Learning Tropical Ecology in the best classroom (Part 1)

Authored by:
Dr. Alan Masters

Dr. Alan Masters

After spending a couple days in the city it is time to start our first field trip and learn about tropical ecology in the best way possible, visiting many different ecosystems that we could find in a tropical country with many wonders as Costa Rica has to offer.

Our first stop its at a ecosystem that people may not think about it as a tropical habitat, the Paramo, but this habitat is an important part of the highlands in the Tropics and offers a good amount of interesting species of which many of them are only found at this habitats.

To explore this ecosystem we stopped for a couple of hours at a mountain called Cerro de la Muerte at an elevation of about 3200 meters (10 500 feet) and learn about this important habitat and the particular species found here.

After visiting the amazing Paramo it was time to move down the mountain and get to the lowlands where the warm weather was waiting for us.  At the lowlands our first stop was at a town call Sierpe in which we will be exploring another really important ecosystem, the Mangroves.  The mangroves of Sierpe is one of the biggest and most important on the Pacific side of the Neotropics.

We arrived to Sierpe at night to spend the night at a hotel and patiently wait for the morning to explore the Mangroves around the area.  The next morning we got into a boat and move along the Sierpe river exploring the mangrove habitat and all the species associated to this area, at the end of the morning we stopped at an area dominated by red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and got the chance to walk around the prop roots of this species.

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