April showers bring…..many creatures out.
Research and Volunteering
We had four presentations this month as people finished up their research and shared their data and experiences.
Crissy and her son Daniel’s evening bat collecting resulted in the identification of 8 species. Her presentation included information on their habitat, diet, and interesting nocturnal activities. Almost everyone here at Cloudbridge took a turn at going out to experience and assist with the capture and identification. Spraying down with insect repellent and wearing headlights was essential for this activity. We know how to go out in the evening at Cloudbridge and have a good time!
Nature notes are information sheets that will be used to educate people about the ecology of our area. Marlyse wrapped up her rewriting of the nature notes and development of a design to be transposed onto signs for the trails. In the future hikers will be able to stop and learn about the resplendent quetzal, the strangler fig, geology of the reserve, resident mammals, etc.
Miriam’s presentation talked about her daily searches in the forest for the elusive quetzal. As with most people when you are specifically looking for them, they seem to be very difficult to find. As she became more familiar with their calls and daily movements the sightings became more frequent. She has identified a number of areas for potential nesting sites, trees that they prefer in their diet, and areas where they are most often seen or heard. This information will be valuable for the continuation of research and for promoting conservation of this bird in our area.
Gunnera is a herbacious plant with gigantic leaves. It grows in disturbed areas such as land slides, road cuts etc. Clarice completed her second season of studying the symbiotic relationship between this plant and the nitrogen fixing cyano bacteria known as Nostoc. There is the potential for development of biological nutrient enhancement products for agriculture purposes. This is an ongoing project and she plans on returning next year for further research.
Klaus is here as a volunteer, working on construction of benches for the trails and tables for the new cabinas.
Jorn (Holland) is studying Costa Rica’s program that pays land owners to protect ecological services, forests, rivers, etc. He is investigating the reasons why this program works so well in Costa Rica, but few other countries have followed their lead. He has been out interviewing local residents and inquiring about their interest or participation in the program.
Rob (UK) joined us to continue the ongoing Biological Assessment Survey tracking many forms of wildlife at Cloudbridge and building a database of when they are present. He is an intern with the organization Global Vision International (GVI).
Roberto (Guatemala) is the research manager and jaguar camera trap coordinator at GVI’s Jalova Research Center near Tortugero. He stopped by for a few days to assist Rob with relocating our camera traps. Thank you Roberto for lending us your expertise!
Hilary, Jonathon and their two children from Boston are on a sabbatical in Costa Rica for one year. They first visited Cloudbridge in February. They enjoyed the area and were impressed with the work being done here at the Cloudbridge Reserve. This month Hilary and Jonathon returned to climb Mount Chirripo as a fundraiser for Cloudbridge. Their effort is greatly appreciated and we have already received some donations.
“Yours are the sweetest trails we have ever seen. We are so happy that there are people like you”
Maria and Jose
“Thank you for another great day” Amira