La Gamba Tropical Field Station

An internationally acclaimed research station
In 1993, an old farmhouse in La Gamba - on the same property as Esquinas Rainforest Lodge - was purchased by Rainforest of the Austrians as a base for research projects in the Esquinas rainforest undertaken by the University of Vienna. During the following years, it evolved into an internationally acclaimed research station, La Gamba Field Station. Today, the station comprises several buildings, efficient scientific equipment and a botanical garden. A new dormitory building and air-conditioned laboratory were completed in 2007. 

Diplomas and Publications

 La Gamba Field Station is a research and teaching facility of the University of Vienna, situated at the edge of the Regenwald der Österreicher (Rainforest of the Austrians) in Costa Rica.  The field station plays a significant role in research into tropical rainforests, raises awareness of rainforest conservation and research, and provides an opportunity for students and anyone interested in the natural world to increase their knowledge of rainforests this complex and fascinating ecosystem.  The surrounding forest has been the topic of more than 160 bachelor's and master's theses by botanists, zoologists and ecologists from Austria, Germany, the USA, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Numerous books and articles have been published, in English including the "Field Guide to the Flowering Plants of Golfo Dulce" and "The Natural and Cultural History of the Golfo Dulce Region".  As an integrative element in the community, the station also is an important address to turn to for the native population. Among other things, it disseminates the idea of the protection of nature in the local community by giving tours and lectures to schoolchildren.

The role of the University of Vienna
Until the year 2002 the station was owned by Rainforest of the Austrians  and run in conjunction with the University of Vienna. When Rainforest of the Austrians decided to concentrate solely on conservation, the station was donated to the “Association for the Sponsoring of the Field Station La Gamba”, which is financed by grants from the Republic of Austria, the University of Vienna, Rainforest of the Austrians, private sponsors, and membership fees. In 2011, the station became an official field station of the University of Vienna.

Visit the stations own

Publications by La Gamba Tropical Station

Researchers and Students at La Gamba Field Station have published a series of richly illustrated natural history guidebooks about the Golfo Dulce Region: birds, butterflies, amphibians, bees, dragonflies and stream systems. The "Creation of a Forest" is an important guideline for reforestation projects in the tropics.

All publications can be found on

Information und Orders:

Daniel Schaber
Department für Botanik und Biodiversitätsforschung
Rennweg 14, 1030 Wien
Tel.: +43 1 4277/57420
E-mail: tropenstation.botanik[at]

Impressions from La Gamba Tropical Field Station


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