Finally it is the New Year – 2017. Not that we have been waiting for it to happen. But, 2016 seemed to come with its challenges – Politics, climate change impacts, race and cultural relations etc. With world leadership uncertainties and now possible new environmental policies in the US that could effect us all worldwide, we hope for the best. And also at the reserve as we continue to grow and expand our educational programs there has been some growing pains. We are accepting more student groups and researchers which comes with infrastructure needs. Now we need more bathrooms, a bigger kitchen, and always newer equipment. But this is all for the better because the more research that is done and the more people we can reach the bigger the impact we will have.
Research and Volunteering:
Britt van Engelen from the Netherlands presented her 5 month research project. Her study was about the relationship and corrilation between food availability (fruits and flowers) and bird abundance on the reserve.
She used data from the ongoing bird surveys and then did her own fruit and flower counts.This was a a difficult research project and she indicated that it will require further data collection, hopefully with a future researcher. In that way more information can be collected throughout different times of the year.
Justin Roberts and Daniella Garvue are travelling for 3 months and volunteering along the way. They say it gives them the opportunity to get to know the people and the area. They have taken enough time off to travel and spend all of their money in a very rewarding way. They are from Seattle Washington. Daniella works in a children’s museum and Justin is a guide for tourists in the area. They are staying 2 weeks at Cloudbridge helping out with all kinds of maintenance work and taking time to do some hiking.
Daniella – “I decided to travel to Costa Rica because of its incredible biodiversity and natural beauty, and I wanted to do some good there as I expanded my world.”
Justin – “I see nature/habitat conservation as one of the most important remedies for a world that is rapidly losing the richness of species and ecosystems that make life on Earth so amazing.”
Jacob Suissa and Sylvia Kinosian are both interested in ferns. Sylvia Kinosian is working on her PhD at Utah State University. Jacob is an intern at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
They were in the Costa Rica taking a fern course through the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). While here they decided to come up to Cloudbridge for a few days to check out the ferns and do a little identification.
Laura Hollingbery from the UK is a volunteer who just finished a degree in Ecology. Volunteering at a place like this is part of her 3 month adventure. She is interested in mosses and is going to do a project to study them while here. When she gets back home her plan is to do a one year internship before going to India to do a masters program. There she hopes to study human rights and environmental law.
From the Camera Traps:
As you may recall several months back we captured a photo of our first jaguar at the reserve. Well, here he is again seen on January 7th. If you compare the markings on the left (2016 photo) to the new photo it looks like it could be our old friend. He must have decided to stick around.
Also seen this month are these characters:
Our biologist Jenn Powell found these amazing orchids