Las Cruces: The Final Days

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As we come to the close of our 6 week journey of science discovery, we find ourselves in the beautiful Las Cruces Biological Research Station. Our last week has been a busy one, full of last minute FLP edits, blog posts, and projects. However, one could ask for a more idyllic setting to finish our time in Costa Rica. At Las Cruces, the days are accented by balmy breezes, the nights are pleasantly cool, and most importantly, the biodiversity is second only to La Selva of the sites we have visited. This station is home to the Robert and Catherine Wilson Botanical Garden, home to over 1000 genera of plants across 200 families. The garden is massive at 10-hectares, and is divided into many sections; Marantas, Bananas, Heliconias, Dracaenas, Bamboo, Gingers, Tree Ferns and Palms, Aroids, Rhododendrons, Cycads, and Bromeliads.

The Las Cruces station also has 301-hectares of tropical forest, hosting 2000 species of native plants, 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, and an unknown but extremely diverse number of arthropod species (See multimedia project by Forest Huval and J. Aidan Manubay). Walking the primary forest trails and taking in the sights down by the river have been great diversions from the daily grind.

We have a lot to do in these final days and hours before departure. Tonight we have Ignite talks to look forward to; and maybe when the work is done, a little karaoke for the musically inclined. Given the astounding amount of biodiversity to see here and the amount of work we have left to accomplish, it almost isn’t fair how distracting our surroundings are…
DSCN4315 Cycads Plot 1 DSCN4366 DSCN4386

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