Our assessed presentations are now out of the way, and it’s time to head to our next location for the field course, but not before a quick stop at the hummingbird cafe! This cafe has a number of sugar feeders that attract a wide variety of hummingbirds, providing the perfect place to see these incredible little animals close up. They also host a very rare olingo here, that a few of group managed to see sneaking sugar water during their project research!
With sufficient hummingbird photos we headed off, with the next stop a hike to our home for the night, San Gerardo Field Station. The walk was the perfect way to see the fabulous scenery Costa Rica has to offer, with clear skies and a great vantage point, we were able to observe the brilliance of a nearby volcano.
On arrival at the field station we knew we were going to love this place. We were greeted with coffee and donuts and the stations decking with various hammocks meant we could settle down for another relaxed look at the scenery. A few people went off to explore the jungle, setting up camera traps along the way, hoping to catch some footage of a few more animals before the course is over. Fingers crossed there will be some amazing finds, not just students mimicking animals during camera set up!
Our next discussion was the focus of the evening, the extremely important subject of protecting the rainforest. Even our short time in the forest has cemented our views on this topic. The wide variety of flora and fauna we have had the chance to see really shows how these areas need to be conserved, with 20 out of 30 of the world’s hotspots being present in the tropics this is an important area to discussion.
The session covered the issues facing rainforests, such as agriculture, infrastructure expansion and logging, and the ways in which the rainforest can be conserved, with a particular focus on Costa Rica. The shift towards eco tourism in this area is proving to have an extremely positive effect, with more employment opportunities being available, clear examples of this being Tortuguero. Money is now going towards buying up more land to be conserved, a decrease is being seen in cattle farms, and the focus has now shifted to regrowing the forest and bringing back species.
After the discussion we has the evening as free time, many being rather entertained by the incredibly slippy floor or chilling in the hammocks on the decking. With the bat nets open for the evening we could only hope that Moncho returned with some exciting finds, and he didn’t leave us disappointed, with a vampire bat being the star of the evening!
Many of us rose early today in order for the chance to see the sunrise from the decking at San Gerardo field station. Sadly for us the clouds prevented a perfect sunrise but we still enjoyed the brilliant view as the light encompassed the station.
Our morning also started on a high due to Andy McG capturing a variety of birds and Moncho appearing with a mexican deer mouse, that you can see below!
All packed again it was time to begin the hike back out of San Gerardo. What was a relatively simple hike to reach the station became a rather difficult way out with the majority being uphill, nevertheless we all made it back to the buses albeit a little tired but definitely a bit fitter! And so began the 5 hour bus journey to the beaches of Playa Grande!
sf343 January 26th, 2017 Costa Rica, Costa Rica archive biological station, camera traps, conservation, Costa Rica, eco tourism, Field Course, hammocks, Hummingbirds, jungle, mexican deer mouse, olingo, research, San Gerardo, scenery, sunrise, Tortuguero, vampire bats, views, volcano