Research Opportunities for Students, School Groups, and Independent Researchers
Curú Wildlife Refuge and Hacienda provides a great opportunity for school groups and researchers (independent or enrolled in a school or University) to conduct studies in a tropical forest and beach setting. Accessibility to the site, an extensive trail system, a large protected bay and pristine beaches, and high densities of many groups of terrestrial and marine animals makes this an ideal setting for high school, college, and graduate students to conduct their class or thesis research. Curú is also an ideal place for school groups and classes to conduct courses in tropical ecology, biology, and environmental studies and science. Many international and Costa Rican students and groups have taken advantage of Curú’s easy accessibility from San Jose and Puntarenas, and its dry and moist forest and marine habitats on the Nicoya Peninsula, to conduct their research and conduct classes. Current and past research has focused on White-faced capuchin and Howler monkey ecology, ecology of several other species of mammals, Scarlet Macaws and parrots, migratory birds, forest ecology, and in the marine environment, projects related to fish diversity, coral reef mapping, and marine invertebrate surveying.

What makes Curú such an ideal site for conducting research and teaching field courses? Curú contains a high density of many terrestrial and marine species due to its extensive forests and diverse habitats. In Curú, there is easy access to all of the wildlife refuge’s habitats and its marine environments. Due to the existence of tourism in Curú and small scale agriculture and ranching activities, the wildlife refuge offers the unique opportunity to implement comparative studies between protected forests and beaches, and areas that are a part of Curú Wildlife Refuge and Hacienda’s sustainable development program.

Curú offers several services for groups and researchers at a cost that is much lower than what is found at many other field stations in Costa Rica and Central America. Researchers cabins are located along Curú Bay and its beautiful beaches, three meals a day are available, transport to and from the local Puntarenas and Playa Naranjo ferry are available, and arrangements can be made to support projects with additional field workers. Horses can also be used to reach remote areas and to pack in field equipment. Curú has compiled an extensive collection of baseline data on its natural resources. These data are published through the National University of Costa Rica and are integrated into Curú’s management plan, all of which are available to researchers to use as background information when conducting research at the wildlife refuge.

For more information regarding independent research opportunities and conducting field research classes for school and University groups, please email Curú at refugiocuru@yahoo.com