only place in the peninsula where is possible to see spiders monkeys), also there are raccoons (Procyon lotor), coatis (Nasua narica), white tail deers (Odocoileus virginianus), agoutis (Dasyprocta punctata), peccaris (Tayassu pecary), ant eaters (Tamandua mexicana) and armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus), and also a lot of different species of birds: There have been identified about 232 different species of birds, 78 species of mamals, 87 reptiles, 25 amphibians and about 500 species of plants and perhaps the most important it is the refuge of the only population of scarlet macaw (Ara macao) in the Nicoya peninsula.
The refuge is 1.496 hectares; with deciduous and semi-deciduous forest, mangroves and estuaries, beaches, marine habitats, grasslands and plantations.
Where is Curu
Curú National Wildlife Refuge and Hacienda is located on the southern Nicoya Peninsula of northwestern Costa Rica. The area is teaming with abundant wildlife and hosts one of the most beautiful beaches and protected bays on the Nicoya Peninsula. The area offers easy access to seeing some of the most sought after species such as White-faced monkeys, Howler monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Scarlet Macaws, White-tailed Deer, Collared Peccary, Coati, Raccoons, Coyotes, Iguanas, and hundreds of species of tropical and migratory birds.
The Wildlife Refuge
Curú contains Costa Rica’s first private National Wildlife Refuge and is an example of a successful sustainable development program. The hacienda still includes low levels of cattle grazing and produces tropical fruits such as mangos on an annual basis; however, tourism and visitation by school groups and researchers are the focus of Curú today. Curú National Wildlife Refuge and Hacienda is managed sustainably to produce a profit and local employment, while also protecting its threatened and endangered forested habitats such as mangroves, tropical moist and dry forests, and coral reefs.
Reintroduction of the Scarlet Macaw and Field Research Initiative for Parrot Conservation In 1999, Amigos de las Aves, a Costa Rican conservation organization, initiated a Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) restoration program in Curú. 13 Scarlet Macaws were released and they are independently foraging. The survival rate has been over 90% year over year. Active nesting has been documented; however, no chicks are known to have fledged.
The macaws are seen on a daily basis within the wildlife refuge and are frequently sighted foraging on beach almonds along Curú’s pristine beach and in the more open areas of the wildlife refuge where their favorite food resources are found. Future releases will be conducted in hopes of establishing a viable population in the area.
In 2003, a field research initiative was implemented to study the established population of the Scarlet Macaw. Greg Matuzak, a Conservation Biologist, developed and implemented several studies to document the nesting, foraging ecology, food availability, and movement patterns of the macaws established in Curú. In late 2003 and early 2004, Greg developed and implemented additional studies to document the status and ecology of the entire parrot community in Curú. These include roost counts of the threatened Yellow-naped Parrot (Amazona auropalliata) and point counts to document the abundance of each species of parrot on a month over month basis. This research will provide the necessary information to develop a parrot conservation plan for Curú and protect suitable nesting sites.
This program is conducted with the help of local biologists and volunteers. There are currently volunteer openings for this project. Please contact Greg Matuzak at
for additional project information or if there is an interest in working as a volunteer or developing an independent research project in Curú.
Funding for this research project has been provided by the Lincoln Park Zoo Neotropic Fund, Columbus Zoo Field Conservation Funds, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Scott Neotropical Fund, Loro Parque Foundation, Kaytee Avian Foundation, Bird Clubs of Virginia, Amigos de las Aves USA, Pacific Importers, and private donations. Artificial and Coral Reef Restoration and Conservation Projects
Over 15 years ago a reef restoration project was initiated in the Bay of Curú using 7,500 old tires. In 2002 and 2003, INRECOSMAR and Raleigh International installed a PVC tube artificial reef in the Bay of Curú. So far, the restoration projects have been successful at increasing fish diversity and abundance and other marine life in the Bay. For more information regarding the artificial reef project, contact marine biologist, Alvaro Segura, at INRECOSMAR (email:
In 2002, a new Psammocora stellata coral reef was discovered in the Bay of Curú. This reef is one of only three known Psammocora sp. reefs in all of Costa Rica. Marine biologists from the University of Costa Rica and Universidad Latina are conducting a scientific research project to map and study this unique Psammocora stellata coral reef in the Bay of Curú. The researchers are finding that it is the largest and healthiest of its kind in Costa Rica. For more information regarding the study of the coral reef, contact Bernadette Bezy at
. The Curú MoSI Program – Migratory Bird Monitoring
The MoSI program (Monitoreo de Sobrevivencia Invernal -- Monitoring Overwintering Survival) www.birdpop.org/MoSI/MoSI.htm is a cooperative effort among agencies, organizations, and individual bird-banders in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to operate a network of mist-netting stations to monitor habitat-specific over-wintering survival rates for both migratory and resident landbird species coordinated by the Institute for Bird Populations The purpose of this 5-year study is to determine annual and over-wintering survival of both migratory and resident landbirds.
Despite many excellent studies on the ecology of wintering Neotropical migrants, we really understand very little of the complex web of interactions among these species, the resident species, and their environments. Even less is known about the demographics of birds in the Neotropics and about the vital rates (productivity and survival) that drive those demographics. The Institute for Bird Populations is committed to furthering the understanding of how climate, weather, and habitat characteristics, and their interrelationships, influence the ecology and demographics of both migratory and resident Neotropical birds. Our ultimate goal, however, is to utilize this understanding to help formulate management and conservation strategies for reversing the population declines of Neotropical birds.
At Curú Wildlife Refuge and Hacienda, a MoSI station is operated in the mangroves near Sendero Laguna. In its first year of operation (2003/2004) 339 birds were captured, 148 neotropical migrant birds of 22 species were banded, and 102 species of birds were documented using the mangroves. Four more years of monitoring will be conducted at Curú between 2004 and 2008.
We thank the staff and management of Curú for facilitating this research; funding was provided in part by The Canadian Wildlife Service, The Institute for Bird Populations, and private donations. John Woodcock, Maureen Woodcock, Alejandro Solano Ugalde, and Augustina Arcos donated their time to make this project a success.
Release of Spider Monkeys
The Set Us Free Project includes the reintroduction of the Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) in a remote area of the wildlife refuge. The Spider Monkey was driven to extinction on the Nicoya Peninsula and this project aims to develop a protocol for implementing successful programs aimed at the reintroduction of Spider Monkeys in the wild. Several Spider Monkeys are foraging independently and several pairs have successfully reproduced in the refuge in past years. Future releases are in the planning stages and a research program is being developed for the Spider Monkeys. A critical element of this project is to acclimatize the monkeys in a pre-release cage away from contact with humans. A supplemental feeding program has been implemented during the first few after the monkeys’ release, until they can forage on their own. For more information please contact
Environmental education programs related to the Scarlet Macaw, Spider Monkey, and marine conservation projects have been developed and implemented in Curú. For example, several classes of local school children visited Curú in early 2004 and were taken to an area of Curú Bay where an artificial reef and coral reef exist. The school children were taught the importance of protecting their marine environment for their futures and the importance of supporting conservation programs aimed at the environment. In 2003, several large signs were made to explain to school groups and tourists the history and objectives of the conservation programs that exist in Curú. In the future, an expansion of environmental education programs will help integrate Curú’s conservation programs and objectives with local schools and organizations.
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