April 2013

April blog

April showers bring…..many creatures out.

Blue Hooded Euphonia -      Euphonia elegantissima

Blue Hooded Euphonia – Euphonia elegantissima

Smokey brown Woodpecker - juvenile Veniliornis funigatus

Smokey brown Woodpecker – juvenile
Veniliornis funigatus

Pit Viper   (Venomous) Bothriechis nigroviridis

Pit Viper (Venomous) Bothriechis nigroviridis

Vampire Bat -Juvenile

Vampire Bat -Juvenile

Research and Volunteering

We had four presentations this month as people finished up their research and shared their data and experiences.

Crissy - bat identification

Crissy – bat identification

Crissy and her son Daniel’s evening bat collecting resulted in the identification of 8 species.  Her presentation included information on their habitat, diet, and  interesting nocturnal activities.  Almost everyone here at Cloudbridge took a turn at going out to experience and assist with the capture and identification.  Spraying down with insect repellent and wearing headlights was essential for this activity. We know how to go out in the evening at Cloudbridge and have a good time!

Marlyse - Nature Notes

Marlyse – Nature Notes

Nature notes are information sheets that will be used to educate people about the ecology of our area.   Marlyse wrapped up her rewriting of the nature notes and development of a design to be transposed onto signs for the trails.  In the future hikers will be able to stop and learn about the resplendent quetzal, the strangler fig, geology of the reserve, resident mammals, etc.

Miriam - The Resplendent Quetzal

Miriam – The Resplendent Quetzal

Miriam’s presentation talked about her daily searches in the forest for the elusive quetzal.  As with most people when you are specifically looking for them, they seem to be very difficult to find.   As she became more familiar with their calls and daily movements the sightings became more frequent.  She has identified a number of areas for potential nesting sites, trees that they prefer in their diet, and areas where they are most often seen or heard.  This information will be valuable for the continuation of research and for promoting conservation of this bird in our area.

Clarice - Gunnera

Clarice – Gunnera

Gunnera is a herbacious plant with gigantic leaves. It grows in disturbed areas such as land slides, road cuts etc.   Clarice completed her second season of studying the symbiotic relationship between this plant and the nitrogen fixing cyano bacteria known as Nostoc.  There is the potential for development of biological nutrient enhancement products for agriculture purposes.  This is an ongoing project and she plans on returning next year for further research.

Klaus - Italy

Klaus – Italy

Klaus is here as a volunteer, working on construction of benches for the trails and tables for the new cabinas.

Jorn - Holland

Jorn – Holland

Jorn (Holland) is studying Costa Rica’s program that pays land owners to protect ecological services, forests, rivers, etc.   He is investigating the reasons why this program works so well in Costa Rica, but few other countries have followed their lead.   He has been out interviewing local residents and inquiring about their interest or participation in the program.

Rob - England

Rob – England

Rob (UK) joined us to continue the ongoing Biological Assessment Survey  tracking many forms of wildlife at Cloudbridge and  building a database of when they are present.  He is an intern with the organization Global Vision International (GVI).

Roberto - Guatamala

Roberto – Guatamala

Roberto (Guatemala) is the research manager and jaguar camera trap coordinator at GVI’s Jalova Research Center near Tortugero.  He stopped by for a few days to assist Rob with relocating our camera traps.  Thank you Roberto for lending us your expertise!

Wouter & his wife Renate, (Holland) –  Wouter is studying the diet of sloths and inventorying trees at Cloudbridge that fit the criteria for the sloth’s diet.  This is the first step to look at the feasibility of sloths returning to Cloudbridge.
Renate is volunteering with Proyecto San Gerardo’s community childrens program.
They are both enthused about their stay in Costa Rica and are taking weekly Spanish lessons.  Buena suerte!
Giselle, graphic artist, from South Africa is helping to design Cloudbridge T-shirts.

Giselle, graphic artist, from South Africa is helping to design Cloudbridge T-shirts.

Once again this month we had the volunteer group ARO here.   Aro CoopérAction InterNational is a not-for-profit organization based in Montreal Quebec, Canada that educates about human values, peace, cooperation, and international relations through social, cultural, and linguistic immersion through exchange programes.
These young people worked hard, mulching around newly planted  trees, improving our hiking trails, and removing the invasive King grass.  They ended their day with a refreshing swim in the ice cold waters of the Rio Chirripo.
Thank you ARO for all of your help this year.  Here are a few photos of their last visit:
ARO volunteers helping young seedlings with cardboard mulch

ARO volunteers helping young seedlings with cardboard mulch

Clearing the trail of rocks

Clearing the trail of rocks

Digging out invasive King grass

Digging out invasive King grass

Group photo of ARO volunteers

Group photo of ARO volunteers

Cloudbridge Supporters:

Hilary and Jonathon - Boston USA

Hilary and Jonathon – Boston USA

Hilary, Jonathon and their two children from Boston are on a sabbatical in Costa Rica for one year.  They first visited Cloudbridge in February.  They enjoyed the area and were impressed with the work being done here at the Cloudbridge Reserve.  This month Hilary and Jonathon returned to climb Mount Chirripo as a fundraiser for Cloudbridge.  Their effort is greatly appreciated and we have already received some donations.

Visitor Comments:

“Yours are the sweetest trails we have ever seen.  We are so happy that there are people like you”

Maria and Jose

“Thank you for another great day”                                              Amira