Frequently asked questions

For several years, logging permits have not been issued and the government has no plans to change its policy. Although only 72% of the Esquinas Forest has become part of Piedras Blancas National Park, the remaining land is no more in danger of being logged. Many properties are situated on the coast of Golfo Dulce and are owned by foreigners who live there out of love for nature and would never fell a tree. Others are entangled in unsolvable legal problems and cannot be sold. After conferring with officials of the National Park Service, we have concluded that the national parkl is no longer in danger. Of course, it would be even better if the remaining 4500 hectares would also belong to the government of Costa Rica, but at present, we the creation of a biological corridor has the priority because the last patches of forest outside the park are unprotected and must be purchased as soon as possible.

Presently, 16 park rangers patrol the 146-square kilometer area on foot, horseback or by boat. The armed rangers work in pairs and monitor illegal logging and poaching. Two of them are paid by Rainforest of the Austrians. Due to its location on the coast and its rugged terrain, the forest is relatively well-protected. It is not a coincidence that Esquinas was chosen for the re-introduction of endangered species such as scarlet macaws. Reports from Fundacion Corcovado show that animals have been reproducing steadily since the amount of rangers was increased from 6 to 16 in 2005. Even jaguars, tapirs, spider monkeys and herds of peccaries have returned to the forest that they once populated.

Rainforest of the Austrians received € 4,770.815,03 in donations from 1991 until 2015.    € 2,638.956,74 were for land purchase, € 486.494,37 for research and € 648.575,48  vor species protection and reforestation.  83% have been transferred directly to Costa Rica, only 17% were spent for overhead costs in Austria (office, PR, printing, mailing, etc.). In Costa Rica, approximately $2,400,000 (plus $425,000 that were matched by the Wilson Challenge Grant and $ 220,000 from our German partner organisation) were spent on land purchase and approx. $ 1,000,000 were used for the biological station, park rangers, animal release projects, and projects in La Gamba. It is estimated that $ 20 million would be needed to complete land purchase in the national park, but some land owners in the coastal area have offered to protect the forest in exchange for allowing their land to remain in private hands.

A “biological corridor” around the Golfo Dulce between Corcovado and Piedras Blancas National Parks connects key natural areas and forms a 300 square mile protected zone collectively known as "The Osa". The Osa is home to more than 375 species of Öffnet einen internen Link im aktuellen Fensterbirds (of which 362 have been sighted in Piedras Blancas and the Golfo Dulce), 124 species of Öffnet einen internen Link im aktuellen Fenstermammals, 40 species of freshwater fish, approximately 8,000 known species of insects (and many more unknown), and 117 species of Öffnet einen internen Link im aktuellen Fensterreptiles and amphibians. The species recorded in the Osa represent up to 50 percent of the species known to exist in Costa Rica. Most of these animals can be found in the Esquinas rainforest. Sightings of cats are extremely rare, but it recently jaguars have been photographed by camera traps.

Since 1948, 26% of the total area of Costa Rica has been protected as national parks, forest reserves, wildlife reserves, indigenous reserves or private reserves. None of these have ever been dissolved. National parks are Costa Ricas pride, and the country's income from nature has surpassed that of coffee and bananas. The fact that the Costa Rican government itself has purchased 4450 hectares of land within Piedras Blancas is the best guarantee that the park will not be dissolved.

The easiest access to Piedras Blancas National Park is from Öffnet einen externen Link in einem neuen FensterEsquinas Rainforest Lodge. The lodge is accessible by road all year and is only 5 kilometers from the Interamerican highway. Lodges on the coast of Golfo Dulce include Golfo Dulce Lodge and Playa Nicuesa Lodge.

Read more: Slide lecture

Impressions of the Esquinas rainforest