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The Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation has been associated with Toronto Zoo for 20 years. Founded by a Toronto Zoo staff member, COTERC works in Canada and in Costa Rica. In Canada, a teaching guide for rainforests based on the Ontario curriculum is available to teachers along with over fifty fact sheets on the wildlife of the Tortuguero Region of Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, COTERC owns and operates a biological station within the flooded rainforests of the Barro del Colorado Wildlife Refuge.

Projects over the past years have included an ongoing conservation work on sea turtles nesting sites, mammal monitoring, bird breeding studies, migratory bird studies, reptile and amphibian diversity surveys and surveys of the freshwater fish in the Tortuguero region.

In the past five years facilities have been built to house over 30 students and volunteers, trails have been elevated to reduce impact on the forest and a steady number of volunteers and students have helped make a difference in the region. The site at Caņo Palma has provided data for PhD and MES thesis, interns work every year and Toronto Zoo staff have been instrumental in keeping the programs going.

Check out www.coterc.org or send a request to info@coterc.