Refugio Saimiri: a wildlife refuge in the Osa Peninsula

Finca Exotica eco lodge is part of and was the founding member of the “Refugio Saimiri de Vida Silvestre Mixto”, an Osa Peninsula wildlife refuge established in 2007 to protect over 300 acres of land. The refuge is home to most of the species hat live on the Osa Peninsula: 400 species of trees, 160 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, 30 amphibians and 1000’s of insects, making this one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet.

In the beginning Finca Exotica’s property consisted of abandoned cattle pasture mixed with primary forest. After years of natural regeneration enhanced by planting of native species, 95% of the Finca Exotica property was set aside exclusively for conservation purposes. In 2007 we began looking into the possibility of formalizing this intention by creating a wildlife refuge to protect the unique ecology, biodiversity and landscape from the encroaching threats of deforestation, hunting, and the expansion of the agricultural front. Hence, all of Finca Exotica’s property, along with 6 neighboring properties, lies within the limits of the SAIMIRI Wildlife Refuge. This expansive border ensures that the southern buffer zone of Corcovado National Park offers a continuous protected area where wildlife can seek a home, and that all the wildlife found in the park can also be spotted at Finca Exotica.

The official management plan for the SAIMIRI Wildlife Refuge is in our library, where we welcome you to read it. It was elaborated in 2007 in conjunction with a biologist with years of experience in the Osa Peninsula. The plan describes the flora and fauna, and zones the property into 3 different zones of use/conservation, whereby 82% of the total area is declared an area of full protection, going far beyond the minimum requirements of the national refuge program. Additionally, it regulates the rights and obligations of landowners as well as the program of monitoring and research by the Ministry of the Environment (MINAET). The law and regulations that apply to those properties voluntarily registered in the refuge limit the dimensions and methods of construction and the use of designated areas to education, research and ecotourism.