Animals in Osa Peninsula

Baird's Trogon (Trogon bairdii)

Trogon osa peninsula

With the resplendent quetzal, this is one of the most spectacular members of this family (trogonidae). In adult males the face and throat are black, and the rest of the head, chest and upperparts are deep blue to violet blue. The female is mostly dark slate gray, blacker on face and throat.
Trogon bairdii is endemic to the Osa peninsula and Central Pacific region.

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii)

Toucan osa peninsula

This species is typically seen in pairs or small groups, keeping among the dense foliage during the hottest parts of the day and getting active around sunset. The most interesting behaviors of this bird are its vocalizations. There are several shrill, yelping sounds this bird makes. One is a yelping “keeuREEK kirick, kirick,” or “yo-YIP a-yip, a-yip,” often repeated constantly. The most recognized call has to be the “keeyos taday taday” repeated at short intervals. This call has been described by locals as being “Dios te de, te de, te de,” which is Spanish for “God keep you.” The calling bird usually tosses up its head and beak, and along with a side-to-side movement, jerks its head up and moves its tail rapidly up and down. Closer to evening, flocks will gather in trees or on tall dead snags and call in chorus.

Tapir (Tapirus Bairdii)

Tapirs are the largest terrestrial mammals in Central America. An adult wild tapir has short, sparse black hair over black skin. The hairs are approximately 1-3cm long. Tapirs are stocky animals with short powerful legs that are well suited for rapid movement through thick underbrush. In the forest a tapir can run as fast as a human. The tail is short. The upper lip is elongated into a proboscis, which is flexible, long, and rather extensible. It serves the purpose of shoveling food into the mouth and gathering leaves from places that the tongue and teeth cannot reach. The head has a flat crown and a poorly developed mane. Tapirs have small eyes flush on eitherside of the head; the ears are oval, erect, and not very mobile.

Tamandua anteater (Tamandua mexicana)

Tamandua Osa Peninsula

Northern tamanduas are found in Central and South America
These anteaters live in many different habitats from mature and secondary rainforests and plantations to gallery forests and arid savannas. Tamanduas forage both on the ground and in the canopy of the forest. They are most common beside streams and trees with abundant vines and epiphytes, perhaps because these trees are more likely to house ant and termite nests. When they are not active, they rest in hollow trees, burrows of other animals, or natural shelters.
Tamandua mexicana is much smaller than giant anteaters. These northern tamanduas are fawn to brownish colored and have a distinct, black “V” going down their backs. One of their names, vested anteaters, is derived from this “V” as it makes the anteater appear to be wearing a vest. Northern tamanduas always have this vivid, black “vest” on their trunk that continues from the shoulders to the rump.



Sloth in osa peninsula

The sloth is the world’s slowest mammal and is found in Central and South America. Sloths are identified by the number of toes they have on their hind feet. There are two sloth types: the three-toed sloth (Bradypus) and the two-toed sloth (Choloepus). Both have long and prominent claws. These claws are used for climbing, because sloths are arboreal animals. They eat, sleep, mate and give birth in the trees. Because of their upside down life, sloths have many of their internal organs in different positions from other mammals.

Sloths are solitary, arboreal and nocturnal mammals. They are herbivores that eat leaves, flowers, buds, plants and occasionally insects, but do not drink water. Sloths get water from eating juicy leaves and licking dewdrops. These animals spend 16-18 hours a day sleeping and have an average lifespan of 30-40 years. Predators include large snakes, jaguars, pumas and ocelots.
Our reserve is commonly visited by both three-toed and two-toed sloths.


Kinkajou (Potos flavus)

Potos flavus is in the carnivore family Procyonidae (raccoons, coatis, and their relatives). Kinkajous have distinctive features that at one time were used to place them in the order Primates (monkeys). Kinkajous are arboreal and possess many adaptations common to arboreal species, such as a long, fully prehensile tail, nimble clawed fingers, and fully reversible hind feet. During terrestrial locomotion, captive kinkajous exhibit a variety of unpredictable footfall patterns yet remain graceful and feline-like when moving. Kinkajous are considered “adept yet deliberate climbers” They utilize their extreme spinal flexibility to maneuver among the tree limbs and obtain food at terminal branches. This flexibility, which allows for a rotation of 180º between the pelvis and head, is a unique trait that distinguishes kinkajous from their close relatives, the coatis and raccoons.


Squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii)

squirrel monkey

Saimiri oerstedii inhabits parts of the Pacific coast of Panama and Costa Rica. Little information is available about the habitat of S. oerstedii. In general, squirrel monkeys are arboreal and can be found in primary and secondary forests, thickets, and mangrove swamps. They are also found in cultivated areas, usually around streams. Squirrel monkeys are known to inhabit humid Pacific slope forests.

White-faced monkey (Cebus capucinus)

Cebus capucinus it’s found in dry and moist forests, mangroves, mature secondary forest and riparian forests.
It is a medium sized monkey, with most of the body fur black with contrasting cream or yellowish fur on the head, chest and shoulders. The face is pink. It has a prehensile tail.

Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)

spider monkey osa peninsula

Ateles geoffroyi inhabits mature rainforests and montane forests.
Head and body length ranges from 305 to 630mm, and tail length from 635 to 840mm. With respect to body length, Ateles geoffroyi has extremely long limbs and tail. The head is small and the muzzle substantial. The upper fur is black, brown, or reddish and the face is often marked with a pale mask of unpigmented skin around the eyes and muzzle. The arms and feet are dark and the underparts paler (white, pale brown, reddish, or buff). The longest recorded captive lifespan is 33 years.

Howler monkey (Alouatta palliata)

Howler Monkey in osa peninsula

Mantled howler monkeys inhabit lowland and montane rain forests, including primary and regenerated forest habitats.
This common visitor in our reserve is stocky with black fur, and most individuals have long, yellow or brown fur saddles, Long guard hairs are present on their flanks, earning the common name “mantled” howler monkey. The face is naked, black and bearded, and the prehensile tail has a naked pad on the underside near its base. Males have a prominent white scrotum, weigh 6 to 7 kg, and usually have a longer beard than female individuals.