Monthly Archives: November 2014

Bird Team of 2014-2015

The 2014-2015 Bird Team is Tori Juster and Will Spangler. We will be studying and cataloging the avian population as well as neotropical migration. Our purpose is to see what species are in the reserve as well as if the new migrant birds are having an impact on the already established bird population. We will set nets in the study area and all the trapped birds will be cataloged – all the nonnative species will be banded and set on their way. Since birds are such a huge part of any environment the study and cataloging is crucial to trying to maintain and continued conservation of the environment. Some of the species of birds that we will be interacting with are Hummingbirds Toucans and Scarlet Tanagers. We hope that our partnership with Cornell University will continue to be fruitful.

Spider Silk Team of 2014-2015

Spiders, universally known as the Golden Orb Weavers, are known for their ability to spin spider silk that is very flexible, tough and lightweight. They produce one of the strongest natural fibers in the world and their silk has huge potential to be used industrially and commercially. The silk can be used for many purposes, such as bullet proof clothing or artificial ligaments. The 2014-2015 Spider Silk team is Tristan Jeyaretnam, Gordon Wilson and Addie Keilty. Our goal is to extract and harvest the spider’s silk, using a patented wheel extractor, to collect measurements and data for future use by the public.

Reptiles and Amphibians Team of 2014-2015

Chytrid Fungus is a disease that has been destroying populations of amphibians all over the world, specifically North and South America and Australia. The 2014-2015 Reptiles and Amphibians team is Emily Cross and Allie Cohen. We are determined to understand the disease and how it affects Reptiles and Amphibians on all continents.

The purpose of studying these populations is because Reptiles and Amphibians are indicator species, which means that they are an early warning system of environmental health. This is due to their sensitivity to air and water pollutants and changes in the environmental condition.

More to Come!

Bioacoustics and Telemetry Team of 2014-2015



Think of a drone flying over the Costa Rican Rainforest, recording what it hears and sending it back to some guy in Arizona. Imagine that guy in Arizona being able to take a population inventory of a species just by sitting and listening, no stress of capturing animals, no cost of travel, no extremely expensive equipment, just one guy, listening. This is what the Bioacoustics and Telemetry Team is working toward. The 2014-2015 Bioacoustics and Telemetry Team is Tyler Dunn, Peter Newmark, and Brooke Shemwell. The Forman Rainforest Project’s Bioacoustics and Telemetry Team will be collecting the sounds of a variety of species for the database at the Macaulay Library at Cornell. So, here are the basics, bioacoustics is the sound that animals make. The telemetry component of the project allows the us to track larger animals like mammals back to their home so that we can record them. Cornell has designed a sound anaylisis software called Raven which will be used to compare and anlize the recordings in the field. This will allow us to take a closer look at each recording to make sure we have caught the sound in its entirety. The Bioacoustics and Telemetry Team is also learning how to retrieve sounds at optimum recording quality by using different techniques when it comes to the recorder’s microphone settings and placement when recording. Taking recordings of animals might seem quaint and unimportant right now, but the Bioacoustics and Telemetry Team plan to save the rainforest by making it a lot easier to take population inventories instead of through the collection of displaced animals. The 2015 Bioacoustics and Telemetry Team is truly aiming to make the world a better place for all animals.



Goals for this year:

*add to the Macaulay Library

*Record animals in different times throughout the day to get a better understanding of the recordings and the animals behaviors.


Objectives Before the Rainforest

*Familiarize ourselves with Raven and learn how to make strong recordings

*Complete the Methods and Equipment Paper