Host Organization Details
Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve
The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve encompasses 1,270 hectares of mixed forest, which is classified as moist tropical forest. About 150 species of trees have been identified. Evergreen species predominate, but deciduous dry forest species are found as well. Among the most common trees are Lance Wood, Bastard Cedar, Wild Plum, Gumbo-Limbo, Trumpet, Dogwood and Frangipani. The most abundant type of tree is the Spiny Cedar (Pochote) with specimens over 40 m high. Another impressive tree is the Silk Cotton Tree (Caoba) which can tower up to 60 m. The unique climate and geographic location of Cabo Blanco also hosts rare tree species like the Camibar which are not found elsewhere on the Nicoya Peninsula.
The majority of Cabo Blanco consists of "secondary forest" which means that the trees are around 60 years old or older. The remaining patch of primary forest accounts for 15% of the area and is located at the inaccessible highest point of the reserve.
The forest is home to a large variety of animals like White-Tailed Deer, Pacas, Armadillos, Anteaters, Howler, Capuchin Monkeys, Coyotes, Porcupines, Raccoons and Coatis. There are also wild cats like Ocelots, Jaguarundis and Margay cats but you are less likely to see them in the wild.
Around 150 species of birds have been recorded in Cabo Blanco. Apart from seabirds you can see Magpie Jays, Motmots, Long-Tailed Manakins, Cattle Egrets, Crested Caracaras, Elegant Trogons, White Bellied Chachalacas, Ringed Kingfishers and Sulphur-Winged Parakeets.
Cabo Blanco is an important seabird sanctuary, inhabited by large numbers of Brown Pelicans, Frigate Birds, Laughing Gulls, Common Terns, Ospreys and Costa Rica's largest community of Brown Boobies.
The abundance of bird life only matches the wildlife found under water. 1,788 hectares of ocean belonging to the protected area of Cabo Blanco hosting many fish and large quantities of lobsters, giant conches and oysters.
Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve's main OBJECTIVE is to preserve the important wildlife in their area of the country. It is a national park but under a different category since it was the first national park of the country.
To preserve Cabo Blanco Absolute Reserve, constructions, hunting and any other human activity cannot be develop inside of the area. The rangers have the responsibility to police the area in order to make sure that people respect the protected area.
In the fifties the government of Costa Rica encouraged settlers to "develop" pieces of land on the isolated southern part of the Nicoya Peninsula. For clearing a piece of land, settlers were rewarded with ownership. Within a few years most of the dense woodland of the peninsula had been "cultivated".
In the early sixties the Swede, Nicolas Wessberg, (also known as Olaf or Olle), came to Costa Rica with his Danish wife Karen Mogensen. They bought a farm near Montezuma and Olaf Wessberg often went to Cabo Blanco to collect seeds for their orchard.
By this time only a small piece of primary forest was left on Cabo Blanco. Impressed by the abundant wildlife and the enormous size and diversity of trees there, Nicolas Wessberg decided to attempt to preserve this area. With the aid of conservation organizations abroad he bought 1,250 hectares of land and after persistent talks with the Costa Rican government the status of an Absolute Nature Reserve was given to Cabo Blanco in 1963.
The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve was the initial step in the development of Costa Rica's extensive national park system which led to the country's successful ecotourism.
They work with all the communities in the country
All conservation areas in Costa Rica receive funds from the government that has been generated from entrance fees but it only covers 25% of their needs. The rest of the funds come from donations from national and international private companies.
They need and would appreciate the following items: rubber boots, flashlights, ponchos, tents, machetes, plastic bags and gloves.