Across the world the earth’s living systems are experiencing extreme summer heat and other drastic weather conditions.
2016 is already the hottest year on record, with India and other regions experiencing record shattering temperatures, and scientists are speaking about the rapid melting of Arctic ice. Everyday, we witness countless clear indications of our changing world and responsibility to act. Some simple actions everyone can do might include speaking up when you see people idling their vehicles, take your own shopping bags to the store instead of accepting plastic ones, take shorter showers to save the electricity used to heat the water, take public transportation, or bike, or walk and turn off lights when they are not needed. These might seem like small things but if everyone did it, or spoke up to those who aren’t acting responsibly, our environment would be a greener place.
Cloudbridge is actively planting trees this time of year. This is just one of our many contributions towards mitigation. Please join us and do what you can!
Global Vision International interns – These volunteers have finished their term at Cloudbridge providing the reserve with important data for our long term projects including bird point counts and amphibian studies.
- Victoria and Shannon presented the results of their research with the ongoing frog survey at Cloudbridge. They spent 11 weeks working in 4 different habitat types including old growth, natural regeneration in older that 30 years and also less than 30 years, and in areas newly planted. They conducted night surveys as well as daytime leaf litter surveys. Over the course of their surveys they found 9 species, both leaf litter and arboreal species.
While Alex was at the reserve doing the bird point counts he identified 2 new species that haven’t been seen in this area before. These are the Gartered Trogon (Trogon caligatus) and the Buffy-crowned Wood-Partidge (Dendrortyx leucophrys). This brings our count of bird species to 284.
For more information on the organization Global Vision International go to http://www.gviworld.com
Yuré Laura is a psychologist from San Jose, Costa Rica. She is also a holistic therapist (massage, reiki, shiatsu) and is experienced in field work with organic agriculture and uses and care of medicinal plants. Last year her sister, a biologist visited Cloudbridge for a weekend and insisted that Yuré come to the reserve too. She speaks English and Spanish.
She has been helpful in identifying traditional medicinal plants and took staff and volunteers on a medicinal tour. We look forward to Yurés return to continue with our medicinal plant identification.
Leo Chevillon, France – “Wildlife conservation for me is very important, therefore I am motivated to have this volunteer experience in order to dedicate myself directly to this cause. Moreover, my studies (degree in Management and Protection of Nature) requires 11 weeks of training in a nature reserve which makes this volunteer time perfect for that.”
Baiba Matule, Latvia – Baiba worked on a variety of projects including preparing areas for tree planting, tree planting, and tree maintenance. In addition she worked on wild fig propagation, and a variety of small projects. Baiba is returning to Switzerland to start her masters in forestry.
The Belafsky family from California joined us for several days to plant trees and to learn about the forest and climate change.
“Thank you for welcoming our family so warmly into your ‘magical forest’. It was inspiring, beautiful, educational, and fun. It was a privilege to plant trees at Cloudbridge, and be part of the reforestation work that you do. We look forward to returning.
Sheri, Samantha, Allie, and Cooper”
The organization ARO joined us again with 12 volunteers from Quebec, Canada. They spent several hours working and then ended the morning with a short hike and a visit to the art gallery . They put their backs into moving cement blocks and burying them in two areas of the road to improve access to Cloudbridge in the rainy season.
How to visit a cloud forest through the internet!
The cloud forest is not as far away as you think. Video conferencing and internet communications, like Skype and Facetime, allow the cloud forest to come to you. Video conferencing makes it possible to learn about the cloud forest, forest conservation and restoration, and to speak with actual researchers about their work, from your home location.
Cloudbridge is happy to arrange a ½ hour to 1 hour video conference on a topic of your interest with students and other interested groups. Typical talks include us walking the camera around to give you a glimpse of what we see everyday, a showcase of whatever interesting wildlife specimens (like frogs and giant insects) our researchers have recently collected, and the opportunity to ask questions of Cloudbridge staff and researchers.
In the spring of 2016, we talked with the fifth-grade class at Ralph R. Smith Elementary in Hyde Park, New York. The children watched and interacted with the presentation on a SmartBoard powered through an iPad as Cloudbridge staff talked to the class over an iPhone on FaceTime. Mrs. Ramsey the teacher later sent student comments about the experience. Here are a few:
Me (Emma) and my class really appreciate the time you took out of your day to facetime us and tell us about the rainforest!!!! Thank you for everything! I never knew that there was a snake called the milk snake and I learned the difference between female frogs and male frogs. I really enjoyed it. My favorite part was when you guys told the story on how the spider monkey was peeking in your window!…I’m just so glad that you guys took time out of your busy schedule to talk to us, Thank you so, so much… Personally, I want to become a Biologist when I grow up! You guys are my inspiration…
Sincerely, Emma ( :
Thank you for allowing our class to face time with you and showing us the frogs and grasshoppers you had. I learned that the grasshopper can grow so big. I liked seeing the glass frog. I learned that there are two seasons, dry and wet. I enjoyed asking the question about seeing big snakes where you are. Thank you for taking the time to face time with us, we really enjoyed it!
Students may not be able to visit the forest but they can learn about it through our cyber visit and then research all of the wonders of the tropics.
You can also visit us on our website http://www.cloudbridge.org and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cloudbridge.nature.reserve/
This Mottled Owl juvenile (Ciccaba virgata) has been heard around our learning centre. Baptiste Saunier who has been studying fungi as well as the owl populations spotted the young owl and took this photo.