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EPI & Pacuare Reserve

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Preserve. Protect. Pacuare.

Once logged for timber, grazed by cattle, and threatened by encroaching plantations, Pacuare Reserve is now a protected haven for thousands of species, including the vulnerable nesting leatherback sea turtle, threatened jaguars, and the rare Agami heron.

Join us as a supporter, visitor, or volunteer to help protect this incredible biodiversity hotspot in collaboration with local Costa Ricans and the global conservation community.

Nestled on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, Pacuare Reserve is a 2,000-acre reserve and science station dedicated to protecting the thousands of species that call its jungles, beaches, and coastal waters home. Pacuare is also an integral part of EPI’s history.

EPI began in 2000, with just 61 Costa Rican students joining Co-founders Scott and Julie in the field for nightly turtle censuses at the Reserve. Like those first hatchlings the students protected, our partnership with Pacuare and its founder, John Denham, only grew stronger in the years after that first course.

In 2016, John Denham and the Endangered Wildlife Trust entrusted Pacuare to EPI, with the shared vision of protecting the Reserve in perpetuity.

Our deep commitment to local community engagement and passion for conservation led Denham to think of EPI when looking for Pacuare's next stewards, and we plan to honor his legacy by protecting this biodiversity hotspot, increasing educational activities, and encouraging local community support and engagement in conservation.

In our first two years as Pacuare's stewards:

  • Staff from EPI and Pacuare developed aspirations under six categories for the future of Pacuare: Activities and Programs, Reputation, Community Relations, Organization, Finances, and Natural Resource Conservation.
  • We continued and strengthened our field science education programs, engaging Costa Rican and U.S. students in hands-on conservation efforts with incredible impacts at Pacuare.
  • We created the John Denham Award for Community Engagement in Conservation and honored 2017 winner, James Foley.

Pacuare's 2016 Sea Turtle Monitoring and Research Report outlines the current research happening at The Reserve. While scientists, students, and local communities remain committed to preserving an ecological sanctuary for leatherback and green turtles, jaguars, sloths, and birds of all kinds, data from the 2016 nesting season reminds us of the ongoing need for collective action and collaborative global solutions that lead to systemic, durable, and real change. 


Help Preserve the Reserve!

Donate today to help us sustain Pacuare's conservation initiatives and support scientific research, staffing, local involvement, and more – all of which help protect the thousands of species of flora and fauna that call Pacuare home.

Support     Visit Pacuare

Pacuare is an experience that you cannot put into words. You can only live it. It is a privilege to visit Pacuare and an opportunity you will never regret.

Yeudin, EPI Alumnus, Costa Rica

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At Pacuare Beach, where our students work in Costa Rica, 
the predation rate of nesting turtle sites dropped from
98% in 2000,
to less than 2% today