The very well hidden animals of Nosara

The Animals of Nosara…that you’ll never see (unless you’re very lucky)

Margay

Chances of seeing one in Nosara: Very slim

Margay in th mountains of NosaraMuch like it’s larger jaguar cousin, the margay is also a victim of habitat loss from deforestation. However, unlike the incredibly seldom sighted jaguar,  the chances of spotting a margay are much higher. Margays range from southern Mexico down to the Andes mountain range/ Although they spend the majority of their lives in the dense treetops of tropical and cloud forest they’ve also been known to visit some of the coffee and cocoa plantations in and around Nosara. In isolated cases there have also been reports of margay sightings in and around Las Huacas mountain which overlooks Nosara. Due to their scarcity, their shy nature, their arboreal lifestyle, and the fact they rarely venture out in the day time, the chances of seeing a margay remain very slim. However, throughout the years there have been many sightings of these spectacular cats.

Giant anteater

Chances of seeing one in Nosara: Highly unlikely

Giant anteater in the streets of NosaraAlso known as the ‘ant bear’ this huge, docile, wonderfully weird looking creature whose ranges stretches from across nearly all of central America is actually a member of the sloth family. The giant ant eater can be spotted in a multitude of habitats ranging from grassland to rainforests, where it uses it’s large claws to forage for ants and termites, and it’s ridiculously long, sticky tongue to eat them. Unlike its arboreal sloth and tamandua (a smaller anteater) cousins, the giant anteater is mainly terrestrial and prefers to live on the ground. Sadly, this once widespread creature has been driven out of many of its former habitats. Threats include habitat destruction, fire, and poaching. Like many of the animals listed here your chances of seeing one are extremely slim. However if you keep your eyes open at night as your car headlights sweep over the roads and fields, you might just get lucky.

Kinkajou

Chances of seeing one in Nosara: Slim to medium

Baby kinkajou in NosaraThe kinkajou, also known as the ‘honey bear’ is a rainforest mammal related to coatis and raccoons. Famously once photographed poking out of the bag of Paris Hilton, kinkajous, due to their mainly docile nature have been increasingly sought out by the pet trade where they fetch high prices. Often mistaken for ferrets, and even monkeys, the kinkajou is a vegetarian, tree dwelling mammal native to central and south America. Their altitudinal range stretches from ground level up to 3000 feet where they can be found in closed-canopy tropical forests of all types. As with most central american wildlife deforestation is a potential threat to these creatures. Although the kinkajou is not listed as an endangered species, and is commonly known to inhabit tree tops in and around Nosara and Playa Guiones, its small size and nocturnal nature means it is seldom seen by people. However, these guys are usually active between sunset and midnight, and if you hear rustling above you during your walk home, a quick glance into the trees may reveal one of these cute mammals staring right back down at you.

 

White faced monkey

Chances of seeing one in Nosara: Slim to medium

White faced monkey in NosaraThis medium-sized new world monkey is as smart as they come. In addition to it’s documented use of local herbal medicines, this monkey has been recorded using tools, most notably making use of sticks as weapons to fend off predators. Native to the forests of Central America, the white faced monkey can be found all over Guanacaste and Costa Rica where it plays a key ecological role  due to its habit of seed and pollen dispersal. Although not listed as endangered, these monkeys are having a hard time due to the usual deforestation threats. Additionally, they are known to be highly prized in the pet trade. Although not spotted regularly in the Nosara treetops, from time to time reports of sightings occur, occasionally backed up by photographs taken by locals and tourists. If you come to Nosara and feel like you can’t leave without seeing one of these guys, then the local monkey sanctuaries welcome visitors throughout the year.

Jaguar

Chances of seeing one in Nosara: Forget about it!

jaguarSightings in and around Nosara of these large, solitary, stalk-and-ambush apex predators are usually confined to tales from farmers who claim to have seen them from a distance. However, from time to time photographs have been taken, mainly from people who live in the mountains or on remote farmland of these incredible creatures. Although they have been spotted in both jungle and open terrain their preferred habitats are swampy forest.

In pre-Columbian times, the Jaguar, which is the worlds third largest cat after the tiger and the lion, was a symbol of strength and power which featured heavily in the mythology of many native American cultures. In past times it’s range extended from the Southwestern United States across all of central America as far south as Paraguay and Argentina. The jaguar is a threatened species all over South and Central America. Like many of the continents threatened species, the jaguar is a victim of  habitat destruction and other environmental pressures

Feeling curious to look around for some of these animals? Check out all of Nosara’s hiking trails!

 

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