Despite the corona crisis, investigations continue in Costa Rica

Despite the corona crisis, investigations continue in Costa Rica

Despite the fact that there are no students because of the Corona crisis, the research continues (partly).

In the Netherlands, some students are busy analysing data, but also in Costa Rica inventories are still being made. Accompanied by guide Tapa, Hanneke and Maarten walk the transects in different habitats.

The crowdfunding campaign for the local workers of Work with Nature in Costa Rica has been more than successful! Therefore an update of special observations of the past weeks.


Bird research

Several new species of birds have been added to the species list.

  • In the reserve, the Middle American Screech-Owl was heard for the first time up close, an owl that likes to hide in dense bushes, but makes a unique sound.
  • The Yellow-Green Vireo could also be added. The bird comes from South America to Costa Rica to breed here. A rarity for the Caribbean lowlands!
  • On their way back to North America some Canada Warblers entered the reserve. Beautiful little birds that we had never seen before.
  • After seeing the spectacular Ocelated Antbird earlier this year, it was now the turn of the Bicolored Antbird. The bird species follow swarms of Army Ants. These voracious ants eat anything that moves during their raids, up to lizards and scorpions. The Antbirds follow the ants and pick up fleeing animals before the ants are present.
  • Al enkele maanden wordt het reservaat bewoond door de Black Hawk-Eagle, een grote roofvogel en uithangbord voor ons regenwoud. Sinds een aantal weken lijkt hij een partner gevonden te hebben want we hebben het koppel nu meerdere keren samen zien rondcirkelen boven het bos. Nu wachten op de jongen!
  • For several months the reserve has been inhabited by the Black Hawk-Eagle, a large bird of prey and a signboard for our rainforest. Since a couple of weeks he seems to have found a partner, because we have seen the couple circling above the forest several times now. Now we are waiting for the boy!
  • During bird migration, large groups of birds of prey gather together to migrate back to North America via fixed routes, mostly over San Miguel. In half an hour we saw about 300 Mississipi Kites, 200 Broad-winged Hawks, 400 Swainson’s Hawk and 150 Turkey Vultures fly over.

Reptiles and amphibians research
Ook wat betreft reptielen en amfibiën hadden we niets te klagen.

  • As far as reptiles and amphibians are concerned, we had nothing to complain about either.
  • Furthermore, it was mainly the time of the poisonous snakes. The dangerous and beautiful Allen’s Coral Snake is usually active at night but was now seen twice during the day.
  • The Eyelash Viper is becoming more and more common in the reserve. This time we saw a small juvenile, a good sign for the future!
  • The Rainforest Hog-nosed Pitviper and Fer-de-Lance were passed several times at a safe distance, but sometimes we crawled a little closer for nice pictures.
  • A new lizard was added to the species list when the compost heap was turned over. The small Leaf Litter Gecko then quickly went back into the avocado husks. New species are often discussed in an app group of former students. When Thomas thought he had seen a similar lizard before, it turned out to be another new species: the Spotted Dwarf Gecko.
  • On the advice of student Merel, more attention was paid to the Pug-nosed Anole and with success: three individuals have already been observed, one of them during a transect.
  • From stand-in guide Gerald we got a Red-eyed Leaf Frog that he had brought from the garden. Because a lot of poison is being sprayed in the village, we put the large female in the reserve and since the rainy season is just starting, we can expect new beautiful amphibian sightings soon….

Mammal research

On the mammal front there is also good news.

    • The now extensive list of occurring species became a little longer again. The rare Northern Naked-tailed Armadillo, aka “The Tank”, stomped through the reserve and was recorded by a cameraval.
    • It was a while ago again that a couple of Ocelot could be seen together. A sign that this species is still doing very well at Work with Nature!
    • The Collared Peccary constantly migrates in small groups through its large habitat. Sometimes we don’t see them for months, now two big ones and four small ones pass by.

Help needed
This work too, is under pressure from the current crisis. We are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to keep our workers on.
Much has already been donated, but not enough. Look up:  Campaign local workers (in Dutch)

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