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Conservation and Environment in Costa Rica: Monthly Updates

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Conservation in Costa Rica - Monthly Update November 2011

Bat nest building

As we get closer to the end of the year we start moving our focus and attention to 2012, the investigation projects, large maintenance work and what we are going to change in regards to how we work.

The biggest thing that happens in November is closure of the investigation projects for 2011, the permits that we have with the government require us to provide a yearly report on the projects that we are running within the area, how many species we capture, where, if we discovered anything different and we need to process all of the data that we have collected so far to provide this report, obviously if we kept the projects running we would never be able to complete this task because we always be collecting more information! We hope to have the reports completed by the end of December when we will make sure we include a section in the newsletter telling you all what we have managed to achieve in 2011.

Closure of the projects doesn't mean that we have not be showing the projects to the volunteers however, obviously we want to show everyone what we are doing and we need to make sure that the staff stay in good shape and keep practising (fact - in 2011 each member of staff completed more than 104 hours of capture work with Bats, which is more than some professionals manage in a year!).

The investigation projects will be starting up again in January 2012, with a few new additions to the work we do and a lot of changes to what we are doing within each of the old projects!

Diria National Park

As we have now moved completely into the dry season here, we have started the long task of maintenance again. During the last month we have completely cleaned every building in the camp and we have begun renovating all the volunteer rooms, which should be complete in the next few weeks! One of the biggest jobs we have started is the new drainage system for the kitchen, it was brought to our attention by a volunteer a few months ago that we should look into a more eco-friendly way of getting rid of the kitchen waste. We quickly constructed a waste pit for all of the waste food stuff that we get from the kitchen, which means that in a few months' time we will have a huge amount of 100% natural fertilizer to use in the Nursery garden.

We also began researching ways of treating the waste water from the kitchen...after a few searches on the internet we found a drainage system that uses old tires to filter the water, removing all the grease and soap from the water so that it filters into the ground 100% clean and will hopefully keep the kitchen in good working order for a long time to come!

One of the many things that we have been up to this month has included a visit to another national park which is now under administration from our old administrator Jorge Granados. We made the visit to investigate the possibility of using the park for our 2012 summer groups and I think it's safe to say that we are all very impressed with everything that is happening there in Diria National Park, the installations are nice and the park itself is amazing!

New drainage ditch

We only made a short visit but saw the main river that passes from the top of the park to the bottom the area of a city called Santa Cruz and eventually out to the Tempisque River and the sea, it is one of the most important rivers in the area. We saw some amazing views from the high hills that Diria has and we talked about some of the more important work that needs to be done in the area in preparation for the 2012 summer program...we hope that we can be working there in January 2012, to begin to get to know the park and the staff that are working there as well as talk more about the work we want to do with investigations and the work we need to do with maintenance to get everything ready in good condition for July and August.

During our visit we stopped off at a small house that the park has outside of its main administration area, the room has been left abandoned for many years and now has a huge population of bats living inside it, we made a quick estimate of about 500 individual bats living in the room, which leave each day from one small opening to hunt for insects!

All in all Diria seems to be a very exciting option for 2012 and there's lots to look forward to at Barra Honda too!

Richard Munday
Conservation Coordinator
Barra Honda National Park
November 2011

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