PROJECTS AT BOSQUE TROPICAL DEL TORO
Agroforestry, Permaculture, Alternative Forest
- Increase the use of organic agriculture, permaculture and agroforestry
practices in the zone through the development of experimental organic
gardens and orchards. Through the development and implementation of
these alternative production systems, we can:
A. Increase the knowledge base at BTT and in the zone about
these types of production.
B. Offset and decrease volunteer food costs by producing our
own fruits, veggies, herbs, medicines, etc.
C. Create/ grow potential products to be sold in both international
and local markets to sustain project and project costs.
D. Decrease the amount of land under more degrading types of
production to prevent:
- Continued Deforestation
- Increased Cattle Production which degrades soil
- Erosion, run off and sedimentation of rivers
- Contamination and pollution of rivers with pest
and herbicides, etc.
- Contamination and pollution of local wells,
and water supplies
- Distribute information to local community members: Information we
gather and gain on alternative and sustainable development should be
distributed to other property owners in the zone to make them aware
of potential sustainable methods and opportunities. This can once again
increase the amount of land under sustainable production.
- Find and develop alternative forest products to be sold in the
international market: Alternative forest products, and ideas for these products
should be developed for potential sale and distribution in international
and local markets. This income can be used to sustain and advance BTT and
We are continually looking for new fruit species to experiment with.
We are also looking for
buyers (in Costa Rica or abroad), interested in purchasing organic produce,
increase our production level.
Biological Inventory and Point-Count
- To inventory the biological diversity of BTT:
To know what species are present and which are possibly absent. By looking
at diversity, abundance and at presence or absence of key species BTT can
gain insight to the health of the ecosystems it is protecting. We will
also be able to see the effects of habitat protection on the populations,
and presence of wildlife. It is important to gather base line data on what
species are present at BTT. This includes Birds, Mammals, Amphibian and
Reptiles, Trees and Plants as well as any other identifiable species such
as Insects, or Fungi, etc.
- Gather data on bird diversity and abundance at given locations at
Bird observation data will be continually collected at designated locations
at BTT. This data will be correlated with habitat and vegetation information
a. which species of birds are correlated with a given
b. how do bird populations change with the re-growth
of native tree species (short and long term) in reforestation plots
c. which species of birds are currently present at BTT.
d. compare data at BTT with other Point Count Bird Surveys
in the Tropics.
Eco-tourism Site Development
is interested in developing
more eco-tourism for not only Bosque Tropical del Toro, but for the Sarapqui
and northeastern region of Costa Rica as well. In these areas eco-tourism
is not the booming industry that it is in other parts of Costa Rica.
Actually, the largest industries in these areas involve unsustainable
forestry practices, pineapple and banana production and, most commonly
Create tourism opportunities at BTT: Bringing tourists to BTT will help generate
income to sustain this project. There are many ideas and possible projects
that can be implemented at BTT that would attract visitors. These include:
- Hiking trail system
- Field guides to the property
- Observation platforms
- Tree houses
- And many others
Bosque Tropical del Toro is offering
tours of our sustainable farm dedicated to conservation. The biggest
attraction? A chance to see our stars, the Great Green Macaw, an extremely
endangered species that has a small range and is difficult to find anywhere
in the world. We also have hundreds of other bird species that may be
seen at the property, and have been seeing fresh tracks of a Baird’s
Tapir almost daily! It is estimated that 60% of all the bird species
in Costa Rica spend part of their time in the northeastern region of
Costa Rica. From macaws to warblers, from toucans to tanagers and trogons,
we have an enormous variety to offer a bird watcher. And we are only
an hour or so away from La Selva Biological Station.
The best time of the year to visit is during the dry season (February to June
in our area). Access to the farm is much easier, and it is also the period
in which we have the most Great Green Macaw activity.
Reforestation and Tree Care
- Care for as many of the planted native saplings as possible: To allow
the native species planted in the reforestation areas to grow better,
it is important to give as much care to as many trees as possible,
reduce competition and provide proper growing conditions. This includes
removing vines, chopping and cutting grass around the trees, and mulching
as many trees as possible. These activities should be done to randomly
selected trees as you pass by them, and for all trees in selected areas.
- Augment Species planted in Reforestation Area: Only a certain number
of species have been planted in the reforestation area. To increase
diversity within the reforestation area, seeds from local parent trees
could be collected, germinated and planted in spaces where the originally
planted native species did not survive. This will also help us identify
and mark existing native species of trees.
- Gather growth rate information on native species in determined locations:
To determine how well trees are growing in given locations, growth
rates will be collected on planted native species in given areas.