The Organization for Tropical Studies


The organization operates three biological stations in Costa Rica. The 3,700-acre Selva Biological Station is located north of Braulio Carrillo National Park and south of the city of Puerto Viejo Sarapiqui, about forty miles from Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. Established in 1954, this bio-diverse area provides habitat to most of the country’s butterfly species as well as half of its mammal and bird species. A trail system through its lowland rainforests allows visitors on Costa Rica tours to take walks through the area accompanied by naturalist guides. The reserve is an important resource for the study of rainforest biology and sustainability.

Palo Verde Biological Station is located in the national park of the same name in Guanacaste Province in the northwest region of Costa Rica. Here the estuaries of the Rio Tempisque make migrating species and other waterfowl an important focus of research. Several ecosystems including endangered tropical dry forest habitat, a wide variety of birds and mammals are studied in this bio-diverse park.

Added in 1973, the OTS’s third operation consists of 740-acre Las Cruces Biological Station and the Wilson Botanical Garden, named for the founders who developed the gardens in the previous decade. These areas are part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The bio-diverse forest reserve is located in southeastern Costa Rica at an elevation of almost 4,000 feet, three miles from the Panamanian border, an area inhabited by some 400 bird species and 200 mammal species. The botanical garden is world famous for its huge collection of palm species.