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At the Monteverde Institute we believe that we can great a positive impact through inclusive programs that are built around the pillars of place based education, applied research, and community programs.

In this newsletter we would like to share with you some of our research projects. To learn more about research opportunities please visit our website.  
Bellbirds are arriving back to Monteverde!
Read a new publication about them
by Debra Hamilton, Rhine Singleton, and Dev Joslin
In the recent January issue of Biotropica, an article presents the results of a 6-year study that tracked the food resources of the three-wattled bellbird in the Monteverde zone.  The study monitored the availability of fruit and the presence of bellbirds during the three-month post-reproduction period (June-August) in the Premontane Wet Life Zone of Monteverde (1200-1400m).  The article discusses the conservation implications of the temporally sporadic and spatially heterogeneous distribution of fruits the birds rely upon.  Key species in the bellbird's diet during these months, in approximate order of importance, appear to be Ocotea monteverdensis, Nectandra salicina, Ocotea floribunda and Myrcianthes “black fruit.”  Because no single species supplies abundant fruit every year, the article recommends “focused attention on multiple core areas within given life zones, protection of existing forest and remnant trees, and forest restoration with plantings of multiple tree species.”  The results have implications for other threatened frugivorous species.  The article is authored by Debra Hamilton, executive director of the Monteverde Institute; Rhine Singleton, professor at Franklin Pierce University, and Dev Joslin, resident forest ecologist.
Citation:  Resource tracking and its conservation implications for an obligate frugivore (Procnias tricarunculatus, the three-wattled bellbird). BIOTROPICA 50(1): 146–156.
The Citizen Science Program "Adopt a Stream"
The MVI Adopt-a-Stream program educates students from local high schools in the Monteverde area about river ecology and monitors the long-term water quality of local streams.  These young students are generating valuable information about our water resources and we are currently working with students from the Colegio Técnico Profesional Santa Elena, Centro de Educación Creativa, and the Monteverde Friends School.  The idea of Adopt-a-Steam is to raise awareness of the need to protect our water resources and empower the students to be a part of the change. To learn more about this please visit:  Adopt-a-Stream program
What we discovered with Tropical Strom Nate and how it affected out local waterways.
An example of the importance of the MVI Adopt-a-Stream program is reflected in the results of the monitoring carried out in the La Saca stream (located in the Santa Elena Reserve) before and after the Nate storm, as shown in fig. 1. This event produced great changes in our streams, not only by the temporary increase in its flow, but by the transport of a large quantity of very fine sediments due to the many landslides that occurred. The bottom of the streams were covered by reddish mud that continues to persist in some streams five months after the storm. This has changed the quality of the waters and affected the organisms (called macroinvertebrates) that live in them and which we use as indicators of water quality, . This graph shows that before Nate in July 2017 there were families of macroinvertebrates indicating good and regular water quality. Just after Nate we found a family that is indicative of poor water quality due to increased sediment.  The good news, however, is that this effect has disappeared as of March 2018, as indicated by the absence of poor quality water macroinvertebrate families.The streams are recovering.
Fig. 1 Percentage of families of macroinvertebrates according to the pollutant tolerance score (scores taken from the BMWP-CR index).
What's new at the Monteverde Institute?
New Trails at the Sendero Pacifico with help from our Pepperdine students:
The Pacific Trail is a network of free access trails located in the Pájaro Campana Biological Corridor between the cloud forest of Monteverde and the Gulf of Nicoya. The trails cross a variety of ecological life zones, land uses and communities. The vision for the Pacific Trail is to link the forests and rural communities along the Pacific slope of Costa Rica and is a project of the Asociación de Desarrollo de San Luis

The students worked together with the Monteverde Institute and the Asociación de Desarrollo de San Luis to fix damaged parts of the trail and the construction of a new path in order to form a loop.  
English and Computer classes for our Homestay Families
Our Homestay Families are a very important part of who we are and what we do. Last year we collaborated with over 90 families in the area and we are always seeking ways in which to strengthen our relationship. In response to requests to learn English and how to use a computer, we have created classes for the families. We are now in our 20th week of classes with over 20 participants. A big thanks to our English teachers (Jennie Mollica, David Swartz and Tracey Cobb) and computer teacher (Marlene Leitón). 
Fauna Crossings
With the help of Winterline Global Skills and Cloud Forest Tree Climbing, we built two aerial faunal crossings  and put up corresponding signs. These will help animals like monkeys, sloths, raccoons, possums, etc, to safely cross over busy roads.

Airbnb and Tropical Storm Nate Research

Our Goucher and Mount Holyoke college students (photo below) made a great effort to learn more about the effects of these two issues in our area and present the results to the community.  The purpose of this work was to provide unbiased information to the community and promote dialogue. We are grateful for their work and direction of Dr. Ken Jameson. You can see their presentations at these links: Airbnb - Tropical Storm Nate.
There are many ways you can be a part of our organization. We are a community organization and strive to serve to our best potential.  Come by and use our library, come to a talk, promote a course, do an internship, learn Spanish or do research in our community. You can also support some of our programs by donating

We also know that many of you would like to be here with us, our doors are open for you to do so, but if you can't please do follow us on social media, and check out our Facebook Live videos of MVI activities. 
*Donations in the USA and Costa Rica are tax deductible. 
Once more, thank you for believing in us and the in the work we do, your support is important to us!
Visit our Website for more information
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Alliance for the Monteverde Institute · 469 Pine Song Trail · Golden 80401

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