Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

Rainforest Biodiversity Group is wishing all of you a very happy holiday and the best wishes for a new year. A special thanks goes out to all of our supporters in 2008, you made it a very productive year for us and our conservation efforts!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The article is online!

The article in the Washington Post is now available online. The article is titled "A Trip Along the New Costa Rican Bird Route" - Species rare and common flock together on a new Costa Rican trail.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Bird Route in the Washington Post!

On December 14, an article will run in the Travel section of the Washington Post on the Costa Rican Bird Route project!

The author of the article, Carol Sottili, was a participant on the November trip to the Costa Rican Bird Route. She is using her experiences on the trip to describe our project as well as tell readers how to plan their own trip.

For those not in the D.C. area, you can view the article online this weekend at:

More Info on How to Protest the Mining Project

Here is some more information on how you can contact President Oscar Arias and Roberto Dobles and protest the gold mine project. (Aqui esta alguna informacion para enviar notas de protesta al presidente de republica, Oscar Arias Sanchez, y el ministro del ambiente, Roberto Dobles):

Send letters and/or emails to (Dirigir las cartas a):

Sr. Oscar Arias SanchezPresidente de Costa Rica.
Fax # 2253-9078.

Sr. Roberto Dobles.Ministro del Ambiente.
Fax # 2257-0697.

Also, you can join almost 2,000 other people and sign a petition against the gold mine project in Las Crucitas. Go to and follow instructions on how to sign the petition. Basically, it involves sending your name and identification number (driver's license, passport, etc) to (Y tambien, puede firmar una peticion contra este proyecto. Ingrese a y vea las instrucciones para dejar su firma en apoyo a este movimiento en favor de la naturaleza.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Huge Tree!

Check out this enormous ceiba found on the property of Finca Pangola, one of the sites of the Costa Rican Bird Route.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Take Action Against Gold-Mining Project in Costa Rica

Please use the following as a sample letter to send the CEO of Infinito Gold, John Morgan, a letter expressing your concern for the risk their gold-mining project poses to the biodiversity of Costa Rica as well as Nicaragua, including the irrevocable damage it will do to the dwindling population of the Great Green Macaw. Personalized, signed letters sent via the normal mail system have the most impact, but you may opt to send an email as well to

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Infinito Gold
1010-1st Street, SW, Suite 220
Calgary, Alberta

Dear Mr. Morgan:

I am writing to voice my opposition to your mining project in Las Crucitas, Costa Rica and urge you to reconsider the long-term environmental, social and health impacts of this type of project.

In northern Costa Rica, in recent decades deforestation has left less than 30% of the original forest standing. This type of destruction has a global effect, diminishing the Earth’s carbon sequestration capabilities. The local effect has been that wildlife populations are in decline, especially that of the Great Green Macaw. It is estimated that less than 200 individual birds remain in this area of Costa Rica, with less than 30 breeding pairs. Therefore, this region cannot sustain the cutting of an additional 191 hectares that your project is proposing.

Costa Rica is a country that has grown and benefited the most from its tourism industry. The tourism industry is the number one contributor to the Gross National Product, a result of its rich biodiversity and its prior track record of being a conservation-minded country. Your gold-mining project threatens this industry by furthering deforestation; risking the water quality of a major source of livelihood, the San Juan River; and in general by sullying the reputation that Costa Rica has worked hard for in being a conservation leader. This is an age of eco-travel, where people are becoming more conscious of the impact they have through their travel choices. Your project would deliver a major blow to the economy of Costa Rica, and would continue to do so years after the project would be completed and your company has moved on.

I strongly urge you to re-consider the ethics of this open-pit gold mine, and consider more than just the short-term benefits of increased infrastructure. With the current climate issue, we all must look to new and innovative strategies to sustain our economy.


[Your Name]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EU's sustainable biofuels push angers Malaysia, Brazil

As we work to wean ourselves off of oil by increasing production of biofuels, it is important we make sure it is on a environmentally sustainable basis. This piece from, highlights the European Union's latest position on biofuels.

Eight developing countries threatened to file a World Trade Organization complaint against the E.U. for its proposed legislation to require imported biofuels to meet environmental standards, reports Reuters. Read more...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gold Mining Project Proposed in Great Green Macaw Habitat

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias is supporting a gold mining project in northern Costa Rica in the town of Las Crucitas, a project that will deforest 191 hectares of prime habitat (including habitat for the endangered Great Green Macaw), and threaten the water quality of the San Juan River.

The approval of this project would undermind the recent law passed that banned the cutting and exploitation of the Mountain Almond Tree (See post from September 20, "Almendro is Protected").

Yesterday hundreds of Costa Ricans and a delegation of Nicaraguans marched in protest of this proposed project in Ciudad Quesada-San Carlos in the northern region of the country.

For Spanish-speakers, read the full article about the protest here:

Keeping checking back for more updates on this situation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lonely Planet 2009

It's official...the Costa Rican Bird Route has been included as a destination in the 2009 edition of the Lonely Planet Guide to Costa Rica! The project has its own box in the Caribbean Lowland section of the book, in which it describes the motivation of the project as well as how to access the Bird Route. We are very excited to begin booking more tours to the Bird Route in this coming year!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Donors pledge $100M for Rainforest Conservation

Donors meeting this week in Washington D.C. pledged more than $100 million to the World Bank's new initiative for conserving tropical forests.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Biological Gem Found in Costa Rica's Central Valley

New Study Serves as Call to Action to Protect Ecologically Diverse Regions of Costa Rica.

The National Museum has just conducted the study of a small tropical rainforest called the Capintero, which is currently only registered under the status of “Protected Zone”, the lowest conservation level in the country. Read more about Costa Rica's amazing biodiversity...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lights Out Boston: Energy and Birds

Boston recently joined several other cities in North America in an ambitious effort to reduce energy and avian mortality by turning off skyscraper lights at almost three dozen large downtown buildings during migration.

Toronto originally took the lead with their Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), and other cities, such as Chicago, have gradually followed suit.

Starting early last month, Boston started having some of its tallest office buildings shut off their lights from 11pm to 5am through the end of this month. The two-month effort is intended to set an example as to how to reduce carbon emissions associated with production of electricity, while at the same time helping to save migratory birds from striking the buildings at night as a result of disorientation created by bright lights and reflective glass at tall buildings.

Boston's Mayor, Thomas Menino, some of the city's largest property owners, and Mass Audubon representatives unveiled the Lights Out Boston effort last month, and a number of other cities are carefully watching the results of Boston's efforts to save energy and reduce avian mortality.

Bird advocates are actively promoting these joint conservation efforts and have increasingly been pushing the concept of "air space as habitat."

Friday, September 26, 2008

RBG Website Renovated!

After long last, the RBG website has undergone a complete renovation and is looking better than ever! Check out the new site at! Special thanks to Jennifer Davis, the web designer, for doing such an outstanding job!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Almendro is protected!

This week the Costa Rican legislation made it officially illegal to cut any Almendro trees in the whole country! The main reason is because of the Great Green Macaw and its need of the Almendro. This could change however if the Great Green Macaw responds and is no longer endangered.
Congrats to all the Amigos de la Lapa Verde for all the work to support the conservation and education of and about the Great Green Macaw!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mountain Lion Caught on Camera

Finca Pangola, one of the sites of the Costa Rican Bird Route, has a trail camera set up which has been capturing great photos of the jungle's inhabitants. We would love to be able to set up trail cameras at all of our sites for a variety of reasons. They are useful tools for wildlife surveys, as well as education and interpretation. In the meantime, we will enjoy the pictures from Finca Pangola!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's All Good

Here is an excerpt from Paul Baicich's monthly Birding Community E-Bulletin. It's a nice reminder that when it comes to's all good!

"Invariably, when birders are in the field, they are asked by curious passers-by and novice birders alike if there has been "anything good" seen.

No matter that you might have only seen a chickadee and a junco so far in the day's birding, the correct response remains the same: "It's all good!"

Let the curious know the wonders of the chickadee and the reliability of the junco as well as your effervescent expectations to find those flocks of wonderful birds just beyond the edge of the trees on the path ahead. Make it interesting; make it wondrous, and realize that every birder in the field is a potential ambassador for our pastime. Remember: It's all good!"

Friday, August 29, 2008

Welcome to our blog

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the blog of Rainforest Biodiversity Group, The Macaw. The Macaw will be a way to keep up year-round on the news and events of the Rainforest Biodiversity Group (RBG). No more waiting for newsletters or website updates! We will also strive to post other news from the conservation world. As the green movement gathers steam, there is always something to discuss. RBG will post as regularly as we can, and we hope you all will enjoy.