Although highly unexpected and out of nowhere, I have been very fortunate to be offered the opportunity to go to Costa Rica this weekend for a two week trip. This is a country I have always wanted to visit and one that my boss and friend Andrew Gray knows very well. I am very lucky to be able to travel with a Herpetologist as knowledgable as Andrew, since he knows Costa Rica, and above all, its amphibians very well.
I have to say that I will be learning a lot on this trip, as I have never visited anywhere in the Americas before, so I am very excited to see a fascinating country and its unique rainforests and wildlife in the company of an expert. To name a tiny amount of species (and I mean 1% of herps in the area!) I especially hope to see on the trip include Green and black poison dart frogs (Dendrobates auratus), Strawberry poison dart frogs (Oophaga pumillio), Red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) , Lemur leaf frog (Phyllomedusa lemur), and with lots of luck, maybe even Eyelash viper (Bothriechis schlegelii) or the infamous Fer-de-lance (Bothrops asper) and perhaps the Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus). One specific target species for conservation efforts is a species that Andrew works with at the museum, the Costa Rican stream frog (Isthomohyla lancasteri), a close relative of a further species, Isthomohyla rivularis, re-discovered by Andrew in 2007 and was thought to be extinct since the 1980s.
Although far from ‘European’, you will certainly see plenty of photos from this trip on the blog when I return in 2 weeks! I feel very privileged to be able to visit this country which has one of the greatest diversities of amphibians and reptiles in the world.