Climate change highlights new Veragua Rainforest educational programs
14 Sep 2017

Climate change highlights new Veragua Rainforest educational programs

New educational programs at Veragua Rainforest in Costa Rica involve students, volunteers and visitors in climate change studies to help the planet.

 

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A team of biologists at Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure in Costa Rica, collaborating with the University of Costa Rica, are using climate change studies of tropical biodiversity to help Costa Rica reduce global warming, reach its goal to be the first carbon neutral country in the world by 2021, and prevent global catastrophes.

Veragua Rainforest is now linking its scientific investigations and climate change research with new environmental education programs so that students, volunteers, and visitors from around the world can join in their studies on rainforest biodiversity, the climate, and conservation.

Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure in Costa Rica

Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure Park in Costa Rica.

Located on their private reserve by the Port of Limon in Costa Rica’s Caribbean region, Veragua’s scientific research station has directed numerous projects since 2012 to understand how environmental variables such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, and moonlight affect the reproductive behavior of different animals. With this information, the biologists are seeing that some species are more vulnerable to changes in the climate. The studies of animal behavior, along with meteorological and ecological data, can indicate early warning signs of serious climate change.

“This is a very important issue. By generating and contributing information on climate change signals, which we share with our communities and the country’s environmental decision-makers, we can help make changes that may contribute to changing the course of nature,” said Rocio Lopez, Education Program Coordinator at Veragua Rainforest.

“Our new educational program at Veragua combines our scientific investigations and climate change research with STEM education elements of natural sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics in hands-on learning experiences,” Lopez said.

Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure in Costa Rica

Student groups at Veragua Rainforest Eco-Adventure can learn about climate change.

Veragua Rainforest offers several new environmental education programs for students:

  • • Study of amphibians and reptiles on site, to show how the variables of temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, and moon luminosity are affecting species.
  • • Habitat restoration on site for two species in danger of extinction: Tiger Frog and Lemur Leaf Frog.
  • • Sounds of the Rainforest guided walks to learn and understand the different songs of birds and amphibians, which help in gauging the health of animal populations in the region.
  • Frog at Veragua Rainforest in Costa Rica

    Scientists at Veragua Rainforest in Costa Rica study Tiger Frogs like this one to watch for early warning signs of serious climate change.

  • • Habitat restoration on site for two species in danger of extinction: Tiger Frog and Lemur Leaf Frog.
  • • Sounds of the Rainforest guided walks to learn and understand the different songs of birds and amphibians, which help in gauging the health of animal populations in the region.
  • • Bird watching to identify species in the region. Costa Rica has the greatest density of bird species in the Americas, and a record number of 417 bird species have been identified in Veragua Rainforest region.
  • • Study of fruit-eating butterflies to see how environmental changes affect migration patterns and reproduction.
  • • Planting native trees and shrubs to not only repair the natural habitat, but also to create a greater respect for the environment and the time it takes to repair itself.
  • • Sustainability practices including solar energy, recycling, eco-friendly canopy zip line tour, community environmental education activities and social work.

 

“At Veragua, students participate with hands-on experience investigating nature’s responses and how we can mitigate climate change. This involves them in the solution,” explained Lopez. “And when students help out with our community social work, sharing with less fortunate children, it helps to give them a perspective of what is really important in life.”

Article by Shannon Farley

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