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Maderas Rainforest Conservancy (Established 2008)
Conservation Agency
Web Site:

Director: Renee Molina
Phone: 305 666 9932   Fax: 305 666 2681   E-Mail:
P.O. Box 55-7519, Miami, Florida 33255-7519 UNITED STATES

Mission: The Maderas Rainforest Conservancy was established to promote the conservation, protection, and management of Mesoamerican forests and animal and plant biodiversity through education, reforestation, preservation, and by working with local communities, and national and international institutions and universities.
Increases in real estate sales, irresponsible tourism, live animal capture for the pet trade, and agricultural deforestation have left the species and ecosystems of Mesoamerican forests extremely vulnerable. The MRC exists to combat these growing concerns.

The MRC mission is threefold:
First and foremost, the mission is to protect the ecosystems of Mesoamerican forests. This will be done by purchasing and managing forested and deforested lands in strategic locations, initially in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Deforested lands will be tactically replanted. Forested lands will be protected from clearing. Animals in these areas will be protected from capture and hunting.
Secondly, the MRC runs field schools in two locations (one in Nicaragua, the other in Costa Rica) where undergraduate and graduate students can take classes based on the ecosystems of these areas. These classes (including primatology, rainforest ecology, and art in the rainforest) give students the opportunity to explore Mesoamerican forests and gain a first hand understanding of the ecology therein. It is the hope that these students turn this education into increased awareness of the conservation issues facing both these forests and vulnerable habitats everywhere in the world.
Finally, the MRC seeks to establish a relationship with local communities in the preservation of these lands. It is the philosophy of the MRC that the strongest allies these lands can have are the local communities. Through greater local education of the importance of these lands, greater conservation efforts will be gained.

Clientele: Primatologists
Undergraduate Students
Graduate Students

Principal Research Programs: We operate 2 primate field schools. One is in a tropical rainforest basin at La Suerte Biological Field Station in Costa Rica. The other is in a cloud forest at the Ometepe Biological Field Station in Nicaragua. We offer primate courses in both basic and advanced primate behavior as well as courses in primate communication.
Below are two examples of our on going conservation initiatives:

Living Fences in Ometepe: Volcán Maderas is made up of a seasonally wet/dry tropical forest. Two primate species are native to the area: mantled black howler monkeys (A. palliata) and white-faced capuchin monkeys (C. capucinus). Both species traditionally act as germinators and seed dispersers in their ecosystems (Wehncke et al.. 2004). Forest fragmentation by agriculturalists in the area have cut off corridors used by both species, leaving large forested areas without either primate species. This has caused a lack of seed dispersal in the ecosystem and is having a profound effect on the other species which rely on the seed dispersers to maintain the ecosystem they have adapted to (Offerman et. al. 1995). The following project proposes to replace the fence posts, which traverse the deforested areas, with gumbo limbo trees (B. simaruba) to hold the fencing material; thus, providing the two arboreal primate species corridors through the deforested areas.

Reforestation at La Suerte, Costa Rica: La Suerte, Costa Rica is in a tropical rainforest basin. The area managed by the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy is one of the few surviving forest fragments in the area. The fragment itself is large enough to sustain the ecosystem within. However it has been bisected by a large pasture, making two forest fragments. The Maderas Rainforest Conservancy is working to reforest this area. Tree are being cultivated in a greenhouse at the site to plant in the pasture area. These trees are the future of one continuous La Suerte rainforest.

Training Opportunities: We provide primate field schools for both undergraduate and graduate students. Some of our courses include: Primate Behavior & Ecology, Advanced Primate Behavior & Ecoloy, and Primate Communication.

Number of Staff: 2

Associated Field Sites: Ometepe Biological Field Station
San Ramon, Nicaragua

La Suerte Biological Field Station
La Suerte, Costa Rica

Supported Species: Alouatta palliata (mantled howler), Cebus capucinus (white-faced capuchin)

Publications: We publish a quarterly e-newsletter, "Alarm Calls". Subscriptions are available for free by contacting

Last Updated: 2009-09-02

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