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Costa Rica: Corcovado National Park part 2

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:20 pm
by Bart Bouricius
Here is the second part of this post, including another 198' tall Kapok tree
Ceiba pentandra and more beasts:
Along the trail was a troop of Squirrel Monkeys.  This small monkey, which is found in Southern Costa Rica on down through much of South America is interesting in that they can have troops in excess of 200 individuals.
Along the trail was a troop of Squirrel Monkeys. This small monkey, which is found in Southern Costa Rica on down through much of South America is interesting in that they can have troops in excess of 200 individuals.
Parrot Snakes, genus Leptophis, feed preferentially on frogs.  They are rear fanged snakes, but the venom has little impact on humans.
Parrot Snakes, genus Leptophis, feed preferentially on frogs. They are rear fanged snakes, but the venom has little impact on humans.
Here is a gold colored fruit from the Fruta dorada Tree.  Though I have found this species over 150' tall, there were not any of remarkable size near the trails on this trip.
Here is a gold colored fruit from the Fruta dorada Tree. Though I have found this species over 150' tall, there were not any of remarkable size near the trails on this trip.
Brian examines a Barrigón (beerbelly) tree Pseudobombax septenatum, which has a green striped trunk.  In the park this tree is particularly prevalent on beaches where the bright sun is used to do photosynthesis in the bark.  This is especially valuable to the tree during the dry season, when the tree looses it's leaves for the duration.  This tree is another member of the Malvaceae family, but though it can achieve circumferences of over 20' (6.1 m), I have found few much over 100' (30.5 m) tall.
Brian examines a Barrigón (beerbelly) tree Pseudobombax septenatum, which has a green striped trunk. In the park this tree is particularly prevalent on beaches where the bright sun is used to do photosynthesis in the bark. This is especially valuable to the tree during the dry season, when the tree looses it's leaves for the duration. This tree is another member of the Malvaceae family, but though it can achieve circumferences of over 20' (6.1 m), I have found few much over 100' (30.5 m) tall.
A close up of Barrigón tree bark
A close up of Barrigón tree bark
A Coati which is related to the raccoons forages in the early morning.
A Coati which is related to the raccoons forages in the early morning.
Here a Baird's Tapir feeds on foliage of the river bank with it's trunk like nose.  These animals can reach up to 800 lbs and are said to be most closely related to rhinoceri and pigs.  Those of you who might want to argue, save your breath, as there are several correct spellings of the plural of rhinoceros, as in look! there goes a crash of rhinoceroses.  look it up.
Here a Baird's Tapir feeds on foliage of the river bank with it's trunk like nose. These animals can reach up to 800 lbs and are said to be most closely related to rhinoceri and pigs. Those of you who might want to argue, save your breath, as there are several correct spellings of the plural of rhinoceros, as in look! there goes a crash of rhinoceroses. look it up.
Here on roots of a Manu tree Caryocar costaricense is a coiled Eyelash viper Bothriechis schlegelii
Here on roots of a Manu tree Caryocar costaricense is a coiled Eyelash viper Bothriechis schlegelii
Here a large female Golden silk spider Nephila clavipes sits in it's web with its diminutive mate.  This spider is found from the Southeastern US into South America.  Its web can be several yards across.
Here a large female Golden silk spider Nephila clavipes sits in it's web with its diminutive mate. This spider is found from the Southeastern US into South America. Its web can be several yards across.
On our way north from the park, we can see a 150' waterfall on shore.
On our way north from the park, we can see a 150' waterfall on shore.
Last but not least, Brian and Martin stand next to a Kapok Ceiba pentandra that achieves 198' (60.4 m) tall, but we did not have time to get a circumference.  This tree was actually in Drake's  Bay on land owned by our guide Martin who was thrilled to find that his tree was the tallest we had measured on the trip.  I know it seems strange, but other than the probado trees Pterygota excelsa, 3 of which have achieved or exceed 200' (61 m) in height, the three remaining tallest trees, 2 Kapoks and an Oak Quercus bumelioides were all measured at the same height of 198' (61 m).  I suspect that at least one of these would exceed the straight up measurement with a 440 Nikon were they climbed and tape drop measured.
Last but not least, Brian and Martin stand next to a Kapok Ceiba pentandra that achieves 198' (60.4 m) tall, but we did not have time to get a circumference. This tree was actually in Drake's Bay on land owned by our guide Martin who was thrilled to find that his tree was the tallest we had measured on the trip. I know it seems strange, but other than the probado trees Pterygota excelsa, 3 of which have achieved or exceed 200' (61 m) in height, the three remaining tallest trees, 2 Kapoks and an Oak Quercus bumelioides were all measured at the same height of 198' (61 m). I suspect that at least one of these would exceed the straight up measurement with a 440 Nikon were they climbed and tape drop measured.

Re: Costa Rica: Corcovado National Park part 2

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:13 pm
by Larry Tucei
Bart- Way cool photos and the trees are awesome as usual!!! 198' wow that's tall!! The bark of the Barrigon tree is wild!! Love the spider photo; we see Silk spiders all over south Ms. It amazes me how close you guys are getting to the wildlife. Tells me it's remote and they don't see many humans. Larry

Re: Costa Rica: Corcovado National Park part 2

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:27 pm
by Bart Bouricius
Larry,

Regarding the wildlife, actually though the place is remote, there are plenty of tourists, but no hunters, and that is why you are able to see plenty of animals and get good photos of them. Many years ago, when the Park was established the animals were much more nervous because they had regularly been shot at. Now they have adapted to the change in behavior of the humans they are exposed to. I have nothing against hunting per se, as hunters are, or can be important allies in conservation efforts, however unregulated hunting invariably leads to extinctions as human populations grow, and parks, in my opinion should only be impacted by removing invasive species where this is a problem.

A large section of this park was nearly lost when a timber company cut all the undergrowth and smaller lower canopy trees around what is now Serena Station. At the 11th hour the Costa Rican government sent in the environmental police to prevent the logging of the large trees which were the main target, as there would be not much point in establishing a park with a huge clear-cut area of hundreds of acres at it's center. This section of the park is peculiar because of this damage that was done in preparation for taking down the big trees that thankfully still remain, however other parts of the park are relatively undisturbed and were not impacted in this way.

Re: Costa Rica: Corcovado National Park part 2

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:55 am
by Jeroen Philippona
Bart,

You have done a great job by researching for and measuring and documenting tall and big trees in Costa Rica and other Neotropical countries in the last few years and especially this year. I have followed and enjoyed your reports with nice photos.

With a group of Dutch treelovers and arborists I hope to visit Costa Rica within a year. With this group we visited the forests and trees in former Yugoslavia where I also was a year before together with Kouta R. and Michael Spraggon and wich we documented at the NTS website.
Perhaps you know that Kouta and I are active at the website http://www.monumentaltrees.com, wich was started by the Belgian Tim Bekaert and wich has a database and a lot of photographs of trees, especially in Europe but also worldwide.

It would be very nice if we could add your heigt record trees from Costa Rica and other countries to the database, to have the proven record heights of several species in that area. Regarding the locations of the trees I understand you do not like to give these at websites. The locations in the database could be given as only "Costa Rica" or with the name of the National Park or nearest large town as the location. For example with individual trees in the Bialowieza National Park in Poland we put all trees only at a location at the gate of the National Park.

I like to hear what you think about this. Of course you could add the treespecies and measurements yourself at http://www.monumentaltrees.com but as this is some work I would be glad to do it.

Jeroen Philippona

Re: Costa Rica: Corcovado National Park part 2

Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:21 pm
by Bart Bouricius
Jeroen,

Thanks, I will try to add the list at your web site. I did not respond until now because I was visiting relatives and attending the Old Growth conference in Durango. Feel free to contact me privately and I can e-mail some info to you.

Re: Costa Rica: Corcovado National Park part 2

Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:25 pm
by edfrank
Bart, for some reason the pictures were not showing on my computer. I don't know why this happens. Often the solution if you have this problem is to simply go back in and edit the post. Add a return somewhere in the text and the system seems to reprocess the post and the pictures will magically appear.
Ed