Conservation and Environment in Costa Rica: Monthly Updates
Monthly Updates from 2012
The month of November in Barra Honda National Park marks a complete transformation in technology, environmental protection and animal research. Innovative ideas have proven that with enough time and hard work large sums of money are not necessary for quality results. Not to mention that the staff and volunteers have completely raised the bar on self-sufficiency with renewable energy.
This month all Costa Rica is going though for a weather transition. In the mornings we can feel the fresh wind coming from North America, which means that the rainy season is finished. The summer is coming with hot days and clear blue sky and dry leaves on the ground.
According to the investigation team of the Conservation program, two of forty two caves that are present in Barra Honda National Park have populations of bats over two thousand individuals. It is common to see in these bats the presence of some ectoparasites that can produce physical problems for them. For this reason it is necessary to analyze the species of ectoparasites that they have and collect information about the bats natural history in the Barra Honda’s caves.
This July was an unusually dry month considering we are in the wet season here in Costa Rica. Normally it should rain almost every day but here we sometimes didn't have rain at all for up to 1-2 weeks. Still the climate is very wet and tropical and we sweat a lot during work! We are still creating new transects for our frog and camera project about which I told you in the last monthly update.
To start off with this month I can't wait to tell you about progress at our Macaw Project because finally, after more than 3 months of hard work we have our chick (we called it "Bubu") looking out of the nest. For the first days we could only see its beak at the lower edge of the nest-hole but just a few days after our Macaw baby already seemed to have gained enough strength to put out its whole head.
We really had a lot of rain this month and for me seeing the change from the dry to the wet season for the first time is honestly amazing. Everything grew back to a fresh, thick green in just a few weeks. It really seems like the dry ground just waited for a few heavy downpours so everything could begin a new life again!
There is a lot for me to tell you about the past month! In the middle of April it started raining which was very surprising for us because we didn't expect it to rain until the middle/end of May. The start of the rainy season so early is very unusual.
Here at Barra Honda there is a lot to tell you about this month! It was a very dry, windy and hot March with temperatures up to 40°C. because of that there have been a few forest-fires in Guanacaste and close to the park. At this time forest fires are perfectly normal and nothing to be scared of and we also have a lot of well trained and experienced fire-fighters who have protected the villages and the national park for years.
As each month passes we are gradually increasing the rhythm of the Macaw project so that eventually, when we reach April/May we are there 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This month we have been visiting twice a week at times and have even finished coordinating for night time visits as well.
In January 2012 we began one of the most exciting projects for Barra Honda National Park, the Scarlet Macaw protection program. The main problem that the Scarlet Macaws are facing in and around Barra Honda is the illegal poaching of the chicks when they are a few months old.