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  • Mission

    GDFCF promotes the long term survival of ecosystems and biodiversity of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste through conservation, education, science-based management, and biodiversity development.  We support a globally-significant example of tropical forest restoration and conservation.

    Working across twelve terrestrial research stations, the coastal village of Cuajiniquil, and a central laboratory in Sector Santa Rosa, this team of resident parataxonomists plays a critical role in species collection and the development of biological knowledge and overall conservation of the ACG protected area.

  • Bioliteracy for everyone

    GDFCF provides transparent and science-based knowledge for users of exceptionally diverse tropical wildlands that includes schoolchildren, local residents, and the international community.  We promote our wildlands management style with conservation and restoration efforts worldwide.

    Last instar caterpillar of an undescribed species of skipper butterfly (Nascus Burns01), immediately after molting from the previous instar.

  • Research throughout

    Science-based understanding of ACG's forest and marine ecosystems are conducted by local resident career "parataxonomists" in collaboration with national and international science networks.  For 34 years, ACG has worked to restore nature though involvement of neighboring communities to ensure its survival. GDFCF and its founders have been a major dance partner in the evolution of this conservation restoration model.

    Parataxonomist Ruth Franco, who specializes in the drying, pinning, and photographing of insect specimens at the central “BioLep” laboratory in Sector Santa Rosa, is explaining the tool of DNA barcoding (molecular analysis) for species identification to visiting scientists from the Chinese government.

  • Área de Conservación Guanacaste

    With GDFCF support, ACG:

    • includes ~375,000 species of which less than 1/3 are known to science
    • contains 2.4% of total global biodiversity
    • contains > 60% of Costa Rican biodiversity
    • consists of only 2% of the land base of Costa Rica
    • covers 165,000 hectares, or about 408,000 acres (by comparison Great Smoky National Park in U.S. is 521,000 acres)
    • is a globally recognized UN World Heritage Site

     A small sample of the literally thousands of moths and butterflies that live in ACG

  • Marine Stewardship

    ACG contains one of the largest marine protected areas (MPA) in the eastern Pacific region including 150 kilometers of wilderness coastline, a complex archipelago of seven islands that extends more than 12 km offshore, an estimated 500 species of fish, important coral reef habitats, migrating whales and birds, and critical nesting sites for endangered Ridley,  Pacific green, Leatherback, and Hawksbill turtles.

    From the coral reefs of Sector Marino, a Jewel Moray eel appears to be sniffing a flower on this species of coral, commonly known as the Orange Cup Corral (Tubastraea coccinea)

  • The Outdoor Classroom

    ACG is one of nature’s greatest classrooms via a pioneering program called Programa Educacion Biologica (PEB) to provide natural history and biological education to roughly 2,000 fourth through seventh grade students from the 52 schools surrounding the ACG protected area.

    Seventh grade students from the rural town of La Garita near the Nicaraguan border listen to ACG parataxonomists Osvaldo Espinosa (holding caterpillar) and Gloria Araya explain the biology of moths and butterflies as part of a visiting PEB class to the San Gerardo biological station in Sector San Cristobal, ACG


  • Where We Work

    We work in a place of outstanding biodiversity and beauty in northwest Costa Rica called Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG). Home to 2.4% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, the ACG is the only protected area in the Neotropics that sweeps from Pacific Ocean waters up over the volcanic mountain range of the continental divide and down into the lowlands of the Atlantic rain forest. The Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund (GDFCF) was formed to aid with the development, protection, and sustainability of ACG.

    Read more and see our new slide show feature: Where We Work


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