February 2015




Photo by Matt Smokoska – Bare-hearted Glass Frog

More than 100 species of green glass frogs exist, all in the family Centrolenidae. Transparent green glass frogs, named for their translucent skin, are not easy to find and observe. Their green tint blends with their environment, and they inhabit remote areas. Green glass frogs give short, high-frequency chirps, although there is some variation of pitch among the calls of different species.

Transparent green glass frogs are found in the tropical rainforests of Central America (including Cloudbridge Reserve), South America and southern Mexico, at altitudes ranging from sea level to 2.36 miles above sea level. Many glass frogs live in leaf canopies high above the ground when they are not breeding. Some species frequent dense vegetation near the edges of creeks and streams in the forests.




Yeudy Alvarez Ulate (Yo)  – Costa Rica

Bob Jacobs – US

Maxime Philibert – France

Jan Rosciszewski – Germany

Malin Große-Heilmann – Germany

Helene Loy – Germany

Annika Weiss -Germany

Celine Laesser -Switzerland

Victoria Schroeder  – Germany

Malin assisting with a research project
Malin assisting with a research project
Volunteers doing maintenance on the Sentinel Trail
Volunteers doing maintenance on the Sentinel Trail
Jan and Max clearing an area for the new storage space
Jan and Max clearing an area for the new storage space


Bob our construction man.
Bob our construction man.
Linda has her art studio open to provide information on what is happening at the reserve.  These two little visiting artists wanted to do a painting of the forest and a valentine heart
Linda has her art studio open to provide information on what is happening at the reserve. These two little visiting artists wanted to do a painting of the forest and a valentine heart
Victoria carrying a big load.


So much was accomplished this month with this large group of volunteers.  Construction projects, trail work, gardening, and a parking lot expansion have given the reserve yet another face-lift.



Ellie and Andrea continue their work from last month.  They have been recording many species of birds on their bird point counts. Ellie comments «The best birds I saw were the quetzal, motmot, the rufous browed pepper shrike, white-tailed emerald, our favourite the yellow thighs finch. The 13 toucanets was a big day on jilguero. We never stopped hearing the green violet-ear. The spotted barbtail and the red-headed barbet for the first time this month. A family of 5 spotted wood quails.»

The camera traps have produced photos of pumas, collared peccaries, coatis, pacas, agoutis, opossums, squirrels and spotted wood quails.

It is the time of year when quetzals are being seen again by Cloudbridge staff and tourists as well.


Clarice Esch is working hard at grafting tomatoes, still within the preliminary stages of her research.  She has also introduced herself to all of the local growers and has been out in the fields working with them.  She has also immersed herself into the community, helping the organization ‘Project San Gerardo’ with english classes and other projects.


Kendall DeLyser continues with her forestry research.  This is a monumental task because of the difficulties of tree identification in a country that has one of the highest rates of plant diversity in the world .  Slowly she has managed to ID many of the trees in her transects with hours of investigation.


Jasper van Kessel – Netherlands

Cloudbridge is a beautiful and peaceful place where you can hike, visit an art gallery, volunteer and for me, conduct an internship. I am Jasper a student of Nature and Forestry conservation from the Netherlands and am here for an internship about amphibians. I want to find out whether the maturity of the forest cover affects the amphibian abundance and diversity within the Cloudbridge reserve. The research is undertaken by myself, however there are volunteers that help me some days.

For this research we use three different approaches, they are pitfall traps, plot sampling, and night visual encounter surveys. The pitfall traps consist of two buckets per transect and are set in the primary, natural re-growth, and reforested re-growth. The plot sampling and night visual encounter surveys make use of a sharp eye. We make a plot and go through all the leaf litter, search under dead woody debris and loose rocks, as well as look inside root cavities and bases of vegetation. This is also done in all the different live stages.

For the research I get to hike in Cloudbridge every single day, except for the weekends. The trails are steep and the first weeks I had to get used to it. However, it is worth all the kilometers. The diversity compared to the Netherlands is so high and you see new animals nearly every single day, especially birds and that is why you always need your binoculars with you. Also lizards, frogs, insects, and mammals can be found here. Some of the many species we have found are included in the photos. These are the Blue-eyed Anole, the Emerald Glass Frog and the Spider Monkey. The last photo is the beautiful view that we have early in the morning from the Gavilan trail.

Blue-eyed Anole



Glass Frog
Glass Frog
Spider Monkey
Spider Monkey



Jasper's world for the next few months
Jasper’s world for the next few months




Photos from the Resident Biologist Matt Smokoska

Matt’s keen eye for wildlife has provided us with so many beautiful photos capturing the creatures of the cloud forest.  Some of these were taken on tours that he has given, and some he took while just out wandering about always on the hunt for a new species or the perfect photo.

Sulphur-Winged Parakeet
Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush


Lichen Katydid
Golden-hooded Tanager



Pit Viper
Pit Viper


Male and Female Elegant Euphonia
Bizzarre caterpillar


Mot Mots
Blue-crowned Motmots
Collared Trogan
Collared Trogan
Red Headed Barbet
Red -Headed Barbet
Palm Pit Viper
Speckled Pit Viper


Speckled Tanager eating guava fruit


Velvet worm
Leaf mimicking insect
Leaf mimicking insect
Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager
Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal



Community Service:


Helping with Fiesta preparations

Washing banana leaves for tamales
Washing banana leaves for tamales


Making tamales
Making tamales


Cloudbridge Fun:

Every week we have a pot luck dinner for everyone at the reserve.  This has become a highlight with so many different dishes and a variety of cooking talent.  One week we even had a ethnic meal. There was food from  Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, Netherlands, France,  Ukraine, England, Costa Rica, and various regions in the US.


Linda and Matts birthday lunch....February 25th
Linda and Matts birthday lunch….February 25th





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