23 December 2012


We have spent the last week working with Great Green Macaws on the Southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in a place called Manzanillo. Manzanillo is very different to Islita - enormous primary rainforest trees tower overhead blanketed in moss and epiphytes. High annual rainfall means that nothing ever dries and as a result, colourful dart frogs leap underfoot and brightly coloured vipers lurk on shadowy branches waiting for them to approach within striking distance. 
The Green macaws themselves are very impressive - there are only 319 left in the wild in Costa Rica, 15 of which have been released by the project here. Much bigger than the Scarlet, they soar through the forest -  iridescent feathers flashing in the sun. 

An eyelash palm-pit viper. These are extremely common on the Caribbean slopes - we saw 4 in our week here. Rarely longer than a metre they sit waiting for days at a time waiting for frogs or lizards to pass by.

A pair of White-Crowned Amazonian parrots looking across to the mountains in Panama.
A tiny Anole clings onto a twig. The male Anole displays its dewlap (a colouful flap of skin on its neck) to impress females.
A Great Green Macaw blends into the jungle with more subtle colours than Islita's Scarlets.
A subspecies of the Blue-Jeans dart frog - these brilliant red amphibians carpet the jungle floor. 
A Mantled Howler Monkey climbs to a lofty sleeping position overlooking the Caribbean. 
All macaws are very social and interact with each other constantly throughout the day.
A green and black dart frog enjoying a rare patch of sunlight on the jungle floor.
The bullet ant - only an inch long and generally accepted to have the most painful sting in the animal kingdom. 

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