Tag: Costa Rica

Biological bridges key to sustaining Costa Rica’s biodiversity

From rainforests to mangroves …

International partnerships help sustain Costa Rica’s biodiversity. Photo courtesy Dr. Jessica Young.
Costa Rica is home to an incredible variety of avian species, including some that migrate between Central America and Colorado. Photo courtesy Dr. Jessica Young.
Costa Rica is home to an incredible variety of avian species, including some that migrate between Central America and Colorado. Photo courtesy Dr. Jessica Young.

By Cassidy Brush

It’s 5:30 a.m. and already the cacophony of birdsong is deafening. But then again, it may be the howler monkeys we saw when we arrived — a tough distinction for someone new to the rainforest. Today is day two of a ten-day graduate course in Costa Rica entitled “Building Bridges and Creating Corridors.” The racket outside the shuttered doors is calling, and sleep seems pointless, so I acquiesce to the excitement of the day. Someone from my cohort is already awake and exploring the grounds close by. I wonder if she is thinking the same thing I am. What, exactly, made that noise? The mysterious creature remains hidden behind a lush wall of bush, taunting our curiosity.

And so begins my journey of exploring biological corridors in Costa Rica- from the cloud forests of Monteverde to the costal mangroves of San Antonio. Our group is made up of five environmental management students, an intern of permaculture, and Western State Colorado University’s global coordinator-cum-graduate faculty. We are supported by several Costa Rican organizations and professionals who infuse us with local knowledge. But importantly, we experience firsthand the international reach of these projects. Corridors live both within and beyond Costa Rica’s borders. Continue reading “Biological bridges key to sustaining Costa Rica’s biodiversity”


Report highlights challenges for Costa Rican fisheries

A sea turtle comes up for a breather. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Long-lining a huge threat to sea turtles and sharks

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Despite its reputation as an eco-haven, some research suggests that Costa Rica’s longline fisheries pose a significant threat to sea turtles and sharks.

Ecologists studying the impacts suggest that more regulation is needed. Well-timed and targeted closures in critical areas could go a long way toward protecting sensitive species — and to ensuring a sustainable fishing industry.

The findings from a recent round of studies were published recently in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, based on research conducted by a team including scientists from Drexel University, the Costa Rican non-profit conservation organization Pretoma andThe Leatherback Trust, a U.S. non-profit working in Costa Rica. Continue reading “Report highlights challenges for Costa Rican fisheries”

U.S. and Costa Rica parks strengthen conservation ties

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, in Guanacaste National Park, Costa Rica. Photo via the Creative Commons.

New agreement to boost joint planning efforts

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A new international agreement between U.S. National Park Service and Costa Rica’s Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion will step up cooperation for planning, development, management and operation of protected natural parks and cultural sites.

The two agencies will also share information in fire management and control, climate change adaptation, marine protected areas and the development of educational and public information.

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and his Costa Rican counterpart, Rafael Gutierrez Rojas, signed the deal this week, formalizing historic conservation partnerships between the two countries. Continue reading “U.S. and Costa Rica parks strengthen conservation ties”

Study: Global warming could all but wipe out leatherback sea turtle populations by the end of the century

A leatherback sea turtle at sea. Photo courtesy NOAA.

Hotter and drier beaches threatens reproduction

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Hotter and drier beaches all but wipe out eastern Pacific populations of  leatherback sea turtles by the end of the century, according researchers from Drexel University who said the global warming could hinder the species ability to recover from other threats, including egg poaching and entanglement in fishing nets.

If climate patterns follow projections used in the study, the eastern Pacific population of leatherback turtles will decline by 75 percent by the year 2100.

“We used three models of this leatherback population to construct a climate-forced population dynamics model. Two parts were based on the population’s observed sensitivity to the nesting beach climate and one part was based on its sensitivity to the ocean climate,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Vincent Saba, a research fishery biologist with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center, visiting research collaborator at Princeton University, and a Drexel University alumnus. Continue reading “Study: Global warming could all but wipe out leatherback sea turtle populations by the end of the century”

Oceans: Hammerhead sharks may get more protection

Scalloped hammerhead shark via Wikipedia and a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Costa Rica, Honduras propose listing scalloped hammerheads under interntational trade agreement

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Two Caribbean nations this week moved to try and protect threatened hammerhead sharks from overfishing under an international trade agreement.

Costa Rica and Honduras proposed listing scalloped hammerhead sharks under an appendix to to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), considered to be one of the best-enforced international conservation agreements. Regulation under the appendix ensures that trade is sustainable and legal. Appendix II covers species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction but could become so unless trade is closely controlled. Continue reading “Oceans: Hammerhead sharks may get more protection”

CMC taking applications for study abroad programs

Study ‘art and resistance’ in Guatemala

Spend time exploring the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal during Colorado Mountain College’s Guatemala: Art and Resistance class in March 2012. Photo Bob Gumbrecht.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Colorado Mountain College is taking applications for its international programs study abroad courses, including art and culture in Guatemala and Spanish immersion courses in Costa Rica.

Spend time in Spain, Costa Rica, Guatemala or Ireland and earn college credit through Colorado Mountain College’s International Programs study abroad courses:

  • Spring semester in Spain, Jan. 17-April 7, with a cultural seminar in Madrid, Jan. 17-22; earn credits in Spanish and literature. Application deadline Nov. 21. Contact Mary Ebuna, 719-486-4224, mebuna@coloradomtn.edu.
  • Guatemala: Art and Resistance, March 1-11; earn credits in art and political science while you learn about Guatemalan painting, weaving, pottery and architecture in the context of the country’s tumultuous political and social history. Application deadline Dec. 2. Contact Bob Gumbrecht, rgumbrecht@coloradomtn.edu, 970-870-4484; or Cynthia Zyzda, czyzda@coloradomtn.edu, 970-870-4432.
  • International business and literature in Dublin, May 16-June 16; earn credits in literature and/or business. Application deadline March 16. Contact Jeffrey Runyon, 719-486‐4240, jrunyon@coloradomtn.edu.
  • Spanish immersion and home stay in Alajuela, Costa Rica, June 30-July 28; earn credits in Spanish. Application deadline April 1. Contact Lauren DeAre, 970-319-5817, ldeare@coloradomtn.edu.

Past participants have included college students working toward a degree and community members looking for a learning experience. For more about Colorado Mountain College’s International Programs, go to coloradomtn.edu/InternationalPrograms.

Through Spanish immersion and other international classes, Colorado Mountain College students have the chance to study language and culture, and earn college credit, while experiencing the world.
A day at the huge market in Chichicastenango is one of the highlights of this spring’s Guatemala: Art and Resistance class at Colorado Mountain College. Photo Bob Gumbrecht.

Morning photo: Marie Selby Gardens, Sarasota

Epiphytes … and more

Orchids bloom in a sea of Spanish moss at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

SUMMIT COUNTY — We generally think of plants as deriving their nutrition mostly from soil, through a root system, but there is an entire family — the epiphytes, with more than 2,000 species — that lives in a non-parastic association with other plants. The group includes mosses, orchids and bromeliads, and one of the best places to see and learn about them is at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.

The garden music spring series runs every Sunday through early May. Click on the photo for details on the upcoming concerts.

Continue reading “Morning photo: Marie Selby Gardens, Sarasota”