Canadian Organisation for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation

Caño Palma Biological Station is located in the tropical coastal rainforests of Costa Rica. We run regular monitoring projects in which students, graduates and keen conservationists can gain valuable tropical work experience. We also host independent researchers, providing them with a base from which to conduct their investigations.



Research being conducted in 2018 includes:

* Marine turtle monitoring and tagging - (including undergraduate analysis of micro-plastics in nests, and PhD project on genetic determination of turtle paternity)

* Large mammal monitoring

* Forest plot and plant phenology projects

* Snake diversity study, including pit-tagging

* Neo-tropical river otter surveys

* Water quality testing - using macro-invertebrates as biological indicators

* Shorebird monitoring

* Great green macaw surveys - determining local population size and haitat use for this endangered species



All projects are conducted under research permits issued by the local Ministry for The Environment (MINAE), and reports and data are used by MINAE for area management plans.



Caño Palma Biological Station is situated approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) north of the village of Tortuguero on Costa Rica’s north-eastern coast. The Tortuguero area is an ancient flood plain covered by lowland Atlantic tropical wet forest and is biologically the richest ecosystem in Costa Rica. Average daily temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius and rainfall may exceed 6,000 mm per annum.



Cano Palma is in the Atlantic Lowland Region of Costa Rica



Much of the surrounding area is protected under Costa Rica’s parks and reserves system, with Tortuguero National Park (18,900 square hectares) and the Barra Colorado Refuge (92,000 square hectares), forming a vast corridor, which connects with conserved forest in Nicaragua to the north. Our goal is to extend our efforts in neo tropical conservation to extend beyond the station’s 40 square hectares.

Living facilities are clean and comfortable but basic. Volunteers, researchers and students share a dormitory which can accommodate 40 people (rooms of 2 to 6 people). The rooms are equipped with bunks and the station provides mattresses and bedding. A large airy dining room which connects to the kitchen and office is the central meeting area on the station’s one acre compound.

Summary Role

Offering internships, Offering thesis subjects

List of Courses