The Hocking College students also had time to hike and learn about this part of the country for their eco-tourism studies
A wildlife research project that will be ongoing is the tracking of sloths in the area. These animals all but disappeared in this region probably due to deforestation and hunting. With an increase in wildlife corridors by pastures returning to forest through natural regrowth, the planting of trees on nature reserves, and a decrease in hunting and poaching we hope to see the return of the sloth. Our first step was to put up posters asking for any information on the siting of sloths. We posted these notices at hotels and poperias all the way from San Gerardo de Rivas (near the Cloudbridge Reserve) to the town of Rivas. After one day we received a call and a sighting near San Francisco ( not the one in California). The sloth was in a tree along the edge of a forest bordering a coffee field. Tony, the owner of the property was quite excited to take us there and share in our excitement of this research investigation. He also reported that his brother had seen one a week earlier in the same area.
More trail improvements – Sam is a professional trail builder. We were lucky to have him volunteer at Cloudbridge for a week and show us how to improve some of the trails. Wow, can that guy move rocks and soil!
Geoff from Wilderness Inquiry brought a group of folks to Cloudbridge in February. They enjoyed a hike to the Catarata Pacifica and were the first to try out Sam’s new trail.
Students from Beacon School , New York City spent a week studying ecology of the cloud forests. We divided them into groups focusing on birds, trees and insects. They hiked, collected data, and finished with some interesting and well done presentations.
Classroom construction this month included the installation of windows, and the start of work on the micro hydro electric system.
Our resident biologists Adam and Annie have been busy providing visitors with information and leading hikes.
The Cloudbridge Reserve is interested in community education. Linda organized a video web conference at the San Gerardo School. This conference was facilitated through ” The Rainforest Connection Live” from Montclair University in New Jersey. The Students had the opportunity to talk with scientists from Barro Colorado Island in Panama about the ecology of rainforests. Their topic was Ocelots. The teachers were very happy with this presentation and we would like to continue using this educational technology at the school and in our own classroom at Cloudbridge. A 4-way session was also organized between Cloudbridge representitives, a school in Saskatoon – Canada, a school in New Jersey- USA, and a scientist from Barro Colorado – Panama.