Jaguar Conservation in Costa Rica

Conduct jaguar research in the tropical jungles of Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park.

Durations:  2 - 12 weeks

Program information

Assist in the protection of the elusive jaguar in one of the only areas where jaguars are known to prey on adult sea turtles, the rainforests that line Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. Gain valuable conservation skills and field experience while setting up and monitoring jaguar camera traps along a 16 mile stretch of beach.

undefined 30 June 2022
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Program overview

Live and work in the heart of Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park, whilst assisting the reserve management, the Costa Rican government, and organisations like Coastal Jaguar Conservation and Panthera with contributing toward jaguar research and conservation.

Along with GVI staff and other participants from all over the world, you will will set up and monitor cameras set along the Tortuguero coastline and in the forest, and note any tracks on the beach, to note jaguar abundance in the area. Depending on partner needs, you might also monitor camera images to build an ID of jaguars in the region and collect data for genetic research.

Part of our project involves assisting authorities and researchers with observing an incredibly unique jaguar behaviour on Tortuguero beach. During turtle nesting season, the area is one of the only in the world where jaguars are known to prey on adult nesting sea turtles.

Even though jaguar research will form the main part of your program, you will also have the opportunity to participate in sea turtle and bird research as well as conducting biodiversity surveys of the forest, noting mammal, bird, amphibian, and reptile species.

Through training and hands on practical experience you will learn learn technical skills that could assist you in pursuing a future career in conservation, or soft skills like intercultural team communication that will assist you in any other vocational path you might choose.

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.


  • Live and work at a research station in the middle of a Costa Rican national park.
  • Visit an incredibly jaguar-dense area and one of the only locations in the world where jaguars are known to prey on adult sea turtles.
  • Contribute to jaguar research by setting up and checking camera traps in the rainforest.
  • Observe Costa Rican wildlife species in their natural habitats, including sea turtles on the Caribbean beach, and monkeys, neo-tropical birds, and amphibians in the caponies above rainforest canals.
  • Explore the rainforest by canoe and walk the pristine Caribbean beaches.
  • Learn biodiversity survey techniques and gain real field experience.
  • Undertake turtle nesting surveys and monitor nesting sites during turtle nesting season.

Program details

Program type
GVI Latin America, Costa Rica, Jalova