May 2021

The side-striped palm-pit viper (Bothriechis lateralis) is one of several pit-vipers found on the Reserve. They are not exactly easy to find, unless you know where to look. Photo credit: Nicholas Hess https://www.nicholashessphotography.com/

May has been another good month for us here at Cloudbridge, we have some great researchers who have been enjoying their time here on the reserve, and getting some great shots. 

These pumas were captured by Ben Luke´s excellent camera trap set-up. Photo credit: Benjamin Luke Photography
Photo credit: Jax Frink
Photo credit: Paul Bischof
This magnificent ocelot was also captured by Ben´s amazing camera trap set-up. Photo credit: Benjamin Luke Photography

This month we have also continued with some ongoing research collaboration with Dr. Michael Mooring, evaluating carnivores in Chirripó National Park using camera traps. Our researchers took advantage of the trip to visit the summit, as well : )

As with any time of year, it is fascinating to see what is flowering and fruiting. This Gesneriaceae still hasn´t been named, though botanists have identified it as a separate species from Drymonia macrantha, with which it has been confused in the past.

This female Green hermit (Phaetornis Guy) sips nectar and pollinates the flowers. Photo credit: Gabriel Zuñiga

The UNED student Gabriel Zúñiga has been studying the pollination of these flowers, and in the process he has found an insect of the Curculionidae family that they are still in process of identifying. It may be a new species!

Photo credit: Gabriel Zuñiga
Another great fruit we have been seeing around is the aguacatillo, or “little avocado”, which is one of the Quetzal´s favorite foods!
The “poró criollo” (Erythrina berteroana) has also been impressing with it´s spiky flowers. This native relative to the well-known Poró gigante (Erythrina poeppigiana) has edible flowers and produces beautiful seeds that are used in handicrafts.

Though the Covid-19 pandemic has put a pause on San Gerardo´s great recycling program, we are still helping to process the recycling that is generated by the Chirripó National Park. Cloudbridge has a very longstanding collaborative relationship with the community association in charge of recycling.

Interns and Volunteers

My name is Marvin Andreas Biedermann. I’m a undergraduate student here at Cloudbridge doing research for my thesis. I’m studying the effects of human abundance on the frequency of species in Cloudbridge. I’m really interested in seeing how we directly affect the presence of animals on trails, whether it differs with species. Since I’ve been here I’ve developed a whole new array of skills ranging from camera trap knowledge to animal identification. I’m happy to be here and hopefully learn some new things and teach others about wildlife conservation.

Photo credit: Jax Frink
Photo credit: Luke Schwedler
Photo credit: Paul Bischof
Photo credit: Luke Schwedler
Photo credit: Luke Schwedler
Photo credit: Paul Bischof

Suggested Reading

  • Earlier this month, EU deputy Fran Timmermans issued a stark warning for the future of our children.
  • In this ultimately hopeful essay, a climate scientist reflects on burnout, optimism and taking the steps that we can in the face of overwhelming circumstances.
  • The last couple of weeks we have seen groundbreaking pushback and victories against the oil extraction giants, signalling a decisive shift.
  • Suzanne Simard has done groundbreaking work to further our understanding of the web of life, specifically how trees communicate through fungal networkds. This month we had the pleasure of listening to two of her conversations, with the editor of Emergence magazine, and on NPR´s Fresh Air Tonight
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