Apr 21, 10:48 AM

For individuals who have had the good fortune of traveling to one of the most bio-diverse and less explored regions which still remains on the planet, the Durika Biological Reserve of Costa Rica represents 8500 hectares (21,000 acres) of pristine and beautiful tropical cloud forest managed by The Pro Conservation Foundation of the Durika Biological Reserve, a.k.a. the ‘Durika Foundation’. The Foundation, located near Buenos Aires, is a self-sustaining eco-community comprised of approximately 30 individuals who live permanently 1,650 meters (5,413 feet) above sea level to help conserve, protect and explore the land as well as to reverse the negative impact of modern agricultural practices on the mountainous landscape that the indigenous people—the Cabécar and Bribri—farm which is so vital to their existence, environment and heritage.

For many individuals, the opportunity to travel to such remote parts of the world is not feasible. However cyber-travelers can venture to such exotic places via the internet and arrive at their destinations where photos may entice adventurers to one day visit. The Durika Biological Reserve is one such destination where images of its beauty have been captured to share with others.

Through the research efforts of the individuals who make the Durika Reserve home as well as the visitors to the community each year, a vast array of previously unknown or recorded findings has been collected for five years on the flora and fauna which also make Durika their home.

Recovering Data for Environmentalists Committed to Costa Rican Rainforest Preservation

While a self-sustainable community that uses alternative energy sources, its members do leverage select modern technologies including a laptop computer upon which are stored the images of the flora and fauna captured by researchers and visitors. When Eugenio García López, biologist and ecologist with Fundación Durika, could not access the files on his laptop’s hard drive, he felt despair.

“The photographs contained on the damaged external hard drive represented hundreds of hours of research by biologists in the rainforest or photographs taken while hiking through dense, virgin jungle where no one probably has ever been before.”

“As far as the Foundation knows, many of these photographs represent the only scientific evidence of new discoveries of plant and animal species that may be on their way to extinction. It is important that we learn more about these species so that we can offer them better protection.”

From his home on the hillside of the eco-village, Lopez fretted about the data contained on the inaccessible hard drive. He emailed his Canadian friend, Warren Goldblatt, who is a member of Friends of Durika, a not-for-profit organization that supports the work undertaken by the Durika community. The high school teacher advised Lopez to send him the hard drive and he would attempt to have the information recovered by a company that had been referred to him.

Lopez shipped the damaged external hard drive to Goldblatt. By the time the media arrived at the CBL lab on the outskirts of Toronto, it had traveled an estimated 3800 kilometers or 2375 miles. Lopez and the Durika Foundation desperately needed the data. A lot was depending on the successful recovery of the photographs and documents contained on the damaged storage device.

“We represent the only environmental police in the whole area and have to deal with all kinds of cases like illegal hunters, forest fires and deforestation among others,”

“Many photographs have been and serve as evidence when offenders are taken before the court and prosecuted. These photographs are crucial to us in order to successfully proceed with these cases and bring the offenders to justice.”

Once in CBL’s clean room, a technician opened the external hard drive and evaluated the media. The heads of the drive were damaged which had prevented Lopez from accessing and reading the data –the priceless photographs and documents–collected by the members and visitors of the Durika Foundation.

Physical damage to the delicate read-write heads is quite common when a hard drive is dropped or agitated. The heads were replaced and then Lopez’s drive was returned to a stable state thus enabling the CBL technician to extract and copy the raw binary data from the damaged drive onto a functional drive. Reconstruction of the file and folder structures was completed and a Quality Control review to ensure the consistency of the data completed the successful recovery. Countless jpeg files were recovered and returned on a new hard drive to Lopez. Once again, CBL came to the rescue of a distraught customer.

“We also work with the indigenous communities which live within the Durika Biological Reserve and do our best to try to help them rescue and preserve their beautiful ancestral traditions. We use photographs of them to help promote their culture and traditions to other people and to make them stronger and more proud of themselves.

Thanks to CBL we will be able to continue our efforts towards the conservation and protection of this wonderful natural heritage which belongs to Costa Ricans and for the future generations.”

Friends of Durika welcomes the support of interested individuals seeking to help conserve and preserve the Costa Rican rainforest. To learn more about the biological reserve, visit the Durika community online

Watch a short documentary film about the Foundation:

Category: case studies, data recovery

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