Entries in surveys (3)

Tuesday
Jun062017

Meet Our New Assistant Research Officer  Adam!

I really want to build up my work experience and get a much more hands-on approach to conservation research, and for an ecologist, Costra Rica is incredible because it’s so biodiverse! It’s an opportunity to expand my career at the same time as travelling.

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Friday
Jan302015

Butterfly Madness

The dry season has arrived in Costa Rica and with it hundreds, or more like thousands, of butterflies have inundated the Frontier camp. It is estimated that there are more than 16,000 species of butterflies and moths in this country alone and taking into account that Costa Rica is only 300 miles from North to South those are quite a lot of butterflies. The beauty of this creatures lies not just in the colors and designs of their wings, but also in their amazing adaptations for survival and reproduction. Some butterfly caterpillars such as the Swallow Tails butterflies mimic bird droppings, others warn predators of toxic chemicals with their bright colorations, whereas others such as the Caligo butterflies have deceptive eyespots in their wings that trick attacking birds.

Although most butterflies in Costa Rica don’t undergo major migrations such as the Monarch butterfly which migrates from and to North America and Latin America, some like the Black Witch moth can move northward to the United States in what is called a one-way phenomenon. About 180 species of butterflies are migratory, most of these movements, however, occur within the country and along different elevation gradients.

Here, at camp we are trying to measure the abundance, diversity and distribution of butterflies at different elevations and habitats. To achieve that we have created 1km transects along primary and secondary forest and open areas such as a road and gardens around camp. Some transects are located at sea level whereas others are situated at higher elevations. We daily walk this transects slowly and note every butterfly we see in a 5 meter radius. Occasionally, we go back to basics and use butterfly catchers, this is a good way to get in contact with the butterflies and learn how to handle them. Do you want to learn more about butterflies? Come quick and join us before the rainy season stars.

By Beatriz Lopez, Principal Investigator

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

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Monday
Jan262015

My First Few Weeks in the Jungle

I left frozen England at the beginning of January with slight trepidation but mostly excitement at the prospect of spending the next 6 months in the Costa Rican rainforest. Just three flights, a fairly big ocean and a night in San Jose stood in my way. Although my journey did not go without a hitch and included; being chased by sniffer dogs at the airport (note to self never leave your bag next to the dog bed the night before you travel) and the most white knuckle plane ride I have ever been on! When I touched down in Puerto Jimenez I was thankful to be back on solid ground and excited to meet our Principal Investigator Beatriz and Project Manager Alex. After a bumpy collectivo ride I finally made it to camp!

My first few weeks have been a whirlwind I already feel like I have done so much and seen so much and I still have the best part of six months left! The wildlife comes right to our front door with monkeys regularly seen swinging through the trees in camp and last week an armadillo was even seen snuffling around. So there is even more to see on surveys and patrols!

I have already had so many favourite moments since being here it’s impossible to name just one. Seeing a Green Turtle digging her nest one evening and releasing baby hatchlings the next morning was a standout moment for me. The huge abundance of biodiversity here is truly amazing, I have seen all four species of monkeys, coati, agouti and numerous birds and reptiles! On every forest walk I have been on I have been lucky to see multiple species if this luck continues I think I’ll have a very happy six months here!   

By Charlotte

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

Check out what volunteer in Costa Rica are up to right now!