August/September 2013

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“Always have a dream that lasts longer than a lifetime”

Jack Layton

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Reflecting:

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The stump of a tree cut down for agriculture many years ago. The secondary forest is emerging all around it.

It has been almost 12 years since the reserve first started the reforestation project.  The old stumps still loom within the new forest as if to serve as a reminder of  their inescapable demise.

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Volunteers:

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Josh

Josh was a lawyer who left that occupation and is returning to school to study environmental technology. He has lived abroad and travelled to 45 countries.  He came to Cloudbridge to experience work at a wilderness reserve.  Thanks to his organizational skills he has catalogued the copies of Cloudbridge research studies so that they are accessable to anyone visiting the Giddy Environmental Learning Center here at the reserve.

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Max

Max from Utah came to Cloudbridge through the Organization GVI.  He looked after collecting all of the data from our camera traps.

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Kyle

Kyle

Kyle from England dedicated his time to the biological survey and in particular the bird point count.

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Taran (no photo) from Colorado has been at San Gerardo de Rivas volunteering for a couple of months.  He not only volunteered for Cloudbridge but also for Project San Gerardo.

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Sama and Matt

Sama and Matt

Sama and Matt are from Vermont

Sama : Matt and I are measuring all the trees greater than 10 cm diameter in the Smithsonian Plot – a hectare in the old-growth forest. This is more than 700 trees! We are measuring diameter and also estimating height, so that we can use these numbers to estimate how big each tree is and how much carbon they contain. Once we figure this out for each tree, we can estimate how much carbon is being stored in the live biomass in the plot, and then even get an estimate for the carbon in all the old-growth forest at Cloudbridge. It’s a big project, but it should be useful to know how much carbon is held here in the reserve.

Matt: I’m working (was working) in the plot with Sama measuring trees to complete the carbon study.  Additionally, I am updating the Cloudbridge maps, compiling past meteorological data, and have set up 8 rain gauges along the trails to see if different tree cover has an effect on how much rain reaches the ground.

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Christine

Christine

Christine is from Switzerland and has come to Cloudbridge directly after high school to experience travel, volunteer work, and a tropical country.  She has been busy assisting with research projects. She is also helping out with the administration of our Bandera Azul goals.  Her ability to speak Spanish has been a real asset.

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Wildlife:

sebastian

Sebastian a young visitor staying with Jenny Giddy and her partner Charles (Charles’s grandson) had a great summer holiday at Cloudbridge.  Here he is seen releasing a mouse caught in a live trap in the Casa.

Sebastian wrote a story about one of his experiences:

“Hi guys I saw a peccary today!
If you don’t know what a peccary is pull it up on line, it’s P-E-C-C-A-R-Y.
 
Anyway I was walking in the woods and I collapsed on the ground in exhaustion  and waited for mama to arrive to my place. And all of a sudden I heard a crack in the woods, and then u saw it, a fully grown, adult male, white collard peccary!
I stopped breathing, it stamped its foot, then it grunted and lunged forward about a foot. I stood up, and finally he walked up the trail, but it wasn’t over yet, I found his trail. From this day forward, that stupid peccary is gonna give me nightmares about it attacking me for the rest of my life!!
 
                                    PS That is a true story.”
Even though Sebastian’s story sounds a little hair-raising we have never experienced peccaries showing aggression!
“Collared peccaries are not aggressive and usually avoid people.  If  threatened by an enemy such as a jaguar, they may attack as a group,  opening their jaws wide to show their tusks, and making a loud  ‘clacking’ noise.  The long tusks also serve as tools for digging roots  and bulbs from hard-baked soil, and give the collared peccary its other  name, javelina, from the Spanish word for ‘javelin’.Its  closest relative, the white-lipped peccary, is larger and more  aggressive.  It lives in large herds in the rainforests of Central and  South America.Although it is not yet in danger of extinction,  the animal is under ever-increasing threat from the destruction of its  habitat – for agriculture, timber production and urban development.  It  is also hunted for its meat.”
From: http://www.marwell.org.uk/zoo_guide/animal_detail.asp?id=18
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Spotted Wood Quail

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Spotted Wood Quail

The Spotted Wood Quail is a fairly common resident in this area.  They are often seen along the trails  waddling back and forth looking through the forest leaf litter for fallen seeds, fruits and invertebrates.  As you approach they scuttle off into the forest and quickly disappear.

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From The Camera Traps:

Common Opossum

Common Opossum

Collared Peccary

Collared Peccary

Hog Nosed Skunk

Hog Nosed Skunk

White Nosed Coati

White Nosed Coati

Nine Banded Armadillo

Nine Banded Armadillo

Juvenile Peccaries

Juvenile Peccaries

Mexican Hairy Porcupine

Mexican Hairy Porcupine

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