The Rainforest in Costa Rica is uniquely biodiverse–an ecological Noah’s ark for modern times. With less than the landmass found in the state of West Virginia (19,730 mi²), Costa Rica plays host to some of the most important ecosystems in the world. The forest also protects hundreds of unique bird species, 91 of which (like the Baltimore oriole) we find summering in our own North American back yards.
Did you know the Children’s Eternal Rainforest protects more biodiversity than most places on earth, including:
- 154 species of amphibians and reptiles
- 121 kinds of mammals
- 450 bird species
- 3,000 different kinds of plants including 800 species of trees and 500 types of orchids
- 1 million insect species
Costa Rica boasts 5% of the world’s species diversity in an area that’s smaller than West Virginia! We are committed to protecting these creatures and their habitat.
Are you looking for a way to engage your students in a hands-on lesson?
The Montessori Institute for the Science of Peace (MISP) and Friends of the Rainforest (FOTR) is pleased to present an authentic learning experience that incorporates tropical ecology, peace education, scientific study and travel abroad in Costa Rica, reflection, global awareness, and youth empowerment and activism – designed especially for Montessori students.
Help us sustain our educational programming by providing your information in the request form here. You will receive an email with more helpful information and instructions on how to access the Curriculum Overview and Resource Guide.
Live in the St. Louis area? We would be more than happy to come and visit your classroom. Drop us a line!
Check out our gallery of animals our travelers have spotted in the forest!
The flora is just as breathtaking as the fauna in the Rainforest. Check out our gallery of amazing plants and scenery from our trips!
Buying Land, Saving Life
In order for wildlife to survive, creatures big and small require necessary habitat in which to live, eat and reproduce. Just like us, most forest creatures do not stay in one place all year. They need to migrate in search of mates, food and shelter. Read more here
The Sweet Life of a Sloth
We get a lot of questions about one of the CER’s cutest inhabitants: the Three-toed sloth. With its big eyes, laid-back nature, and ever-present look of contentment, the sloth is an easy animal to adore.
The Handsome Heliconia
This beautiful plant is abundant in the rainforest of Costa Rica! Learn more about what makes this plant so special.
Costa Rica has four species of monkeys (called monos in Spanish), three of which live in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. How can you tell them apart? Here’s a photo of each and some fun facts from MCL Board Member Mark Wainwright’s outstanding and beautifully illustrated field guide, The Mammals of Costa Rica
Protecting Forests, Providing Power
The Children’s Eternal Rainforest has a complex ecosystem that has helped Costa Rica work toward its goal of carbon neutrality. The hydroelectric power provided by the rainforest is a delicate and powerful force in sustainability.
The Margay: A Feline Friend of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest
Margays are one of the smallest of the five species of wild cats found in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest and the most arboreal, spending most of their lives up in trees. Over the past year, there have been multiple sightings of margays in Bajo del Tigre.
What is Climate Change Doing to the Forest?
We know that climate change and its effects are real, but what exactly is going on? Plants and animals are both threatened by changes in their habitats.
Toucans and Climate Change
Changing climates mean birds like the toucan find itself in new habitats. This can have disastrous consequences for the animals already there.
Connecting the Bellbird Biological Corridor
Biological corridors create invaluable safe space for countless species to migrate safely. The Bellbird Biological Corridor is a joint effort working to protect fragile species.
The Story of a Three Wattled Bellbird
Procnias tricarunculata, or the Three Wattled Bellbird, is one of over 400 native resident bird species found in Costa Rica. It is estimated that only about four populations remain, and can be found between Nicaragua and Panama. The male is a very distinct individual due to the its striking plumage, and of course, its three black wattles. The female, on the other hand, blends right into the canopy with her drab coloration (a mixture of olive with yellow streaking on the chest), lack of wattles, and secretive behavior. The Bellbird’s claim to fame, however, is its call which humans can hear up to about one kilometer away- one of the loudest bird calls in the world!
Two Toed Sloths in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest
One of the most loved creatures in the rainforest is the sloth. Although they seem like lazy lumps, the sloth employs some interesting tactics to stay safe!