La Selva: a biological hotspot

The first stop on our journey was La Selva biological station, a hotspot for biodiversity. This was obvious within the first hour of our arrival, where our guided tours pointed out a three-toed sloth, caimans, howler monkeys and wild peccary; we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the trip!

At La Selva, we participated in student-led discussions on different topics associated with Costa Rica. Topics included “Why are the tropics so diverse”, “Aposematism”, and “Mimicry”, and it was interesting to learn more about what each topic actually entailed, as it was very relevant to our field course. On the evening night walks, we even saw examples of aposematic individuals, where the strawberry poison-dart frog was spotted. The area come nightfall completely transformed compared to what it had been like in the day. Whereas daytime noise was dominated by the roar of howler monkeys, people chatting and noisy trees shaken by toucans and monkeys; the night was dominated by the uniformed sound from cicadas. In addition to different noises, the wildlife completely transitioned too. Come dark, we had the opportunity to spot red-eyed tree frogs, the fer-de-lance snake, olingos and bats.

A strawberry poison-dart frog
credit: Katie Smith

howler monkey
credit: Katie Smith

During out time at the biological station, we learnt new scientific skills, such as how to conduct a point census. It was useful to be made aware of the positive and negatives of this scientific method, especially because it is applicable for those who want to continue field research in the future.

A red-webbed tree frog

It was widely agreed that La Selva has exposed us to a whole breath of wildlife, new scientific methods, and how rice can be eaten with every meal of the day. The next stop will be Monteverde, the Cloud Forest reserve of Costa Rica!

es502    January 10th, 2019    Costa Rica    , , , ,

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