Reptile and Amphibian Diversity Research in the Costa Rican Rainforest

Work in the Costa Rican rainforest to spot, identify, and track a wide range of unique reptile and amphibian species.

Durations:  2 - 12 weeks

Program information

Monitor the health of Tortuguero National Park by recording sightings of reptiles and amphibians, as well as other species, along forest trails. By collecting data concerning jungle biodiversity you will be assisting local authorities with the management of the park and region, thereby contributing to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #15, Life on Land.

undefined 30 June 2022
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Program overview

Travel to the heart of Tortuguero National Park, to assist the Costa Rican Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications, MINAET by conducting biodiversity surveys of the area. Record sightings of reptiles and amphibians, as well as mammals and birds, identified as significant indicators of health and of importance for further research by MINAET. Some of these significant reptiles include the gorgeous eyelash palm pitviper and the always popular red-eyed tree frog.

From April to October, you can also get involved in research projects, concerning the main reptile we study at this GVI base, sea turtles. In partnership with MINAET and the Sea Turtle Conservancy, you will join GVI staff and participants from around the world to conduct nightly beach surveys recording evidence of mother sea turtles and morning walks recording turtle nests.

Depending on the needs of our partners at the time, you might also have the opportunity to conduct jaguar research, monitoring camera traps and tracks on the beach, and bird research, traveling down the canals of Tortuguero National Park identifying aquatic birds on the river banks and in the caponies.

The extensive training you will receive before heading out to conduct surveys as well as the practical experience and ongoing support you will gain in the field, could be used as springboard into a future career as a wildlife conservationist.

Due to the fact you will work in a national park, you will need special scientific permit to approve you for conducting research. Further permits are required for turtle and jaguar research. The permit for turtle research takes about one month to process, while the permit for conducting jaguar research takes about 2 to 3 months to process.


  • Observe unique Costa Rican amphibians and reptiles in their natural habitat.