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New  Discoveries

Jim slowly pops open a tiny tupperware box sitting on the table. All of us gathered around the table slowly lean in, ready for the much anticipated surprise he brought to share with us. Hidden amongst scrunched up tissue he picks out an insect. Dark brown in colour with two large front pincers. This is one of three found specimens of its species. This being the only one still living.

Jim works at the newly opened Insect Museum in Puerto Jimenez. He came to us to share his vision. The Insect Museum is a project with a goal to expand knowledge on the breadth of insect species that exist in Costa Rica – many of which are endemic. He begins with a lesson to those ‘animal lovers’ but insect haters. ‘If you say you are an animal lover who doesn’t like insects, what you’re saying is you don’t like 84% of animals’. Yeah that’s right, 84% of species in the animal kingdom are insects. As a result, there are many species which are either still undiscovered or not fully understood. The problem Jim is overcoming is the deficiency in knowledge and data on the large array of insects that inhabit his homeland. The task – to create a database of information in order to enable effective conservation efforts as well as further fuelling ecotourism.

Along with the living specimen in front of us, he also tells us his claim to fame - the discovery of a new species of rat which was published in the national paper. Through Jim’s passion he put into words the possibility for further discovery which inspired us all.  He left us with an invitation – to help him in his quest to discovery and accumulate information. We’re sure we’ll be working with Jim in the future.

By Arthur Bond - Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates and Turtle Conservation Project

Find out more about Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtles Conservation.

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