Costa Rica

Silky Anteater, Cyclopes dorsalis, Manuel Antonio

I have been to Costa Rica three times.  In 2010 I spent 9 nights here and I return to Sylvan, near Golfito, for a weekend in 2019. In early 2021 I spent a week with Fiona Reid traveling through the mountains and then back down to Sylvan.

Honduran White Bats, Ectophylla alba, Tirimbina

Alajuela Province

Poas Volcano

I looked for Montane Squirrels here for a day in 2010 but found only Red-tailed Squirrels and a rabbit species that might have been Dice’s Cottontail but probably a Tapiti. I returned for 24 hours in early 2021 to look for Bang’s Montane Squirrel. The park is very strictly controlled now and we didn’t see any squirrels, though we did catch some Nicaraguan Deermice in the hotel garden.

Guanacaste Province

Santa Rosa National Park

Grey Sac-winged Bat, Balantiopteryx plicata

A few hours here in 2010 produced Common Vampire Bats, Greater White-lined BatsGrey Sac-winged Bats, Seba’s Short-tailed Bats, Merriam’s Long-tongued Bat and a few Central American Spider Monkeys.

Common Vampire Bat, Desmodus rotundus

Heredia Province

Selva Verde Lodge

Thumbless Bats, Furipturus horrens

I spent a night here in 2021 to see the colony of Thumbless Bats. We also saw Common Big-eared Bats, Central American Agoutis, Proboscis and Greater White-lined Bats and Variegated Squirrels.

Tirimbina Lodge

Hairy Big-eyed Bat, Chiroderma villosum

I spent two nights here in 2010 focussing on bats and we caught Common Tent-making Bats, a Hairy Big-eyed Bat, Sowell’s Short-tailed BatMacconnell’s Fruit Bats, and a long-tongued bat species. Walking the trails on a guided bat walk produced roosting Allen’s Short-tailed Bats, Hairy Large-eared Bats, Big Yellow-eared Bats,Thomas’s Fruit-eating BatsLesser White-lined Bats, Wagner’s Sac-winged Bats, a Thomas’s (Shaggy) Bat and Honduran White Bats plus a Variegated Squirrel.

Honduran White Bats, Ectophylla alba

Puntarenas Province

Corcovado and the Osa Peninsula

Panamanian White-throated Capuchin, Cebus imitator

I spent two nights here in 2010 and saw White-throated Capuchin, Central American Spider Monkey, Red-backed (Central American) Squirrel Monkey, Mantled Howler Monkeys, Baird’s TapirWhite-lipped Peccaries, White-tailed Deer(apparently rarely seen), Mantled Howler Monkeys, White-nosed Coatis, Long-nosed Bats, Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth andTome’s Spiny Rats.

Central American Spider Monkey, Ateles geoffroyi

Finca Bellavista Treehouse

Two nights here in 2019 and 2021 produced Alfaro’s Pygmy Squirrel, Spix’s Disc-winged Bats, Greater White-lined Bats, Tomes’s Rice Rats, Mexican Porcupines, Kinkajou and Coatis.

Manuel Antonio & Quepos

Silky Anteater, Cyclopes didactylus

A day around here in 2010 produced many Brown-throated Three-toed Sloths, a White-tailed Deer, Silky Anteaters, Mexican Tamandua, White-faced Capuchins, Lesser and Greater White-lined Bats,Lesser Dog Like Bats, Seba’s Short-tailed Bats, Greater  Spear-nosed Bats, Common Vampire Bats and a Mexican Greater Funnel Eared Bat

Mexican Tamandua, Tamandua mexicana


Kinkajou,  Potos flavus

During two nights in 2010 I saw Kinkajous, Variegated Squirrel, and helped catch Riparian Myotis, Jamaican Fruit-eating BatThomas’s Fruit-eating Bat, Intermediate Fruit-eating Bat, Big Fruit-eating Bat , andToltec Fruit-eating Bat. I also saw White-nosed CoatisCentral American Agoutis, Two-toed Sloths, Mexican Porcupines, a Red-tailed Squirrel, Underwood’s Long-tongued Bat 

Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine, Coendou mexicanus

Sylvan (near Golfito)

Peter’s Disk-winged Bat, Thyroptera discifera

In late November 2019 I spent three nights  visiting Fiona Reid at her new ecolodge, Sylvan (as of early 2021 boasting a lodge list list of over 80 mammals) and returned in 2021  for two nights. My 2019 visit was not a mammalwatching trip per se but of course I saw a few species, best of which was undoubtedly Peter’s Disc-winged Bat. In 2021 we spent two nights batting quite intensively and caught 15 species: Proboscis BatGreater Fishing Bat, Orange-throated Bat, Hairy Big-eared Bat, Common Vampire Bat, Merriam’s Long-tongued Bat, Chestnut, Seba’s and Sowell’s Short-tailed Bats, Niceforo’s Big-eared Bat, Northern Yellow-shouldered Bat, Northern Little Yellow-eared Bat, Jamaican, Great, Pygmy , Thomas’s and Watson’s Fruit-eating Bats and Mexican Black Myotis plus Central American Squirrel Monkeys too. 

San Jose Province

Carara National Park

Northern Ghost Bat, Diclidurus albus

Carara National Park is the place to see Northern Ghost Bats. A couple of hours here in 2021 also produced Pacific Tent-making Bats and Proboscis Bats.

Las Vueltas Lodge (and Los Quetzales National Park)

Talamancan Deermouse (Peromyscus nudipes)

Las Vueltas is a truly lovely cloud forest reserve and two nights here (and next door around Los Quetzales National Park) in 2021 produced a bunch of high altitude goodies including Bang’s Montane Squirrel, Red-tailed Squirrels, Dice’s Cottontail, a Mountain Spiny Pocket MouseChiriqui Harvest MouseTalamancan Deermouse, Boquete Rice Rat and a Desert Red Bat. Thought there is plenty more to return for.

Community Reports

Costa Rica, 2023: Bryan Kao, 12 days & 29 species including Thomas’s Shaggy Bat, Northern Olingo and Central American Dwarf Squirrel.

Guanacaste, 2023: Venkat Sankar, 4 nights & 53 species with highlights including Vesper RatNorthern Big-eared Bat, Sanborn’s and Underwood’s Bonneted BatsStriped Hog-nosed Skunk, and Baird’s Tapir.

Costa Rica, 2022: Klil Zaitlin, 3 weeks & 21 species including Baird’s Tapir, Central American Red Brocket and Kinkajou.

Costa Rica, 2022: Hugh Paxton, 2 weeks & species including (a potentially reliable spot for) Southern Spotted Skunk, Jaguarundi and Mantled Howler Monkeys. 

Costa Rica, 2023: Bud Lensing, 5 days & 14 species including Central American Squirrel Monkey, Kinkajou and a Silky Anteater.  

Costa Rica, 2022: Venkat Sankar & Alex Meyer, 7 days & 72 species including Alston’s Mouse Opossum, Central American Silky Anteater, and over 45 species of bats including Smoky Bats and both disc-winged bats.

Costa Rica, 2022: Atif Hashmi, 11 days & 29 species including OlingoKinkajou and Northern Tamandua.

Costa Rica, 2022: Hugh Lansdown, 14 days & 20+ species including Underwood’s Pocket GopherTayra and Ocelot.

Costa Rica, 2021: Jan Ebr, 2 weeks & 19 species including a Paca, Central American Dwarf (Alfaro’s Pygmy) Squirreland a Central American Red Brocket Deer.

Costa Rica (mainly batting and ratting), 2021: Jon Hall, 1 week & 36 species including Thumbless Bats, Bang’s Montane Squirrel and Dice’s Cottontail.

Sylvan, 2019: Jon Hall, 3 nights & a few species including Peter’s Disc-winged Bats.

Costa Rica, 2019: Rob Jansen & Romy Jansen-Houtzager, 5 weeks & 35 species including Dice’s CottontailGreater GrisonJaguarundi and Oncilla. Lots of detailed info and some nice photos too.

La Selva, 2019: Ben Schweinhart, 1 week & 25 species including Silky Anteater and Northern Naked-tailed Armadillo and a Baird’s Tapir.

Costa Rica and Panama, 2019: Romain Bocquier, 45 days & 61 species including a Margay, 2 Olingos and Spectraland Northern Ghost Bats.

Costa Rica, 2019: July Balona, 17 days & many mammals including TayraOrange Nectar & Shaggy Bats and a Jaguarundi.

Mammals from my living room, 2019: Fiona Reid’s report of mammals encountered in or around her tree house near the Osa Peninsula, with around 25 species including Watson’s Climbing Rat, Alfaro’s Pygmy Squirrel and an Ocelot.

Manuel Antonio National Park,  2019: Andy Murch, 2 days & 14 species including Lesser Dog-like BatGreater Spear-nosed Bat and both Sloths.

La Selva Station, 2018: Matt Miller,  5 nights and 18 species including Mexican Mouse OpossumShaggy Bat and Striped Hog-nosed Skunk.

Costa Rica, 2018: Sophie Betrisey and Manuel Baumgartner, 2 weeks & 28 species including Mouse Opossum, Dice’s Rabbit and Montane Squirrel.

Costa Rica, 2017: Ben Balmford, 2. 5 weeks & 50 species including Northern Ghost BatsTayraCostero and some nice rodents and bats.

Costa Rica, 2016: Michael Kessler, 4 weeks & 43 species including Zeledon’s Mouse OpossumWoolly OpossumPale Spear-nosed BatTayraHooded Skunk and Cotero.

Costa Rica, 2016: Alan Dahl, 8 days & 15 species including Northern Tamandua and Honduran White Bats.

Costa Rica, 2016: Richard Webb, 12 days & 36 species including some nice batsOlingoGreater Grison and a Vesper Rat.

Costa Rica, 2015: Margarita Steinhardt, 3 weeks & 30 species including Pumas (in what sounds like it could be a reliable spot), Woolly Opossum and Striped Hog-nosed Skunk.

Costa Rica, 2015: Juan Luis Ortega Herranz, 1 week & 21 species including Wrinkle-faced BatNorthern TamanduaOlingo and Ocelot.

Costa Rica & Panama, 2014: Dominique Brugiere, 1 month & some nice species including, in Costa Rica, a Mexican Porcupine.

Costa Rica, 2014: Simon Feys, 2 weeks & 25 (living) species including Woolly Opposum, Alston’s Singing Mouse, Olingo, Tayra and some nice bats at Tirimbina.

Costa Rica, 2013: Matthew & Maureen Hart, 1 week & 26 species including OcelotSilky AnteaterKinkajouWoolly OpossumMexican Porcupine and Honduran Bat. Plus some interesting comments from others, including a site in CR for Water Opossum.

Costa Rica, 2012: Sarah & Andy Young, 2 weeks & 27 species including Olingo and Honduran White Bat.

Costa Rica, 2012: Tomer Ben-Yehuda, 10 days & 22 species including OlingoPuma and Spotted Dolphins.

Central America, 2011 & 12: Dominique Brugiere, combined notes on two trips through the Yucatan, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. Lots of mammals.

Osa Peninsula, 2011: Alan Dahl, 9 days & 15 species including a Wooly Opposum.

Costa Rica, 2011: Stefanie Lahaye, 1 month & 40 species. A great report including many of the usual Costa Rican suspects as well as an Olingo and some nice bats and rodents.

Costa Rica, 2010: Jon Hall, 9 nights & 48 species including Baird’s Tapir, White-lipped Peccary and Silky Anteater.

Costa Rica, 2008: Sjef Ollers, 3 weeks & 22 species including an Ocelot and a Long-tailed Weasel.

Corcavado Nartional Park: Curtis Hart, some notes on 3 visits, the mammals of which included Baird’s Tapir and White-lipped Peccary.

Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala): Curtis Hart – a few notes on different national parks.

Costa Rica, 2007: Jeroen Verhoeff, 3 weeks & 20 mammals plus bats including a Tayra and a Silky Anteater (on 13 December). Great photos.

Costa Rica, 2007: Don Roberson, 2 weeks & 13 mammals.

Also See

Mammals of Costa Rica website July 2022

RFI Manuel Antonia and Sirena Station January 2020

Silky Anteaters at Manuel Antonio March 2018.

Bush Dog Sighting Dec 2017.

Bosque del Cabo Resort – mammal watching tips Feb 2015.

Northern Ghost Bat sighting Apr 2014

Going to Costa Rica (anyone want to join), Jan 2012.


Wainwright, M. 2007. The Mammals of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical Publications, Cornell. Nice looking field guide that includes most species, but doesn’t have detailed desciptions of all the bats and shrews.

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