November 2022

True to its name, the emerald glass frog (Espadarana prosoblepon) is somewhat transparent.  Photo credit:  Alvaro Zamora. 

A morning view of Catarata Cloudbridge and Cerro Uran. Photo credit: Louise Illot-Baudon

The end of the rainy season is in sight and we have certainly been keeping ourselves busy.  Beginning with our participation in a workshop to help define a new conservation category not based on government protection, and ending with our participation in a local Tourism Expo, Cloudbridge Nature Reserve has been busy not only with our wonderful program participants but also with some fun networking opportunities.  A change of staff and having Tom back on the reserve have introduced even more enthusiasm and engagement to our participant program, and we have also expanded our native tree nursery. 

Edgar Madrigal shows us the sprouting seedlings of our nursery.

On November 2nd and 3rd of this year, our director Casey McConnell participated in a workshop to help define the indicators of an «Other Effective Conservation Measure» (OMEC for it´s initials in Spanish).  A private nature reserve such as Cloudbridge could qualify as an OMEC, as we are not a government-designated protected area such as a national park, but we are managing the land in such a way as to promote biodiversity conservation in situ.  Land that is being managed in such a way could help countries achieve their Aichi Biodiversity Targets and other environmental goals.

Workshop facilitator Bernal Herrera explains the criteria that identify an OMEC

This month we also had the pleasure of receiving a media team from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, who are reporting on a Gastronomical Route in the Chirripó Mountains.  Some white-faced capuchins cooperated with our image and made an appearance right near the memorial garden!

The visiting group enjoyed seeing Cloudbridge for the first time and have indicated that they would like to return. Photo credit: Thomas Gode

San Isidro´s only Mall, the Centro Comercial Montegeneral, held a tourism fair over the weekend after Black Friday.  Though the goal of Cloudbridge is not tourism per se, we chose to participate with a stand as this would allow us to engage with the general public and sneak in some environmental education in our conversations : ) 

Our research intern Jorge Monge speaks with visitors at our information stand.

Staff and program Participants

Though Thanksgiving is a North American tradition, participants from Costa Rica and around the world were able to partake in this special celebration.
We are excited to have new staff members, Max King and Madelyn Peterson

Hi, I’m Max and I am the new Operarional Manager here at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. I am originally from the UK, but i have spent the last four years working on Costa Rican scientific research stations. I’ve worked primarily in the Caribbean lowlands, but I have also been a researcher here at Cloudbridge before, which I clearly could not get enough of, so now I’ve returned in a more permenant regard.

I am responsible for the day to day running here on the reserve from a participant point of view, so if you make your way up the mountain to be an intern, researcher or volunteer, we will be getting to know each other!

My passions are for birds, frogs and wetlands but in reality i am always happy to hear about other’s passions, as enthusiasm is highly infectious in the best kind of way.

I hope to see you soon on the reserve! I can guarantee you will love it and meet wonderful like-minded people who encourage you to speak for hours about the defining features of a rainfrog. A rare opportunity indeed!

Hi! I’m Maddy Peterson and I’m the Assistant Manager here at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve. In 2020 I received my Environmental Science degree and have been searching for my place in the conservation world ever since. Fall of 2021 I found Cloudbridge, and completely fell in love! What was supposed to be a 3 month bird research internship has turned into about a year of conducting various research within the jungle and becoming enamored with everything around me. Now as the Assistant Manager, my role is to help out with the projects that our researchers are doing on the reserve, facilitate activities for volunteers that come for a learning experience, and collaborate with the surrounding community when possible.

Genevieve Hinchliff, a fundraiser from the UK taking some time away from her computer to visit conservation projects around the world.

The group recently visited the Río Blanco Nature Reserve in Herradura de Rivas. A very nice experience!
Ivan and Jorge change the batteries on a camera trap. Photo credit: Louise Illot-Baudon.

We spruced up the rooms a bit : )  Photo credit:  Genevieve Hinchliff

But it´s not all work no play. Photo credit: Finlay Gibson-Healey.
Night tours are a fun part of the Cloudbridge Experience. Photo credit: Genevieve Hinchliff
Photo credit: Louise Illot-Baudot
Genevieve and Finlay, looking good near Catarata Don Victor.  Photo credit: Jorge Monge
Jorge is an EARTH university student who is greatly enjoying his internship at Cloudbridge. photo credit: Finlay Gibson-Healey
Finlay is visiting us from Australia, he is greatly enjoying spending time outdoors in the cloud forest.

Pics from around the Reserve

Thomas enjoys the early morning sunlight. Photo credit: Genevieve Hinchliff
A freshly hatched cicada. Photo credit: Katrin Schaetzle
Native acorns hatch in our seedling nursery. This was a good year for seeds. Photo credit: Casey Ella McConnell
Photo credit: Casey Ella McConnell
Side-striped Palm Pit-Viper (Botriechis lateralis).  Photo credit: Alvaro Zamora)
The Side-striped Palm pit viper (Botriechis lateralis). Photo credit: Alvaro Zamora.
The emerald toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus). Photo credit: Casey Ella McConnell
The blue-eyed anole.  Photo credit: Genevieve Hinchliff
Photo credit: Louise Illot-Baudon

Fungi pics

Photo credit: FInlay Gibson-Healey
Photo credit: Finlay Gibson-Healey
Photo credit_ Jorge Monge
Photo credit: Finlay Gibson-Healey

Suggested Reading

  • Earlier this year, Patricia Nicolau had shared her final report with us, on the Microhabitat preferences of coatis.
  • This November, the United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) was able to produce an important agreement on establishing a Loss and Damage Fund, though much remains to be seen as to who will pay into this fund.  In this conference, attention was rightly drawn to the relationship between biodiversity and climate.  With the UN Biodiversity Conference coming up this December in Montreal, it is a good time to highlight this connection.
  • As vulnerable communities face existential threats due to rising seas or other factors, countries must make difficult decisions on how to best use limited funds for relief.  This article speaks to the challenges faced by three Native American Tribes of the Pacific Northwest who are trying to pull back from the coast.
  • Here at Cloudbridge we are big fans of Suzanne Simard, so of course an in-depth interview with her is always a treat.  Enjoy : )

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