Earthwatch researcher Lenin E. Oviedo Correa studies Costa Rica’s whales and dolphins to help conserve their habitat.
Why study the cetaceans of Golfo Dulce in Costa Rica?
Says Oviedo Correa: “The natural beauty of the Golfo Dulce area is important to the local economy, in which tourism plays a crucial role. Many development projects are trying to capitalize on those incredible natural attributes, a trend that is already bringing negative consequences. By joining our team, you’ll help us ensure that we have the information to suggest the right strategies for maintaining and conserving Golfo Dulce’s most valuable aspects: the marine ecosystem stability, the biodiversity, and the cultural and socioeconomic relevance for coastal communities. That’s not even mentioning the value that this habitat offers a planet in need of carbon balance in the atmosphere to ameliorate climate change. We do not oppose the right of coastal communities to achieve a better standard of living, but we believe that this quest should not prevent all of us from preserving our natural heritage for future generations.”
A great moment in the field:
“For me,” says Dr. Oviedo Correa, “the most exciting thing is that these animals show a complexity in behavior that is associated with the place where they live. Golfo Dulce is small, so they’re like, this is what I get, this is my home, and because this is my home, this is what I get, I’ll do that. Then you see the same the same species outside Golfo Dulce, and you see completely different behavior. You see a completely different way of exploiting resources.”