September 2016



This butterfly plate shows just how difficult it is to do identifications.


We have recently found 2 rare species (new to Cloudbridge) of butterflies- one was back in June and the other at the beginning of September. While Alex Acott was here in June he found a male Consul panariste jansoni a rare butterfly usually only found between 100- 800m but we found it way out of range at 1550m in a trap baited with rotten bananas which it was previously only thought to attract the females. Then in September I snapped a photo of a Adelpha erymanthis which was thought only to occur on the caribbean side of southern Costa Rica and which was only ever seen once by the one time creator of Lepidoptora at the Costa Rican Natural history museum and author of “The Butterflies of Costa Rica» – Philip J. DeVries.  In fact it was so unusual and so hard to identify that we thought it best to get an expert opinion and it turns out a friend of a friend is a world expert on the genus.

– Frank Spooner

Manager, Cloudbridge Nature Reserve


Alex with a Consul panariste jansoni


Adelpha erymanthis erymanthis


Volunteers and Research:

The GVI interns finished up their time at Cloudbridge with presentations in their respective research.

Jeb Hartman presented the results of the reptile study. Despite their best efforts and several sampling techniques, the study only yielded 29 reptiles most of which were found around the Cloudbridge buildings, leading to the conclusion that reptiles are present in very low densities here. The Blue-eyed Anole (Anolis woodi) was the reptile caught the most frequently, while Gunther’s Graceful Brown Snake (Urotheca guentheri) was the most common snake.

Jeb and his reptile study presentation
Jeb and his reptile study presentation




Matt Steele presented the result of the camera trapping study. Peccaries were the most spotted mammal, and they were found all around the reserve, often in small groups. Spotted Wood Quail were the most seen bird species. He shared five of his favourite videos with us which included: a tamandua, a skunk, a tayra, a coyote, and a puma.

Matt Steele
Matt Steele


Emma Noyes and Kasey Bedford presented the results from the bird study. From July-September, the highest bird abundance was on the Rio trail, and the greatest number of species was found on the Gavilan trail. The most abundant bird species in their study were: Common Chlorospingus, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Black-faced Solitaire, Slate-throated Redstart and Yellow-thighed Finch. They also identified a new species never before found at Cloudbridge, the Buffy- Tuftedcheek.

Emma and Kasey
Emma and Kasey


New GVI Volunteers:

Barney and Oscar from England will be studying amphibians and reptiles.



Barney and Oscar
Barney and Oscar



Sam England and Sarah Australia (GVI interns)  will be working on the ongoing bird project. Here they are pictured in their first bird watching lesson – identifying a motmot previously known as the Blue-crowned motmot.





Ignacio an environmental engineer from Argentina is here to volunteer




Tizian from Germany is here also as a general volunteer.



Neža is a horticulture student from Slovenia doing her internship in Costa Rica.  She is working in our tree nursery and gardens.


Fun and Music:

One evening Frank with his friend Renato and Florian were jamming on the guitars which encouraged the volunteers to join in singing (with varying levels of success).



Website Improvements:  



This project started when Millicent Cooley and her partner Tony Duncan  came to stay at Cloudbridge for a few nights several years ago.  As often happens in this case, our visitors fell in love with the area and the project and Millicent decided to volunteer some of her time and expertise for helping us redesign and update the Cloudbridge website.  She is a professional research and web design strategist for business and customer service success.  Since their visit she has been helping us redesign and improve the website via Skype from her home in New York.

Beth Ramsey from Oregon is our web master and she has been instrumental in the development and addition of all the data and information onto the site.   Beth is going to be joining us at Cloudbridge for several months.  We look forward to her visit and the help she can provide by being on site with some hands on volunteering.

A lot of the new information had to be written or collected, arranged, and  photos gathered.  Jenn Powell our scientific coordinator and Frank Spooner the manager have been kept busy in this capacity.

Monthly Skype meetings with everyone kept the ball rolling. Websites are no simple undertaking and we are so thankful for each of you for spending countless hours to make our website more user friendly, informative and interesting.

Some of the changes and improvements include more information about the hiking trails, an updated look at our rental casitas, comprehensive species lists,  and updates to the education and volunteer pages.  Still in progress are the additions of the latest research papers and a climate change page.

This project is a great example of using the internet to do remote collaboration with volunteers.

See you on the web  ……..and don’t forget to check out the blog for a monthly report of what is happening in the jungle!

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