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A Taste of Costa Rican Wildlife from La Selva Biological Station

Check out more from the #ecocostarica trip on Twitter, FB and G+

By the time I climbed back into the van for the drive back to San Jose my clothes were drenched, my glasses fogged up and my camera worn out. Located right at the confluence to two croc-filled rivers, the air in the forest is so humid that every little step results in a torrent of sweat.  If you’re not drinking water, you’re not going to make it! If you didn’t bring extra camera batteries you camera isnt going to make it either!

I’m sitting in the airport in San Juan writing this post this morning and lusting for another cup of coffee.  I’m exhausted and emotional, not ready to face the cold of home but missing my kids to a ridiculous degree.  There is Christmas music blasting through the Lavazza cafe and a bunch of young American men are talking about guns.  The lady behind the counter is surly and her co-worked bored. The way home goes through Houston, then Denver and then a two-hour drive to my mom’s house where I can rest.  Finally.

As I fly home today I offer up just a sample…a taste…of what I saw yesterday at La Selva Biological Station in the wet tropical rain forest lowlands of northeastern Costa Rica. The station, at about 1,600 hectares (3,900 acres), offers up a stunning array of Costa Rican wildlife.

La Selva was originally established in 1954 by Dr. Leslie Holdridge, as a farm dedicated to experimentation on mixed plantations for the improvement of natural resources management. It was purchased in 1968 by the Organization for Tropical Studies and declared a private biological reserve and station. Since then, it has become one of the most important sites in the world for research on tropical rain forest. Over 240 scientific papers are published yearly from research conducted at the site……….


costa rican wildlife

Brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus)
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costa rican wildlife

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus)
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Central American Whiptail (Ameiva festiva)
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Blue Jeans Dart Frog (Oophaga pumilo)
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Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
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costa rican wildlife

Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)
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Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus)
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Salmon-bellied Racer (Mastigodryas malenolomus)
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Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
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Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum)
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costa rican wildlife

Parrot Snake (Leptophis ahaetulla)

I’m not sure the species of frog he is eating but it was a pretty stunning site to see him chasing the frog right across our path and onto a patch of grass where he grabbed the doomed little brown dude in mid-jump. I’ve never seen anything like that. What really stunned me was how fast the snake downed the frog and then moved on.

I’ll be posting more shots and stories in the coming two months.  Sign up on the  home page for email notifications of new posts.


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