August 2023 Program Blog

This month our keen-eyed researchers and staff have continued seeing many species of wildlife, with some spectacular photography featured again in this month´s blog.  The image of the golden-spotted rain frogs (Pristimantis cruentus) and the blue-eyed anole (Anolis woodi) below were both taken by our hospitality coordinator Anthony Garita.

Happy 48th Anniversary to Chirripó National Park!  Various celebrations commemorated this important event, and on August 19th, Cloudbridge participated with an educational activity for children as part of this great celebration.  Also present was the firefighting Coati Toño Pizote, who has made many appearances in this blog over the years!  Children also had the opportunity to learn about the use of water trucks in fighting wildfires.

As this summer season has tragically reminded us, wildfires are one of the major immediate effects of climate change and habitat destruction, and it is with much solidarity that Costa Rican firefighters have travelled to Canada to help support the management of wildfires.  Local members of the volunteer firefighting brigade Bosque Verde  (of which 2 Cloudbridge staff are also members) spent the month of August in British Columbia.  

Program participants

A group of our program participants hiked up to Chirripó this month, and had a challenging but very fulfilling adventure.  As those of you who have participated in our program know, the camaraderie and friendships that form at Cloudbridge can be life-changing!

My name is Rowan Ibbotson, I am a research intern and I’ve been staying at Cloudbridge for the last two months studying the plant community structure of regenerated cloud forest. I’m really excited to be studying forest restoration because it is a project that gives hope that this unique habitat can recover and renew after we remove pressure from humans. Last week, I also had the privilege of accompanying Cloudbridge guide and forestry engineers Oscar and Marilyn on a trek over Cerro Uran to check camera traps. I’m very grateful for the chance to get involved in Cloudbridge’s varied and impactful work and look forward to sharing the final results of my project with the rest of the team.

Hello, my name is Johannes. I’m from Germany and I’m volunteering at cloudbridge for two months. After my studies in Germany, I wanted to escape from everyday life once again and get to know the nature of Costa Rica. I spend most of my time working with the researchers and helping them with their work. I discover new animals almost every day. I have a lot of fun, I learn many new things and I have a great time.

This month Cloudbridge also participated in a sustainability fair at the local university.  It was a great experience for our program participants to practice their Spanish and see other interesting initiatives (and of course the Baile Típico as well!).

Pics from around the reserve

Catarata Caldera. Photo credit: Anthony Garita
Ornate hawk eagle. Photo credit: Fergus Jackson
This «mano de piedra» was on the road below Cloudbridge. Photo credit: Anthony Garita

Black-handed spider monkey. Photo credit: Tristan Roquefueil

Suggested Reading

  • As we know, various places throughout the Northern hemisphere have experienced an especially dry summer season, with wildfires absolutely devastating large swaths of land and property.  As we mentioned in last months blog, Costa Rican firefighters (including neighbors and friends of Cloudbridge), have gone to assist in the efforts of managing fires in Canada, constituting the largest humanitarian assistance that Costa Rica has provided in its history.
  • Another manifestation of climate change is in the movement of species ranges and even of tree-lines in mountain landscapes around the world.  Here in transitional Cloud Forest of Cloudbridge, we have noticed the presence of species that previously only occurred at lower elevations, and park rangers have seen grackles at Chirripo´s Base Crestones (3400 meters above sea level).  
  • Reflecting on the changes that happen over time and the migration patterns that have shaped human evolution and history, this essay explores Kenya´s Rift Valley and the pages of human history that are being found there.

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