In January and February 2018, the EDGE Programme delivered its eighth EDGE Conservation Tools Training Course at Osa Conservation, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. The course was attended by eleven participants, ten of which were awarded EDGE Fellowships.
Costa Rica EDGE Conservation Tools training course 2018
Each year, as part of the EDGE Fellowship programme, ZSL runs an EDGE Conservation Tools training course, bringing together early-career conservationists from around the globe working on mammal, amphibian, bird, reptile and coral EDGE species. The Fellows arrive in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, ready to start their training.
Welcome to Osa Conservation, Costa Rica
In January 2018, eleven international participants joined experts from ZSL for four action packed weeks of intensive training in the tools required to design, implement and manage successful conservation projects. This year the training was based at Osa Conservation, in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. This classroom would be their home for the next month.
Getting to work
Through a series of lectures, hands-on practical’s and assessments, participants were taught four core modules: the principles of conservation biology, ecological monitoring, social science surveying techniques and applied conservation action.
It wasn't long before Costa Rican wildlife started to show itself - including these stunning scarlet macaws.
The Fellows set up camera traps throughout the forest to learn about this monitoring technique and discover the wildlife around them.
The camera traps revealed some of the more elusive species the country has to offer, including this ocelot.
The camera traps also captured a whole family of peccaries passing through the forest.
Small mammal trapping
Early each morning the small mammal traps, which were baited the night before, were checked for small mammals. The animals were identified and measured by the Fellows before being released back into the wild.
The Fellows try their hand at DISTANCE sampling.
We were lucky enough to see these adorable tent-making bats throughout the forest.
This was a particularly special year for the Conservation Tools training course, as trainers from National Geographic joined the Fellows for a Sciencetelling Bootcamp. The Fellows received lessons in photography, videography, social media, writing and public speaking.
Daniel receives a one-to-one lesson in photography techniques from National Geographic photographer Robin Moore.
A rare chance to relax!
Despite a packed schedule of training, the Fellows got the odd opportunity to relax - including this impromptu swimming session!
To practice the media training that they had been given, each participant underwent a series of interview scenarios. The interviews were played back to the group for constructive criticism and comment.
The Fellows all received one-to-one sessions to discuss their projects with the EDGE conservation biologists.
A special encounter
This encounter with a sleeping Baird's tapir (a priority EDGE species) was a special moment for tapir researcher Marina, who had never seen a wild tapir before!
All of the participants successfully completed the training course and were presented with certificates to mark their achievements. The EDGE team is now working with the course participants to support and develop their projects. If you are interested in attending the next training course and becoming an EDGE Fellow, please visit https://www.edgeofexistence.org/conservation/become_fellow.php