We were fortunate to have a number of great volunteers in March. Volunteers worked on; Painting buildings, tree maintenance and clearing around seedlings, sign design and painting, educational material development, and step building and trail maintenance. They also got involved in the community road paving project mixing concrete. Volunteers included; Jenny Todino – US, Samantha Dejean – US, Jana Heimann -Germany, Franziska Nebe – Germany, Jenny Lo from Taiwan, as well as Team Ke-tzal, from France
For the past few months the staff and volunteers of Cloudbridge along with some talented local workers have been able to upgrade some of our buildings and infrastructure. In addition to adding two additional dorm rooms to accommodate our study abroad students without disrupting our researchers. We added a second communal kitchen again this way we can accommodate student groups as well as our longer term researchers and volunteers. We built an additional storage bodega to accommodate our program supplies as well as allow us to better organize our linens and streamline our rental building housekeeping. We expanded Casa Amanzimtoti to provide more privacy for our staff living there as well as a new entry area. Additionally we upgraded rain gutters, water heaters, and a lot of trail improvements.
Joel Firebrace wrapped up his work on composting at Cloudbridge. Joel built a new compost bin and developed instructions on how to effectively turn our waste organic material into rich soil for our seedlings.
Students with the organization Broadreach spent 5 days learning about the cloud forest, spending time with camera trapping, invertebrates in the river, climate change discussion, birds, night hikes, owl surveys, local interactions at the trout farm, and so much more.
March 7th the organization ARO from Quebec arrived with 47 students to visit the Reserve and participate in an active discussion following Linda’s presentation on our changing climate and what we can do to address it.
Izzy Soane from the UK has been at the reserve for 2 months and presented her research on mixed species flocks. Her findings indicate that even though there are varying numbers and species in these flocks there are nuclear species that are almost always found within the groups. They seem to be the main instigators of the flocks as they forage for food. These nucleus species are: the Golden crown warbler, Slaty antwren, Spangle-cheeked tanager, Costa Rican warbler, Common chlorospingus, and the Yellow-thighed finch. But the warblers make up the bulk of most flocks. She also learned that they seem to have a preference for old growth forest. She wondered if this might have something to do with more insects, better shelter, and less human disturbance.
She also started a short survey studying hummingbird behavior at feeders. This research will be continued with new researchers that are arriving.
We are a group of 7 french students from a Business School in France. We are in Costa Rica during 4 months to help associations protecting the environment. The name of our group, Ke’Tzal, is formed by the contraction of the name of our school Kedge and the name of the symbolic and traditional bird of Costa Rica, the Quetzal.
We have been attracted to Cloudbridge’s concept because they are reforesting the environment they are surrounded by.
The biodiversity is very rich and they are plenty of vertebrates and plant species.
We participated in reforestation and protection of animals like Quetzals birds, for the most part of the work.
We have been delighted to work with every member of each mission in Cloudbridge. Thank you Tom for your hospitality and the various interesting missions you gave us. Pura vida !
These photos are courtesy of Xavier Loyer – Canada. Flowers around the Cloudbridge grounds and gardens