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1 posts from June 2017

06/30/2017

Tropical Ecology & Conservation Summer 2017

The Summer 2017 Tropical Ecology & Conservation group has arrived, seven young enthusiasts looking to learn as much as possible about tropical ecosystems, and at the same time admire all the different habitats and scenic beauty that Costa Rica has to offer.

After one day exploring San José, the capital city, it was time to start our first field trip. First stop, the Paramo, this may not sound like the kind of habitat you expect when you talk about a Tropical area, but in a country with a lot of mountains like Costa Rica, this habitat is really important for many endemic species that lived at the top of the mountains, we learned about some of the common species found here and some adaptations these species have to survive the daily changes in temperature and weather conditions.

 

IMG_3111View of the Paramo at Cerro de la Muerte.

 

IMG_3104Derek Frank (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities), Jimmy Webb (University of Arkansas), Drew Rosso (University of Notre Dame), Sarah Aitken (University of Pennsylvania), and Vikram Norton (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) learning about Paramo characteristics and the plant and animal species found there.

 

IMG_3119 Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis), one of the common species of the Paramo in Costa Rica, this species is endemic to the highlands of Costa Rica and Panama. 

 

After spending a few hours at the cold Paramo it was time to go down to the hot and humid lowlands, we made it to the town of Sierpe about dinner time, at night we had a lecture about Mangrove Ecology to get us ready for the habitat we will be exploring the next morning. Early in the morning the next day we were ready to explore this important wetland, we learned about the different mangrove species found there, the plant and animals associated to them and we even go to walk through the roots of some mangroves.

 

IMG_3127Students and staff getting ready to explore the mangroves of Sierpe.

 

IMG_3128Sierpe river.

 

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Christine Bradley (California Polytechnic State University) walking through the roots of a red mangrove (Rizophora mangle).

 

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Amanda Ogden (Utah State University) finding her way through the roots of red mangrove (Rizophora mangle).

 

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Derek Frank (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) enjoying the view from the top of the roots of red mangrove (Rizophora mangle).