Corto plazo
Mediano/largo plazo
ACICRC09-20 COSTA RICA KekoldiTalamancaLimonCostaRica... ENVI,EDU,ANIM 03/03/2023 03/03/2024

MIGRATORY RAPTORS | ACICRC09-20 | 2023-03-03 - 2024-03-03 | ENVI,EDU,ANIM | Age: 18 - 99

Raptors (birds of prey) constitute a diverse group of land-based predators that occur across a broad range of habitats throughout the Americas. All 33 species of raptors that occur in the United States are migratory; at least five of the species are largely transequatorial migrants, and all but six regularly migrate into Latin America and the Caribbean. Because they exist at the tops of many food chains, raptors are especially sensitive to alterations in ecosystem structure and energy flow. This, in turn, makes them particularly effective sentinels of ecological change. Unfortunately, raptors also are secretive, wide-ranging, area-sensitive predators, characteristics that make their populations logistically difficult and financially prohibitive to survey and monitor. As a result, a lack of information regarding regional and continental populations continues to plague management decisions, particularly in the tropics. Raptors are diurnal (active at daytime) migrants, and one potentially cost-effective method for monitoring regional, continental, and sometimes global populations of these birds is sampling their numbers using visual observation at traditional migration bottlenecks and concentration points. Diurnal raptor migration has been studied extensively for many years in North America, Europe and the Middle East. For this reason, there is considerable knowledge of most routes, the extent of migratory periods, and the abundance of the various migratory species in these regions. Unfortunately, the situation in Central and South America is much different. Little information on raptor migration exists for this part of the world. Several authors like Carriker (1910), Skutch (1945), Slud (1964), Stiles and Skutch (1989), and Hernández and Zook (1993) have reported some aspects of the raptor migration in Costa Rica. Even so, information on the subject remains partial and rudimentary. Although the Nearctic (northern parts of the American Continent and Greenland) migrants that pass throughout Costa Rica represent only a small proportion of the country s raptor diversity, the spectacular nature of their movements offers considerable opportunity for increasing regional and international ecotourism and, more importantly, local conservation community-based efforts. From August to December, raptors mainly migrate over the Caribbean lowlands, where they gather along a single route passing through the Talamanca region, a 2,800 km2 mixture of forests, agriculture, banana plantations and undeveloped coastline, in southeastern Costa Rica. With the Talamanca Mountain Range on one side and the Caribbean coastline on the other, this funnel-like lowlands narrows near the Kéköldi Indigenous Reserve, to only 5 km (3 miles) between the mountains and the ocean. This "bottleneck" for raptors, which is used by most raptor migrants in the region, is an ideal place to count and monitor raptor migration. From August to December 2000, the Migratory Raptor Conservation Project began standardized, full-season counts at a single watchsite in the Kéköldi indigenous reserve in southern, Caribbean-slope, Talamanca, Costa Rica. The Migratory Raptor Conservation project started as a joint effort between local and international organizations and now is owned by the Kéköldi People and includes the active participation of the local communities. We are dedicated to uniting human development and biodiversity conservation in the Talamanca region in southeast Costa Rica, an extraordinary area that holds more than 2% of the world s biodiversity, and that contains a unique cultural mix of Native Americans, Black Caribbeans and Spanish-speaking “Campesinos”. Kéköldi Migratory Hawkwatch Costa Rica Feb 2nd, 2021 Conservation Objectives: • Conduct season-long migrating raptor counts at the Kéköldi watchsite. • Create a long-term database for raptor-migration and conservation efforts in Costa Rica. • Compare the numbers of migrant raptors in the season from August to December to other long-term monitoring centers including Veracruz River of Raptors, Mexico, and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, USA, and submit them to the HMANA (Hawk Migration Association of North America) network and have the Kéköldi watchsite described in Raptor Watch. • Study raptor migration dynamics and their relation to the regional weather conditions and compare them with the temperate-zone migration ecology. • Study the use of habitat by migrating raptors and other migratory birds, for urgent habitat conservation, especially in forest areas. • Study local raptor species and possible threats to their populations in the Talamanca region and develop conservation initiatives. • Encourage the continuous participation of local community members in all the project’s activities. • Design and initiate a raptor-oriented environmental education program to introduce local people both to phenomenon of long-distance migration, to ecology of local raptors, and to the importance of habitat conservation. • Promote the creation of exchange programs with other raptor conservation organizations for training of staff and local community members in conservation efforts. • Develop ecotourism activities with the help of the local indigenous community, to create new income opportunities for the community and for the self-sustainability of the project. • Share all our results with the local and international community.

Work: Volunteers will be working in: Participation in the Monitoring Projects of the Scientific Center Kekoldi related to three main topics: a-Birds b-Snakes c-Local Forest (Biodiversity). Construction and maintenance of the trails for public and research use around Scientific Center. Support in environmental education activities for the community and visitors. Maintenance of the infrastructure of the project when needed, for example: to repair the wooden walls in the Scientific Center and similar facilities. Community work (Schools education workshops, building community spaces) when needed for the local community and if the current international volunteer is interested and has the needed skills. Option for the future: Construction and maintenance for Self-sustainable Food Supply for the Scientific Center (like a local community farm to produce their own food and educate people to see the importance of it).

Accomodation and food: ( ) Hosting situation provided by Local Family. (X) Hosting situation provided by the Project. The volunteer will live in a shared dorm, where he/she will most likely share the room with another person. Volunteers need to understand that they will live in the Scientific Center, which has all the needed conditions, but the place is located in the middle of a very rural and natural environment. A bit far from the nearest town but still reachable. Also: Public Transportation is available, and volunteers can access some of the most famous local attractions for ecotourism in the area (for example Puerto Viejo and its beaches, Cahuita National Park, Puerto Vargas, Cocles, Punta Uva, Manzanillo, etc.)

Location: KekoldiTalamancaLimonCostaRica

Location and Leisure: The project is located 1-1.5km from the nearest road, therefore you have to walk 30-40 minutes uphill through the forest to reach the station of the RAPTORS project. Furthermore, the next small town, Hone Creek, is located 15 minutes by foot from the nearest road (so in total about 50 minutes from the station). Puerto Viejo, which is one of the most famous (touristic) and most beautiful places of Costa Rica can be accessed quite easily from the closest road of the RAPTORS station, it only takes around 10 minutes by car and around 50 minutes by foot to reach it. The project is built in a very isolated place. The station is located in the middle of the forest (with a kitchen, dorms, toilets, showers, a common area, etc.). There is a lot of wildlife all around the project (snakes, lizards, frogs, monkeys, sloths, lots of insects like spiders, bugs, scorpions, etc. and of course lots of birds). Furthermore, 2 dogs are living in the project. The watchtower is located about 5-10 minutes from the station, where the volunteer will spend most of his time (in the main seasons from August – December and February – March).

Airport: SJO

Train/Bus station: Volunteers will be picked up at the airport.

Requirements:  Volunteers must like to be in the nature and enjoy wildlife. Be prepared to be in a very natural and rural area (to live isolated in a forest).  Better if volunteers like to walk and do hiking activities.  Has to be an organized, structured person. (Very important).  To be respectful towards the internal rules of the project.  To be open to share accommodation and bedroom with other volunteers when needed.  Better Bilingual, English – Spanish, not required.  Creativity and interest in environmental issues.  The volunteer should enjoy working with people and foster good human relations.  Proactivity is a must.  Curiosity and willingness to learn about birds and indigenous local cultures.  Volunteer must be ready to work independently even when the coordinator is not present (when the volunteer already has the capacity to do so).  Honest, responsible, punctual, positive person.  Leadership Skills.  Good attitude.  Open to flexibility of schedules.  Optional skills (gardening, cooking, carpentry-, electricity-skills etc).

Volunteers will be picked up at the airport.

Language: esp

Extra Fee: 600 USD

Migratory Raptors is a permanent project, so they receive volunteers all year long. They have a capacity of around 15 volunteers per week and there are no limitations in the number of female or male volunteers, but yes, we recommend volunteers to be adults (+18).