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Posts Tagged "Costa Rica"

Bejeweled Journeyer

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017

Bejeweled Journeyer

If you look closely, you will notice a metal band on the leg of this young Ruby-throated Hummingbird. It serves to identify unique individuals of these tiny birds and allows biologists to track their migration path. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds breed in the eastern USA during the summer, but they spend the winter in lower Central America. This bird was banded on an RTPI project in western Costa Rica and returned to the same site a year later, after it had made another successful trip to North America – a journey of at least 4,000 miles. Impressive for a bird that weighs not much more than a...

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Remarkable Recapture

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017

Remarkable Recapture

Golden-winged Warblers are among the most imperiled birds in North America. Their numbers have plummeted nearly 70% in the past 50 years, and this species continues to decline at a staggering 2.5% each year. Outside of their core breeding range in the upper Great Lakes Region (mostly Minnesota and Wisconsin) they have just about disappeared altogether, and several northeastern states now no longer have viable populations of Golden-winged Warblers around. What causes these declines? Well, a number of factors play a role here. Golden-winged Warblers prefer to live in open, wet areas that are...

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A Frog that Few Have Laid Eyes On

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017

A Frog that Few Have Laid Eyes On

Here is a frog that few have ever laid eyes on – Legler’s Tree Frog (Ptychohyla legleri). This is one of the target species of RTPI Director Twan Leenders’ recent trip to the mountains of Costa Rica where he joined RTPI Research Associate Alex Shepack in surveys of imperiled amphibian populations. Legler’s Tree Frog is an endangered species with a very small and highly fragmented distribution range. It is the only species in its genus in lower Central America; its nearest relatives are found in northern Nicaragua and countries north of there. This recently metamorphed individual was found...

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Spider Silk – the Next Sustainable Resource?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2017

Spider Silk – the Next Sustainable Resource?

Spider silk is the world’s strongest natural fiber known – it is incredibly durable but also extremely lightweight and flexible. One strand of spider silk is one-tenth the thickness of a human hair, and its flexibility resembles that of thread. These qualities are unmatched by other fibers, such as cotton or nylon, giving it a wide variety of industrial applications. The value of spider silk is increased by the fact that it can be a renewable resource. RTPI conservation staff works with the Forman School during research expeditions in Costa Rica to explore the potential to “farm”...

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Glass Frogs

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017

Glass Frogs

Researchers from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) have been monitoring Glass frogs and other amphibian species in Central America for more than two decades – not only to keep these frogs from extinction, but also to learn how some populations have been able to survive catastrophic declines due to the parasitic Chytrid fungus. Hopefully this information will help us as we try to find ways to help other endangered species as well. Glass frogs owe their common name to their transparent undersides which, in some species, allow one to see their internal organs. Note...

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