August 2021

A handsome male emerald glass frog. Notice the humeral spine near his shoulder, which is used during combat with other male frogs. Photo credit: Río Dante Barrantes

August has been a rainy and relatively quiet month here at Cloudbridge.  We are quite happy to have welcomed Río Dante Barrantes Para as our new science coordinator, his knowledge of local fauna is a constant source of inspiration.  And of course, we wish the best to our previous coordinator, Paula Pebsworth.  We feel quite honored to have had Paula with us for the time that we did, and wish her the best of luck with future endeavors!  Thank you for everything, Paula : )

Rio has been able to familiarize himself with all the different parts of Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. Here he visits Catarata Don Victor, in Cloudbridge North.

For some time now, Dr. Michael Mooring has been collaborating with the National Park Service to monitor the presence of mammals, especially carnivores such as felines, in the Talamanca mountains. Cloudbridge has also been helping with this exciting project, and we were very happy this month to have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Mooring and others to establish clear guidelines for the collaboration. Later in the month, a team from Cloudbridge made the trek from San Jerónimo up to Chirripó, and back again along the main (San Gerardo) trail, to change the batteries and SD cards and in some cases even replace cameras that were not functioning.

The trail from San Jerónimo goes through the Sabana de los Leones, one of Chirripó National Park´s distinctive features.
“Los Crestones” are another salient feature of Chirripó National Park. This picture shows “la Aguja (the needle)”, the Creston that stands alone.
Valeria and Greivin were able to enjoy the diverse and whimsical landscapes that attract people from around the world to this beautiful National Park.
Though the objective of the trak was to check on the camera traps and change the SD cards, we were also fortunate to have a moment to relax and enjoy ourselves.
Photo credit: Valeria González

We are very pleased to be able to continue supporting and collaborating with the local recycling program. With the amount of visitors at Chirripó National Park, there is always recycling to be sorted and smashed!

It is always sad when our longstanding researchers or volunteers leave us. This picture was taken on Justin and Philip´s last night at Cloudbridge. We miss you guys : ) Of course, we are also thankful and have been enjoying the company of the new participants who have joined our team.

Hanna does a great selfie, with the lovely group who have been here at Cloudbridge behind her.

Staff, researchers and Volunteers

My name is Rio Dante, I’m currently the scientific coordinator at Cloudbridge Reserve and am finishing my Tropical Biology degree at the National University of Costa Rica. I’ve been a Biologist at heart since I was a child and would explore the jungles looking for all kinds of animals like snakes, bats, snakes etc. While also always trying to protect the environment as much as possible.

Hi! My name is Elías Calderon Morales, I am a 22 year-old student at the National University of Costa Rica. I am studying Sustainable Tourism Management, and am happy to be able to do my practicum at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve.

My name is Hanna Höffner and I am 19 years old. Last year I finished Highschool in Germany and started working to collect money for travelling. The last four weeks I was here at Cloudbridge as a Volunteer. My dream is to become a researcher and that’s why this Nature reserve was the best choice. I enjoyed the nature and going on Surveys so much, that I really want to keep working for my dream. Here in Cloudbridge my favourite animals I saw were the Emerald Toucanets, the Coatis, the Butterflies, the fireflies and the Milksnake. Everyone here was very open, nice and friendly to me and I am so glad to had the possibility to be part of this team for a month.

Pics from around the reserve

The glasswing butterflies blend in nicely with these beautiful flowers.

Suggested Reading

  • This summer has been devastating in the “natural” disasters that have affected so many countries around the world, from flooding and storms to fire and heat waves. This only serves to remind us all of the urgency with which we need to address the climate crisis. This month, the newly published IPCC report makes this crystal clear, with what has been called a code red for humanity. This New York Times piece highlights 5 takeaways from the report.
  • The longstanding drought in the Western United States is reaching a critical point, as demonstrated in these excellent articles from The Atlantic and The New York Times.
  • To face these unprecedented situations, solutions may come from a different approach than what many people are used to, for example, in Spain there is a push to grant the Mar Menor with personhood status.
  • To end on a positive note, Costa Rica provides an inspiring blueprint of how to achieve better health outcomes with limited resources.
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