Fieldwork, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Some images from the season’s field work in Monteverde, Costa Rica, on the crest of the Cordillera Tilarán. Major projects included a study investigating which attributes of pasture trees were best predictors of bird diversity, and species turnover of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae; Scarabaeinae) along a 1000 m elevational gradient. The town’s position immediately below the continental divide (at 1840 m) results in a wide range of montane forest types within a small geographic area, from premontane rainforest at 800 m on the Carribean slope (in the significant wilderness tract of the Peñas Blancas valley) to the archetypal Pacific slope “cloud forest” / montane moist forest at the Reserve, to an odd patch of montane dry forest in the Bajo del Tigre preserve (home to spectacular long-tailed manakins, Chiroxiphia linearis). In all, seven of the twelve Costa Rican “life zones” presented in Holdridge’s seminal 1967 paper are found in the area, and our work took us through most of them, at least in passing.