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Effects of Barometric Pressure and Temperature on the Tensile Strength of Nephila Clavipes’ Silk

ABSTRACT:

This paper focuses on the strength of Golden Orb Weaver (Nephila clavipes) silk. Furthermore, this research is dedicated to scientifically finding the root of variation in it’s incredible strength with an ultimate goal of using the silk as a sustainable resource in lue of cattle ranching.  While the research into the strength of this species silk has spanned over a decade for the Forman RainForest Project, the extreme variability lends itself to monitoring atmospheric condition such as barometric pressure and temperature at the time of silking each spider.

INTRODUCTION:

The 2018 Spider Silk Team is led by Wendy Welshans, who is assisted by Jason Epstein, a student researcher. The Spider Silk Team has a long history, which started in 1997 as an “accident” when a student silked a Golden Orb Weaver using nothing but his hands and a coke bottle! The program has since evolved to possess two groundbreaking patents to its name as well as becoming the life’s work of Wendy Welshans.

The Nephila Clavipes, common name Golden Orb Weaver, is native to the southern states in the United States of America as well as Latin America.  In fact, it is heavily present in Costa Rica, where the majority of the team’s research is done. Spider silk has many positive qualities: it does not cause immune responses when implanted in the human body– meaning the silk could be used for artificial tendons, tissue scaffolding, or even nerve regrowth; the Nephila’s silk is at least three times stronger than Kevlar, and more elastic– meaning silk could be used as ballistics protection (Cheryl Hayashi, 2010). To further attest to its strength, in 2017, the Spider Team conducted tensile strength testing of spider silk in 250 strand bundles, which are still functionally weightless but have an average of 6.21 Newtons, attesting to its strength.

The overall goal of the Spider Team, besides carefully documenting the amazing properties of one of the strongest natural fibers of the world, is to create a sustainable resource in the tropics of the rainforest that can replace cattle ranching. Harvesting spider silk would utilize land that would otherwise need to be destroyed. The Nephila spider must live in its natural habitat to produce quality silk. The flora in its home, however, is a veritable treasure trove as well. Interestingly, almost 25% of prescription drugs are made using ingredients derived from plants (James A. Duke, 1997), and yet only 1% of plants in the most biodiverse area on earth have been studied.  Preserving the rainforest allows for the study of potential life-saving drugs. Adoption of silking gives access to a valuable animal product as well as flora that can be worth more than gold.

The Forman Rainforest Project had its first official expedition in the spring of 1992. A year later in 1993, the arachnid project was introduced where student researchers studied Argiope spiders as well as the Golden Orb Weaver (Nephila Clavipes). Originally, the arachnid project focused on studying web anatomy and its construction. It was not until Bryan Sullivan (arachnid project 1997) and the “coke bottle incident” did spider silk itself pique interest: Bryan was handling a golden orb weaver when it laid a sticky disc– a sticky glob of silk that a spider drops to anchor its silk line– on Bryan’s hand and continued to let out dragline, the strongest type of silk the spider produces; Bryan started to wrap the silk around a coke bottle and noticed its incredible strength. It would not be until 2002 that the Forman Spider Team was officially founded.

METHODS & MATERIALS:

Once the team lands in Costa Rica and everything is settled, a trek to El Plastico commences. The Spider Team collects the Nephila Clavipes in transit; the Nephila clavipes is plentiful in the area. The method employed in capturing the spiders resembles the hand placement one has in order to make a shadow puppet of a crocodile. A team member swiftly closes their hands around the spider. An important note is that the researcher should not be concerned about disturbing the web when apprehending the spider. Another thing to note is when collecting the spiders, the researcher needs only target the females, which are easily identified because they are much bigger than the males, of which there is usually one on the web. After apprehending the spider, the researcher simply traps them in a bag, typically the Spider Team uses an onion bag acquired in town. One should not worry about multiple spiders in the bag cannibalizing each other. It has has occurred that in the bag, one spider has eaten another, but they have been rare occurrences.

Once the team arrives at El Plastico, it is important to immediately set the spiders in their habitat. At the El Plastico basecamp, there is a permanent habitat for the spiders constructed out of wood. It is simply open squares situated vertically. After a team member puts a spider in its own box, its instincts will take over and it should set up a web in that location without any further encouragement. A small note is that the male Nephila clavipes and smaller parasitic spiders will appear in the webs over time; however, this is normal. Mapping all the female spiders in the constructed habitat will be one of the most important tasks to set up the silking operation. Mapping allows to identify all of the spiders and where they are situated. It is important to record which spider was silked and at what time. The time of day and weather conditions at the time can greatly affect the silk quantity and quality. Also, the record is important because oversilking a spider can cause distress or even kill her, not to mention affecting the quality of silk.

 

This described method of silking should be observed closely, as this procedure has been shaped after almost two decades of the Spider Team’s trial and error.

  1. The first step of silking is removing the female spider from her web. It is important not to disturb the web. The method used is affectionately called the “Welshans’ Cage Method”. The researcher hovers their hand in front of a web, slowly moving it downward towards the spider. The Nephila’s instinct is to travel upwards, which is used to our benefit. The spider should attempt to travel over the researcher’s hand, it is at this point that the hand is gently closed around the spider. The Nephila clavipes is not aggressive, and will only bite if pinched or handled roughly. That being said, if bitten, the only effect will be local redness and swelling.
  2. The Nephila should be supported on the back of the hand, prompting her to lay a sticky disc– a type of silk used to anchor their dragline– in the hand of the handler. It is important to immediately place the sticky disc around the silkinator’s wheel. Using two hands, the handler should move their hands in a waterfalling motion, which tricks the spider in to thinking it is falling, thus stimulating it to continue to let out its silk.
  3. A second researcher should turn the silkinator’s crank. A bike odometer is used to count the number of rotations the wheel has made, which should under no circumstances exceed 350 in order not to overtax the spider. Once 350 rotations has been reached,or the spider stops silking on its own, it is returned to its own web. It is important not to directly handle the silk on the wheel, but to use stainless steel probes so as not to leave oils from the skin on the silk. The current version of the silkinator features collapsible rods, which makes removal much easier. The silk sample should be labeled and tested for strength in current atmospheric conditions.

 

DISCUSSIONS:

RAW DATA:

Note: there are three distinct data tables from the years of 2016, 2017, 2018, this is due to the different organizational tendencies and goals specific to each team, methods and materials were not affected by this, every year tensile strength, barometric pressure, and temperature were recorded.

Date Time Temp. Humidity (%) Rainfall Wind

D.

Spider Name/ # # of rotations Amount Silked Color

of

silk

Strength (N) B. Press Strand Strength
3-2 11:08 80.7 57.50% NE LGT TEST/Firstie 300 250 Golden Straw 5.37 28.11 0.0179
3-2 12:08 81.5 58.4 NE LGT 1/Phyllis 184 153.33 Summer time 4.407 28.1 0.023951087
3-2 12:11 81.5 57.4 NE LGT 2/ Patrica 280 233.33 Golden Straw 5.221 28.1 0.018646429
3-2 14:04 80.9 59.7 N LGHT 3/ Pricilla 296 246.66 Sunshine 13.05 28.01 0.044087838
3-2 4:18 80.6 60.4 N LGHT 4/Treasre 187 155.56 Tamed Lion 5.25 28.01 0.028074866
3-2 14:38 79.7 62.8 N LGT 5/ Spidey 227 190 Define 2.414 28 0.010634361
3-2 14:52 77.7 69 N LGT 6/Biggie Smallz 240 200 Lion 9.201 27.99 0.0383375
3-2 15:12 77.3 67.8 N LGT 7/ Carmen 70 58.33 Lemon BOT 28
3-2 15:25 77.3 68 LGHT&VAR 8/Betsy 268 223 Neptune 5.407 28 0.020175373
3-2 15:45 76.6 70 NE LGHT &VAR 9/ Urcilla 156 130 Sunlit Mesa BOT 28.01
3-2 16:04 76.6 70.1 N LGHT&VAR 10/Harry 321 267.5 Golden Straw 4.461 28 0.013897196
3-2 16:24 76.4 71.1 N LGT&VAR 11/Budy 162 135 Melted Caramel 6.677 28.01 0.041216049
Date Time Temp. Humidity (%) Rainfall Wind

D.

Spider Name/ # # of rotations Amount Silked Color

of

silk

Strength (N) B. Press
3-2 16:49 76.4 73 N LGT&VAR 12/trouble 77 64 Starlight 0.388 28.01 0.005038961
3-3 9:55 77.9 70.3 E Agnes 283 235.8333333 School Days 9.572 28.9 0.033823322
3-3 10:00 81.6 61.9 E Dumpling 124 103.3333333 Lemon 0.66 28.1 0.005322581
3-3 10:06 82.7 59.4 None Marge 211 175.8333333 Sunlit Mesa 0.47 28.09 0.002227488
3-3 10:22 86.5 61.8 None Katy 256 213.3333333 Lemon 8.36 28.09 0.03265625
3-3 10:47 83.4 58.4 None Rose 263 219.1666667 Golden Straw 7.81 28.08 0.029695817
3-3 10:56 83.8 58.7 None Madam 225 187.5 Golden Straw 10.21 28.08 0.040039216
3-3 11:20 84.3 58.3 None Biggie Smallz 325 270.8333333 Neptune 9.2 28.07 0.028307692
3-3 11:38 87.6 54.5 E Carmel 310 258.3333333 Golden Straw 6.41 28.06 0.020677419
3-3 11:43 88.8 53.7 E Harry 215 179.1666667 Honeycomb 6.48 28.05 0.030139535
3-3 12:06 84.5 61.1 NE Betsy 191 159.1666667 Lemon 7.93 28.04 0.041518325
3-3 13:47 83.4 61.8 E Phoebe 0 0 n/a 0 27.99
3-3 13:49 83.4 61.8 None Pricilla 219 182.5 Sunny 10.7 27.99 0.048858447
3-3 14:05 85.3 58.1 Patricia 233 194.1666667 Lemonade 7.03 27.99 0.036806283
3-3 14:15 84.7 59.3 Lourde 230 191.6666667 School Days 8.25 27.98 0.035869565
3-3 14:35 84.9 58.1 Valencia 220 183.3333333 Sunny 3.25 27.97 0.014772727
3-3 14:48 84.7 58 Harry 280 233.3333333 Bit of Sunshine 6.48 27.97 0.023142857
3-3 18:04 75.3 75.1 Fiona 100 83.33333333 Sunny 3.15 28.02 0.0315
3-3 18:07 75.3 75.1 Vicki 250 208.3333333 Lemonade 13.72 28.02 0.05488
3-4 9:12 79.5 70 none Donna 180 150 Sunny 8.717 28.09 0.048427778
3-4 9:30 80.9 69.3 Wendy 170 141.6666667 Lemonade 2.986 28.09 0.017564706
3-4 9:43 81.3 65.3 Situation 87 72.5 Sunny 2.068 28.09 0.023770115
3-4 9:51 82.5 68.2 stitch 103 85.83333333 Sunny 4.027 28.09 0.039097087
3-4 10:01 82.7 64.1 Dish Net 40 33.33333333 MoonChina 0.232 28.09 0.0058
3-4 10:09 82 66.4 Sandy 347 289.1666667 Moon China 10.11 28.09 0.029135447
3-4 10:21 81.3 66.5 Black Betty 169 140.8333333 Honeycomb 5.763 28.09 0.034100592
3-4 10:30 80.6 67.5 Steve 274 228.3333333 Honey comb 3.191 28.08 0.011645985
3-4 14:26 80 72.4 Welts 228 190 Honey Comb 4.031 28.01 0.017679825
3-4 14:58 75.6 84.2 Clariz 125 104.1666667 Golden straw 3.667 28.01 0.029336
3-4 15:05 75.6 84.2 Soldier 200 166.6666667 Golden straw 3.959 27.89 0.019795
3-4 15:12 81 77.6 Staniel 260 216.6666667 Lemonade 5.329 27.89 0.020496154
3-4 15:24 85.9 71 Carmel 262 218.3333333 Lemonade 10.03 28.01 0.038282443
3-4 15:57 79.6 76.5 Patricia 250 208.3333333 Lemonade 13.29 27.91 0.05316
3-4 16:07 82.1 77.6 Betsey 250 208.3333333 School Days BOT 27.91
3-4 16:18 82.1 77.6 Biggie Smallz 250 208.33 Golden Straw 27.91
3-5 11:55 84.6 61.3 Buddy 107 89.16666667 Lemonade 5.98 28.09 0.05588785
3-5 12:04 86.9 61.6 Biggie Smallz 245 204.1666667 Golden Straw 2.54 28.09 0.010367347
3-5 12:18 86.4 63.9 Carmel 150 125 School Days 6.17 28.08 0.041133333
3-5 12:26 87.5 61.3 Betsy 250 208.3333333 Golden Straw 9.94 28.07 0.03976
3-5 16:17 78.3 77.3 Fiona 193 160.8333333 Moon China 12.61 28.04 0.065336788
3-5 16:36 77 77.2 Donna 427 355.8333333 Honey comb BOT 27.95
3-5 16:53 77 77.2 Pricilla 225 187.5 Banana Bunch 6.5 27.95 0.028888889
3-5 17:00 76.6 77.6 Clariz 320 266.6666667 Bone China 10.29 27.96 0.03425
3-5 7:15 76.5 77 Chocolate con leche 213 177.5 Bone China 1.439 27.96 0.005347418
987.5 787.5 1775
Date Time Temp. Humidity (%) Rainfall Wind

D.

Spider Name/ # # of rotations Amount Silked Color

of

silk

Strength (N) B. Press
3-5 17:37 83.2 75.8 CALM 35/staniel 296 246.6666667 Honey comb 27.96
3-5 18:07 83.2 75.8 36/Mikey 130 108.3333333 Honey comb 1.913 27.96 0.014715385
3-6 11:48 85.3 56.2 34/ Soldier 250 208.3333333 Sunny 7.569 27.98 0.030276
3-6 11:57 85.3 56.2 33/Clariz 179 149.1666667 Sunny 5.054 27.98 0.028234637
3-6 12:06 88.8 56.2 35/Staniel 142 118.3333333 Bone China 2.486 27.98 0.017507042
3-6 12:18 88.3 59 28/Sandy 169 140.8333333 Sunny 10.01 27.98 0.059230769
3-6 15:06 82.8 66 31, Steve 118 98.33333333 Bone China 1.89 28.03 0.016016949
3-6 15:35 81.7 67.4 37, Debbie 250 208.3333333 Golden Straw 8.51 28.04 0.03404
3-6 15:37 81.9 67.4 36, Mikey 250 208.3333333 Golden Straw 4.12 28.04 0.01648
3-6 16:00 81.9 67.4 39, Becky 250 208.3333333 Boon China 6.829 28.04 0.027316
3-6 16:25 81.9 67.4 2/Patrcia 250 208.3333333 Golden Straw 6.647 28.04 0.026588
3-6 17:16 80.3 72.6 1/Phyllis 273 227.5 Golden Straw 9.044 28.05 0.033128205
3-6 17:26 81.9 72.6 3/Pricilla 36 30 Golden Straw 1.3 28.05 0.026111111
3-6 17:38 85.8 73 21/Velencia 356 296.6666667 Golden Straw 14.8 28.05 0.041573034
3-6 18:00 85.8 73 10/ Harry 103 85.83333333 Golden Straw 1.807 28.05 0.017543689
3-6 18:08 84 72 24/Wendy 136 113.3333333 Golden Straw 4.8 28.04 0.035294118
3-8 17:30 1/ RA 202 168.3333333 Golden Straw 7.159 27.48 0.035440594
3-8 18:08 73.9 83 1/Sassy Frass 215 179.1666667 Golden Straw 9.15 27.48 0.04255814
3-8 18:15 74.4 81.1 2/Kristy 223 185.8333333 Golden Straw 14.16 27.48 0.063497758
3-9 9:10 75.2 78.5 3/Dureesh 158 131.6666667 Bone China 2.506 27.54 0.015860759
3-9 10:00 77 75.5 4/Tyrome 214 178.3333333 Sunny 1.887 27.54 0.008817757
3-9 10:10 77 75.1 5/Tinky 206 171.6666667 Bone China 0.067 27.54 0.000325243
3-9 10:20 77 75.1 6/Dirty mike 371 309.1666667 Bone China 0.222 27.53 0.000598383
3-9 10:30 77 75.1 7/Adam 114 95 Bone China 0.437 27.53 0.003833333
3-9 10:40 78 74.2 8/Caroline 270 225 Bone China 1.197 27.53 0.004433333
3-9 15:38 76.6 76.3 9/Chris 250 208.3333333 Spotlight 10.5 27.44 0.042
3-9 15:51 76.6 76.3 10/SamuEL 250 208.3333333 Bone China 2.472 27.44 0.009888
3-9 16:00 77.9 77.3 11/TaiChai 250 208.3333333 Spotlight 5.692 27.43 0.022768
3-9 5:20 75.3 76.7 12/Party Pooper 427 355.8333333 Golden Straw 23.92 27.47 0.056018735
3-9 18:00 75.3 76.7 13/ Sean 333 277.5 Spotlight 7.27 27.47 0.021831832
3-9 18:15 75.3 76.7 14/ditsy 397 330.8333333 Golden Straw 10.92 27.47 0.027506297
3-10 9:05 70.3 77.9 15/ Charles (before soak) 100 83.333 Golden Straw 3.848 27.56 STOP
3-10 9:15 70.3 77.9 15/Charles (after soak) 100 83.33333333 Golden Straw 2.848 27.56
3-10 9:20 77.3 71.9 16/lindenberg (wet) 100 83.33333333 bone china 4.245 27.56
3-10 9:25 77.9 71.8 16/lindenberg(dry) 100 83.33333333 bone china 1.615 27.56
3-10 9:30 78 71.6 17/Krinky (soaked) 100 83.33333333 Golden Straw (lemonade before spray) 2.209 27.56
3-10 9:35 78.4 71.6 17/ Kinky (dry) 100 83.33333333 Spotlight 0.827 27.56
3-10 9:41 78.9 71.6 18/George (Soaked) 100 83.33333333 Sunny 3.016 27.56
3-10 9:50 79.7 68.7 18/ George (dry) 100 83.33333333 Sunny 2.48 27.56
3-10 10:00 79.7 68.7 19/Jimmy 250 208.3333333 27.56
3-10 0
3-10 JUAN 4166 feet
3-10 16788.373
3-10 19850.373
3-10
3-10 24016.373
session timestamp temp_c dew_point_c spider location Fiber type Strand count session_time rotations k_lux Baro newtons strand_strength_newtons outlier
1 2017-03-02 11:25:00 25.5 N/A 21 N/A 145 6.74 21.02 7 0.04827586207
3 2017-03-02 12:30:00 25.5 N/A 30 N/A 231 1.5 21.02 9.1 0.03939393939
4 2017-03-02 12:45:00 25.6 N/A 20 0:05:26 211 1.5 27.97 17.5 0.08293838863
5 2017-03-02 17:25:00 25.6 17.8 22 0:09:12 229 0.1 27.96 19.8 0.0864628821
6 2017-03-03 9:52:00 25.2 18.8 14 0:03:27 250 7 28.07 2.49 0.0092
7 2017-03-03 11:25:00 23.2 19 8 0:03:35 269 4.8 28.04 13.2 0.04795539033
9 2017-03-03 16:00:00 24.23 18.7 26 N/A 0 N/A 8 o
10 2017-03-03 17:17:00 23.5 18.6 6 0:06:20 350 0 29.97 1.5 0.02285714286
12 2017-03-04 9:16:00 23.9 20.6 10 0:02:22 130 0.1 28.09 2.1 0.01615384615
13 2017-03-04 9:57:00 25.7 20.8 4 0:03:22 258 0.2 28.09 6.9 0.02596899225
14 2017-03-04 10:30:00 25.8 19.2 21 0:03:38 244 3.6 28.09 6.4 0.0262295082
15 2017-03-04 10:50:00 25.2 21.1 17 0:03:12 250 2 28.09 6.8 0.0248
18 2017-03-04 16:56:00 27 19.9 30 0:02:51 162 0.4 27.97 8.7 0.04938271605
20 2017-03-06 11:04:00 22.8 19.5 34 B N/A 50 1.1 27.54 2.9 0.02858
21 2017-03-06 11:39:00 24.3 19.9 44 L N/A 75 8.7 27.51 2.8 0.03733333333
22 2017-03-06 12:10:00 23.4 19.8 38 F N/A 72 0.1 27.51 2.769 0.03101388889
23 2017-03-06 12:22:00 23.4 19.8 38 F N/A 72 0.1 27.51 3.34 0.03101388889
24 2017-03-06 12:31:00 23.4 19.8 38 F N/A 72 0.1 27.51 2.248 0.03101388889
25 3/6/2017 12:50:00 23.3 19.4 39 G N/A 60 0.1 27.51 1.2 0
26 2017-03-06 14:40:00 20.5 18.8 42 J N/A 244 0.6 27.49 4.192 0.01668032787
27 2017-03-06 16:13:00 23.9 19.7 40 H N/A 246 0.1 27.45 9.6 0.03902439024
28 2017-03-06 16:45:00 23.6 19 43 K N/A 52 N/A 27.45 1.186 0.01032692308
29 2017-03-07 9:23 23.5 20.7 33 A N/A 176 N/A 27.57 4.202
30 03-07-2017 9:51 23.5 20.7 35 C N/A 141 N/A 27.56 3.666
31 2017-03-07 10:17 24.5 21.7 37 E N/A 213 N/A 27.55 7.579
32 3/9/2017 15:00:00 ——- ——- ——- ——- nylon 1/6 ——- ——- ——- N/A 9.78
32 3/8/2017 12:58 ——- ——- ——- ——- wool 1/4 ——- ——- ——- N/A 4.57
32 3/8/2017 20:09 ——- ——- ——- ——- hemp 1/4 ——- ——- ——- N/A 7.435
32 3/7/2017 20:20 ——- ——- ——- ——- kevlar 1/6 ——- ——- ——- N/A 5.579
32 2017-03-08 8:34:00 25.7 20.2 45 M 232 0.2 27.55 10.95 0.04719827586
32 3/8/2017 9:30 ——- ——- ——- ——- cotton 1/33 ——- ——- ——- N/A 9.3
32 3/9/17 11:00 ——- ——- ——- ——- Nylon monofilament 1 ——- ——- ——- N/A 16.4
39 3/8/2017 10:07 26.1 20.3 38 F cotton 1/33 N/A 250 0.2 27.56 15.07
40 3/8/2017 11:55 26.2 21.7 33,44 A,L Hemp 1/4 250 2 27.51 24.072 No Graph
41 3/8/2017 12:21 27.4 22.3 42 J Wool 1/4 N/A 250 0.9 27.5 10.5
43 3/8/2017 1744h 26.7 22.1 36,45 D,M Kevlar 1/6 N/A 250 1.4 27.47 23.85
44 3/9/2017 1015 26.4 20.9 33 A nylon 1/16 N/A 250 2.3 27.51 8.234
45 3/9/2017 1226 27.1 21.9 45,38 M,F nylon monofilament 1 N/A 250 0.2 27.46 18.97
46 3/9/2017 1256 27.7 21.8 44,32 L,J cotton 1/33 N/A 250 0.2 27.44 12.5
48 3/9/2017 1721 25.6 21.3 38 F hemp 1/4 N/A 250 0.3 27.41 34.07
49 3/10/2017 0652 N/A N/A 33, 39 A,G hemp 1/4 N/A 250 N/A N/A 35.75
Date Time Baro (inHG) Temp (C) Humidity Wind Precip Cloud Cover Spider Name # of Rotations Length Silked (cm)(Rounded to Whole #) Color Force to Break (N) Comments
1-Mar-18 15:19 27.91 26.5 61.30% 0 0 Cumulo Stratus Jenny 250 9974 B125 4.7 Cut line twice
1-Mar-18 16:12 27.93 25.9 61.40% 0 0 Cumulo Stratus Jackie 250 9974 B114 ———————— Broke while removing from wheel
1-Mar-18 17:05 27.95 24.8 63.50% 0 0 Cumulo Stratus Rachel 93 3704 B115 ———————— Appeared lethargic, stopped sinking at 93 rotations error with the attenuator affected tensile testing
2-Mar-18 9:00 28.07 21.5 87.10% 0 0 Cumulus Rachel 194 7740 B114 ———————— Human error
2-Mar-18 9:18 28.04 24.1 73.40% 0 0 Cumulus Ariana 250 9974 B113 4.4
2-Mar-18 11:40 28 25.7 62.30% 0 0 Cumulus Adriana 250 9974 B115 3.1 Tenso forward motion on accident
2-Mar-18 12:02 ———————— ———————— 59.40% 0 0 Cumulus Bella 125 4987 B117 ———————— Broke while removing from wheel
2-Mar-18 17:26 27.95 24.2 73.90% 0 0 Cumulus Jenny 224 8937 B127 7.3 Beautiful Gold Color
3-Mar-18 9:50 28.02 26.4 65.70% 0 0 Cumulus Sparkles 128 5147 B124 3.2 4:50 seconds 5 cuts
3-Mar-18 10:01 28.02 26.4 70.30% 0 0 Cumulus Angel 181 7221 B123 2.9 2 cuts
3-Mar-18 10:36 28 27 68.10% 0 0 Cumulus Ariana 141 5625 B125 2.2 4:30 seconds
3-Mar-18 16:42 27.93 25.5 71.40% 0 0 Cumulo Stratus Jane 170 6782 B123 ————————Human error no breaks
3-Mar-18 17:11 27.93 25.4 69.50% 0 0 Cumulo Stratus Jackie 8 319 ———————— ———————— could not even remove web Jackie had not been in her web fir two days, she sat above it in the rafters
3-Mar-18 17:21 27.93 25.6 70.90% 0 0 Cumulo Stratus Ariana 100 3989 B125 0.4 3:10 seconds Silked twice in one day, mistaken for Jenny Johan also broke some strands
3-Mar-18 18:00 27.95 24.8 73.60% 0 0 Stratus Jenny 185 7381 B126 3.9 2 cuts, 4:15
3-Mar-18 20:51 28.03 22.5 82.40% 0 0 too dark to see Rachel 148 5904 ———————— ———————— 3 cuts, broke on removal
3-Mar-18 21:13 28.03 22.8 82.50% 0 0 too dark to see Bella 180 7181 B125 3.9 no breaks, 3:25, lethargic afterwards
4-Mar-18 9:05 28.01 24.4 75.30% 0 0 clear sky Adriana 100 3989 B114 1.3 cut at 100 on purpose
4-Mar-18 9:40 27.94 26.7 60.30% 0 0 clear sky Annie 100 3984 B112 1.6 Cut once, capped at 100
4-Mar-18 17:50 27.45 23.9 74.20% 0 0 ———————— Jenny 64 2553 B132 1 Cut once, she had already been silken the fourth for teleflex
4-Mar-18 18:03 27.96 23.9 74% 0 0 Cumulus Bella 74 2952 ———————— ———————— Broke while removing from wheel, tough time sinking
4-Mar-18 18:14 27.96 24 73% 0 0 Cumulus Adriana 35 1396 B114 ———————— Too small to test
5-Mar-18 6:04 28 21.3 81.70% 0 0 Cumulo Stratus Jane 78 3112 B125 2.5 one cut
5-Mar-18 6:20 28 20 80.60% 0 0 Cumulo Stratus Angel 47 1875 ———————— 1.8 possibly put on wrong
5-Mar-18 9:15 27.94 25.6 76.80% 0 Yes,

——

Cumulus Jenny 75 2992 B124 1 Cut once
7-Mar-18 19:05 27.55 19.2 86.60% 0 Yes. .5 cm Heavy Stratus Jolene 10< ———————— ———————— ———————— Very hard time silking, multiple cuts before even reaching ten rotations (Rara Avis)
7-Mar-18 19:13 27.55 18.2 86.60% 0 Yes. .5 cm Heavy Stratus Charlotte 28 1117 ———————— ———————— Broke while removing from wheel, very difficult to silk, multiple cuts (Rara Avis)

 

Note: Because this paper looks specifically at tensile strength, barometric pressure, and temperature, a second raw data chart was made isolating spiders, barometric pressure, and average strand strengths of those silk collections. Spiders silked three or more times are highlighted with their own specific color and used in the following data graphs

 

Strand Strength Temperature (C) Barometric (inHG)
Patrica 0.018646429 27.5 28.1
Patricia 0.036806283 29.6 27.99
Patricia 0.05316 26.44 27.91
Patrcia 0.026588 27.72 28.04
Strand Strength Temperature (C) Barometric (inHG)
Pricilla 0.044087838 27.16 28.01
Pricilla 0.048858447 28.55 27.99
Pricilla 0.028888889 25 27.95
3/Pricilla 0.026111111 27.72 28.05
Strand Strength Temperature (C) Barometric (inHG)
Betsy 0.020175373 25.16 28
Betsy 0.041518325 29.16 28.04
Betsy 0.03976 30.83 28.07
Strand Strength Temperature (C) Barometric (inHG)
Biggie Smallz 0.0383375 25.38 27.99
Biggie Smallz 0.028307692 29.05 28.07
Biggie Smallz 0.010367347 30.5 28.09
Strand Strength Temperature (C) Barometric (inHG)
Carmel 0.020677419 30.88 28.06
Carmel 0.038282443 29.94 28.01
Carmel 0.041133333 30.22 28.08
Strand Strength Temperature (C) Barometric (inHG)
Harry 0.013897196 24.77 28
Harry 0.030139535 31.55 28.05
Harry 0.023142857 29.27 27.97
Strand Strength Temperature (C) Barometric (inHG)
Clariz 0.029336 24.22 28.01
Clariz 0.03425 24.77 27.96
Clariz 0.028234637 29.61 27.98
Strand Strength Temperature (C) Barometric (inHG)
Jenny 0.0188 26.5 27.91
Jenny 0.032589286 24.2 27.95
Jenny 0.021081081 24.8 27.95
Jenny 0.015625 23.9 27.45
Jenny 0.013333333 25.6 27.94

 

TABLES:

 

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS:

Barometric pressure (inHG) values; 27.91, 27.96, 28.08, 28.04, 27.99, 27.99. 28.05, 27.95.

Barometric Pressure had a difference of .17 from the highest to the lowest value

The Mean value for highest tensile strength in this lab in regards to barometric pressure was 27.99625

 

The Temperature (celcius) values; 31.55, 26.44, 28.55, 29.16, 25.38, 30.22, 24.77, 24.2

Temperature had a difference of 7.35 degrees from the highest to lowest values

The mean value for highest tensile strength in this lab in regards to temperature was 27.5

For use in abstract??

 

CONCLUSION:

Though we used the past three years of data, based on our findings, we cannot affirmatively say that barometric pressure or temperature has any obvious effect on the tensile strength of the Nephila clavipes. It is possible that the results were influenced by 2018’s findings, in which prior to this team’s arrival, a cold snap had killed the majority of the resident spiders and presumably induced stress in the surviving ones. Again, while no obvious relationship between barometric pressure, temperature and silk tensile strength was observed, within this study; the average for optimal conditions of silk strength was a barometric pressure of 27.99625, and a temperature of 27.5 degrees Celsius.This paper’s authors used  three years, 2016, 2017 and 2018 for data. Spiders that had been silked three times or more, were graphed twice with temperature (in celsius) over strand strength (in newtons). And barometric pressure (inHG) over strength (Newtons). For each spider, we looked at the highest tensile value, and its coinciding temperature and barometric values.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

A Thank you to all the previous teams for their data gathering and construction of materials and methods,

 

Bryan Sullivan

Jerry Kersten

Danielle Odell

Brady Rose

John Small

Luke Bornheimer

Rachel Clarkin

Addison Keilty

Megan Blair

Winston Macdonald

Nick Manzella

Zachary Bitan

Ryan Lowe

Jacob Sussman

John Goldstein

Ariel Blum

Lawton Jeffords

 

Special thanks to Linus Trahair, assistance in data analysis

 

REFERENCES:

AUTHORSHIP: Wendy L. Welshans, Jason M. Epstein

 

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The Census of Migrant and Native Birds in Heredia, Costa Rica

Abstract:

During the field research when we are down in Costa Rica, we will be capturing, cataloging, and tracking the birds in the rainforest.  The team will be working with Sean Graesser, who is a bird expert from the National Audubon Society. He is going to help us track the flight patterns, identify each of the species, measure their features like beak length, wingspan, feather color, fat level, age, and sex of the bird etc.. There are many things we need to understand about these species of birds, like bird calls, footprints, flight patterns, and feather color. At least 12 hours a day will be spent on setting up, analyzing, and recording the data to conduct our research: setting up around 5:30, checking the nets every 45 minutes and closing when it starts raining because birds don’t fly well when they’re wet, or at the end of the day around 6:00 o’clock because we don’t want to leave them up over night for birds to get caught and freeze to death. After identifying the species, we band the bird. If it is an migrant bird. The purpose of banding a migrant bird is to see if it comes back to the same location the following year and to understand the flight pattern movement the bird takes. The data inform us about the health of the rainforest. If a migrant bird comes back to the same place the following year, its one indicator of  the health of the rainforest. If a species has not come back for years, it may be a result of deforestation in their migration.

Introduction:

The birds team is one of the oldest teams of the Rainforest Tropical Ecology Project which is going on its 25th year of study for the project; this year, the two students taking part in this project are Wyatt Sherburne ‘18 and Zaccaria Orio ‘18.  The purpose of the bird team is to document the population of birds in Costa Rica because a lot of bird species are threatened or endangered, not just in tropical areas but also all around the world. Costa Rica has 850 species with 630 of them being native species, and 22 species of these birds are endangered or threatened. We are trying to make sure these bird species don’t go extinct by collecting data to monitor the population. Our goal is to track different birds in Costa Rica , mainly the migratory birds, so we can band them and find out if they will return to the same location next year. We keep track of these species and set our data to Cornell Lab of Ornithology to inform the status of whether any more species are endangered or extinct.  

Methods:

In Heredia, Costa Rica, mist nets are used to catch migratory and local birds. The following are needed to setup up a mist net: 2 steel rebars, 2 stakes, 2 poles , rope, and a mist net. We use closely-knitted nets for smaller-sized birds. The nets are not taut and the threads are fine, so they allow some give like a pocket when birds fly into them.

There is a process to set up these nets to make sure they don’t go unsteady and fall over because of wind, a large bird or from the rain, which might move the mud where the net poles are.

  1. Hammer two steel rebars in the ground.   
  2. Put the panels on the poles.
  3. Place the poles on the rebars.
  4. Make sure the nets are not super tight and not touching the ground.  
  5. Place two stakes and hammer them into the ground on opposite sides of the pole.  
  6. Tie a knot on each stake with a rope to the pole to keep it in place so it does not fall over.

 

Results:

We caught 31 different species of birds from 53 birds in the two base camps this year. The first day at base camp one in Plastico was the day we caught the most birds because it was not as humid and warm as the rest of the days, it was also raining a lot more at our second base camp in Rara Avis.

Local

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Phaethornis guy Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
7:00 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Mionectes Olivaceus Adult Unknown 3
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
7:30 3

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Amazilia rutile Juvenile Unknown Unknown
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
7:30 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Phaethornis longirostris Juvenile Unknown Unknown
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
8:40 3

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Sporophia corrina Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
9:45 5

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Sporophia corrina Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
11:00 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Sporophia corrina Juvenile Male 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
11:00 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Sporophia corvina Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
12:10 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Tangara larvata Juvenile Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
13:15 4

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Sporophia corvina Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
13:30 4

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 Cyanerpes cyaneus Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
13:30 4

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Saltator maximus Juvenile Unknown 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
13:30 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Ramphocelus passerinii Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
13:30 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Cyanerpes lucidus Adult Breeding male 0
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
15:30 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Cyanerpes lucidus Juvenile Nonbreeding male 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
15:30 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Cyanerpes lucidus Adult Breeding male 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
15:30 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Attila spadiceus Juvenile Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
16:00 3

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Automolus ochrolaemus Juvenile Unknown 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
17:30 3

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
2 Mar 2018 El Plastico Mionectes olivaceus Juvenile Unknown 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
14:15 4

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
2 Mar 2018 El Plastico Cyanerpes cyaneus Juvenile Nonbreeding male 4
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
15:00 4

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
2 Mar 2018 El Plastico Cyanerpes cyaneus Juvenile Nonbreeding male 3
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
16:40 5

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
2 Mar 2018 El Plastico Automolus ochrolaemus Adult Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
17:40 4

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
3 Mar 2018 El Plastico Caryothaustes poliogaster Juvenile Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
6:45 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
3 Mar 2018 El Platico Caryothaustes poiliogaster Juvenile Unknown 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
6:45 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
3 Mar 2018 Caryothautes poliogaster Juvenile Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
6:45 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
3 Mar 2018 El Plastico Manacus condei Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
7:00 5

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
3 Mar 2018 El Plastico Dendrocincla fulinosa Juvenile Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
7:00 7

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
3 Mar 2018 El Plastico Trogon rufus Juvenile Female 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
18:00 10

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
4 Mar 2018 El Plastico Dacnis cayana Adult Female 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
14:00 5

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
4 Mar 2018 El Plastico Attila spadiceus Juvenile Unknown 3
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
16:30 3

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
4 Mar 2018 El Plastico Mionectes oleagineus Juvenile Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
16:45 6

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
5 Mar 2018 El Plastico Mionectes oleagineus Juvenile Unknown 3
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
17:00 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
5 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Chrysothlypis chrysomela Adult Male 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
17:15 3

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
6 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Thalurania columbica Juvenile Female 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
8:45 3

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
6 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Colibri delphinae Adult Unknown 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
9:00 3

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
6 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Thalurania columbica Juvenile Male 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
10:30 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
6 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Thalurania columbica Juvenile Female 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
13:30 1

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
6 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Trogon rufus Adult Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
13:30 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
6 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Phaethornis guy Juvenile Male 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
15:00 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
6 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Mionectes olivaceus Adult Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
16:00 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
7 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Thalurania columbica Juvenile Male 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
9:00 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
7 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Myrmeciza exsul Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
9:00 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
7 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Xiphorhynchus susurrans Juvenile Unknown 2
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
9:00 2

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
7 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Electron platyrhynchum Adult Unknown 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
14:00 4

 

Date Station Species name Age Sex Fat
7 Mar 2018 Rara Avis Chrysothlypis chrysomelas Juvenile Female 1
Time Net Wing Measurement How Aged How Sexed CLP
14:45 3

 

Migrant:

 

Date Station Species name Alpha code Age Sex Band # Fat Body MLT
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Geothlypis tolmieri/Geothlypis tolmiei Adult Male 2500- 58635 1 0
Time Net Wing measurement Weight How aged How sexed BP CLP FF MLT
10:15 3 50 mm ? Molt P 0 0 0

 

Date Station Species name Alpha code Age Sex Band # Fat Body MLT
1 Mar 2018 El Plastico Setophaga pensylvanica Adult Unknown 2500- 58632 1 0
Time Net Wing measurement Weight How aged How sexed BP CLP FF MLT
17:15 5 10.5 g Molt 0 0 0

 

Date Station Species name Alpha code Age Sex Band # Fat Body MLT
2 Mar 2018 El Plastico Vermivora chrysoptera Adult Unknown 2500- 58636 2 0
Time Net Wing measurement Weight How aged How sexed BP CLP FF MLT
7:30 1 47.5 mm 9 g 0 0 0

 

Date Station Species name Alpha code Age Sex Band # Fat Body MLT
2 Mar 2018 El Pastico Setophaga pensylvanica Adult Unknown 2500- 58637 2 0
Time Net Wing measurement Weight How aged How sexed BP CLP FF MLT
13:30 5 10 g P 0 0 0

 

Date Station Species name Alpha code Age Sex Band # Fat Body MLT
3 Mar 2018 El Plastico Geothlypis philidelphia Adult Male 2500- 58638 2 0
Time Net Wing measurement Weight How aged How sexed BP CLP FF MLT
11:45 7 60.9 mm 12 g 0 0 0

 

Date Station Species name Alpha code Age Sex Band # Fat Body MLT
4 Mar 2018 El Plastico Hylocichla mustelina Adult Unknown 2241- 63994 1 0
Time Net Wing measurement Weight How aged How sexed BP CLP FF MLT
6:45 3 97 mm 46 g Molt Unknown 0 0 0

 

Date Station Species name Alpha code Age Sex Band # Fat Body MLT
4 Mar 2018 El Plastico Hylocichla mustelina Adult Unknown 2291- 63995 1 0
Time Net Wing measurement Weight How aged How sexed BP CLP FF MLT
16:45 11 110 mm 55 g Unknown 0 0 0

 

Date Station Species name Alpha code Age Sex Band # Fat Body MLT
4 Mar 2018 El Plastico Hylocichla mustelina Adult Unknown 2291- 63996 1 0
Time Net Wing measurement Weight How aged How sexed BP CLP FF MLT
19:00 3 111 mm 55 g Molt Unknown 0 0 0

 

Analysis:

Overall, the birds team had noticed a few things about this field research of birds in Costa Rica.  With Wyatt Sherburne, Zaccaria Orio, and Sean Graesser, we were very successful with catching and analyzing different birds in Heredia, Costa Rica.  We did catch many more birds in our first base camp than our second, but we have still caught some amazing things in both base camps. One thing we caught in El Plastico was a hybrid between two different warblers, this has been the first time that’s happened on the rainforest team in the past 25 years for the project.  In Rara Avis, we caught two different birds that have not been caught in the project for a long time, one was the Electron platyrhynchum, and the other was the Colibri delphinae.

 

The findings of Rare Animal Sounds in Costa Rica/ Bioacoustics

Abstract

The​ ​Forman​ ​School​ ​Rainforest​ ​Project​ ​is​ ​a​ ​25-year-old ​ ​program​ ​dedicated​ ​to rainforest​ ​education​ ​and​ ​field​ ​biology.​  The goal of the rainforest project is to collect data in the most endangered environment in the world and use it to find a way to make a difference over time to understand our environment through research.

“The​ ​Bioacoustics​ ​Team​ ​is​ ​tasked​ ​with​ ​collecting​ ​and cataloging​ ​as​ ​many​ ​of​ ​the​ ​thousands​ ​of​ ​resident​ ​species​ ​sounds​ ​as​ ​possible​ ​to​ ​provide acknowledgement​ ​of​ ​the​ ​health​ ​of​ ​the​ ​targeted​ ​environment.​ ​This​ ​sound​ ​data​ ​will​ ​later​ ​go​ ​to​ ​The Macaulay​ ​Library,​ ​located​ ​inside​ ​the​ ​Lab​ ​of​ ​Ornithology​ ​in​ ​Cornell​ ​University.​ ​The​ ​Macaulay Library​ ​is​ ​the​ ​world’s​ ​premier​ ​scientific​ ​archive​ ​of​ ​natural​ ​history​ ​audio,​ ​video,​ ​and​ ​photographs. The​ ​main​ ​goal​ ​is​ ​being​ ​able​ ​to​ ​extend​ ​Cornell’s​ ​Macaulay​ ​Sound​ ​Library​ ​with​ ​new​ ​calls​ ​and​ ​or new​ ​species.” (Najri, S)

The​ ​Bioacoustics​ ​Team made 37 recordings this year and submitted 25 recordings to the Macaulay Library. Most of the recording were recorded during lie-and-waits at base camp and on day hikes.

Introduction:

Bioacoustics is a branch of science concerned with the production of sound and its effects on living organisms. The practices of Bioacoustics is used in the fields of ecology, environmental science, and environment biology. The practical applications include– but are not limited to– estimation of population density, monitoring of animal diversity, and population health. The ultimate goal of Bioacoustics science is to create a complete library of natural sounds.

The Rainforest ​program​ was started by team leader Wendy Welshans 25 years ago with the goal of collect data in the most endangered environment in Costa Rica. This data will make a difference over time to understand our environment through research. In the past 25 years, the Rainforest project has formed many different teams. The current teams are Spider​ ​Silk​,​ ​Mammals​,​ ​Reptiles​ ​and​ ​Amphibians​, Birds​,​ ​and ​Bioacoustics– all tasked with collecting data in their mentioned field.

The Forman School rainforest projects has been conducting research in the field of Bioacoustics since 2015. The team has taken two trips to the Costa Rican rainforest and collected over 50 audio recordings archived in the Macaulay Library, the world’s premier scientific archive of natural history audio, video, and photographs. While the Macaulay Library’s main focus is rooted in birds, the collection includes amphibians, fishes, and mammals. The collection preserves recordings of each species’ behavior and natural history through sound. The mission of the Macaulay Library is to facilitate the collecting and preserving such recordings, and to actively promote the use of these recordings for diverse purposes that span from scientific research, education, conservation, and the arts. The Forman School Bioacoustic Team contributes to this animal library, in addition to keeping our own archive. The aim of the Bioacoustics Team this year is to obtain high quality recordings for on the Macaulay’s hit list.

 

Methods

“Lie and Wait”

One of the methods we used to capture animal sounds is a “lie and wait”. We go out and find a place with a lot of animal traffic, bringing some tarps to sit on and wait. We wait for the animals around us to make noise after getting used to us. Most of the lie and waits we went on happened at night, meaning we would be sitting in the dark, waiting to hear some animals.

Alarm Call

A few of the recordings the bioacoustic team collected this year were alarm calls. When the Birds Team caught birds in their net, the bioacoustics team would record the birds’ alarm calls.

Voice Announcements

Voice announcements are made at the end of every recording. When the recoderist is finished recording the desired sound, they turn the microphone toward themselves and describe important information about the recording, such as species, current date and time, location, behavioral context of sound, weather or not playback used, number of individuals involved, prominent background species, habitat description, weather, and recording equipment. Voice announcements are crucial so as to provide the most relevant information about sound identification on the spot and not to lose track of the essential dara about a recording.

An example of a voice recording that was made on this trip is as follows: “That was a common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis). The date is the 4th, march 2018, the time is 22:00. The location is El Plastico, Selvatica, Costa Rica. That was a night call. Playback was not used. Three people involved in the recording were Wendy Welshans, Mae Sharpless, and Jason Epstein. Background noises are the local birds and insects. Habitat is a tropical rainforest. The recording equipment used is the shotgun mic.”

To cover all of these aspects of a voice announcement, we tape a list of bullet points to the inside of the microphone case.

Playback

Playback is not a method that we use to record but rather to induce a potential recording. Playback is when someone plays a recording of an animal in the hope to get a response from the animals in the vicinity. Playback is a very common way to prompt responses from birds; however, we did not use playback this year because it is often challenging to differentiate in the recording what is the sound of a playback and what is the sound of a new recording.

Data Entry

At the end of each day, the Bioacoustics Team entered all of the information on the voice announcements into a data sheet on the bioacoustics team computer.

Journal entry

At the end of each day, the Bioacoustics Team also made journal entries in our Rainforest notebooks. The format of the journal entry is as follows: date, name, location, collaborators,􏰀 habitat, weather, description of activities, and important biological observations.

This is a sample daily journal entry:

  • “15, June 2010, Andi Mack. Gahavasuka Provincial Park, EHP (06 °00’53’’ S, 145° 24’45’’E) 2400 m asl. Mid montane forest as described in detail on 13 April 2010. Overcast all day, temp 15-29 C, light mist in the early morning, heavy rain at 1600h. Conducted mist-netting surveys with Paul Igag and Banak Gamui. Opened 15 12m nets along the main trail at 0600 and tended them for birds until closing at 1530 prior to heavy rain. 28 birds captured and banded, noted on data sheets.”

Materials

 

Parabolic​ ​Dish​ ​(Microphone)

● Sennheiser​ ​ME62​ ​Omnidirectional
The Prabila is the best microphone to recorded isolated ​clear ​sounds.​ ​It’s​ ​composed of multiple components an omnidirectional​ ​microphone​, wind​ ​protector, handle/connector, and parabolic​ ​dish. The wind protector is attached to the parabolic​ ​dish using the handle/connector. Then the omnidirectional​ ​microphone is inserted in the wind protector (the round gray tube seen on the photo to the right). This setup works by amplifying​ ​sound​ ​that​ ​microphone is being​ ​pointed​ ​at. The parabolic​ ​dish reflects​ ​the​ ​sound​ ​waves​ ​to​ ​a​ ​focal​ ​point​ ​in the​ ​middle​ ​of​ ​the​ ​dish. This is due to the ​parabolic​ ​curve,​ ​thus​ ​all sounds​ ​coming​ ​in​ ​are​ ​amplified​ ​which​ ​are then​ ​recorded​ ​clean​ ​and​ ​isolated.​ ​Meanwhile, the​ ​unwanted​ ​sounds​ ​reflect​ ​at​ ​a​ ​different angle​ ​and​ ​leave​ ​the​ ​dish​ ​without​ ​being amplified.

Shotgun​ ​Long​ ​Microphone

●  Rycote​ ​Softie​ ​Windshield

●  Rycote​ ​Pistol​ ​Grip

The shotgun mic is made out of a ​windshield, long microphone and a pistol grip. The​ ​shotgun​ sound recording abilts is​ ​slightly​ ​directional. It​ ​cancel​ ​out​ ​sound​ ​waves​ ​coming​ ​from the​ ​sides​ ​and​ ​let​ ​in​ ​the​ ​ones​ ​coming​ ​from​ ​the front and back.

Marantz​ ​PMD661​ ​MKII​ ​Digital​ ​Audio Recorder

The​ ​Marantz​ ​digital​ ​audio​ ​recorder​ ​takes​ ​in​ ​all of​ ​the​ ​audio​ ​that​ ​is​ ​being​ ​recorded.

  • ●  Record​ ​mono/stereo​ ​audio​ ​directly to​ ​SD/SDHC​ ​cards​ ​for​ ​virtually​ ​any audio​ ​capture​ ​application
  • ●  MP3​ ​and​ ​uncompressed​ ​WAV formats​ ​up​ ​to​ ​24-bit​ ​/​ ​96kHz
Porta​ ​Brace​ ​Audio​ ​Recorder​ ​Case

 

Results

The following table list how many spices the bioacoustics team recorded this year, this table does not show the multiple recordings we got of the same species.

Scientific Name Common Name Macaulay library World Wide Macaulay library

Costa rica

Nyctibius grandis Great Potoo 49 5
Pitangus sulphuratus Great Kiskadee 282 23
Automolus ochroaemus Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner 224 32
Caryothraustes poliogaster Black Face Gross Beak 52 20
Nycidromus albicollis Common Pauraque 295 30
Ramphastos ambiguus Toucans 101 45
Columba livia domestica Piggen NA NA
Ciccaba nigrolineata Black and white owl 55 13
craugastor fitzingerii common rain frog NA NA
klais guimeti violet-headed hummingbird 11 8
oophaga pumilio poison dart frog 72 13
Trogon massena slaty tailed trogon 83 34
Cacicus uropygialis Scarlet-Romped Cacique 72 22
Manacus candei White-collared Manakin 29 0
Eleutherodactylus diastema Tink Frog NA NA

All of this data is current as of May 17, 2018. With most of the data we collected submitted to the Macaulay​ ​Library.

Discussion

The 2016-2017 Bioacoustics Team had 13 recordings. The 2017-2018 Bioacoustics Team had 37. The lower number of recordings that the 2016-2017 bioavustices is due to poor weather. Last year, ​the​ ​team ​was hit with​ ​heavy rainfall,​ ​total​ing ​of​ ​7in​ ​or​ ​17.78cm.​ This​ ​interfered​ ​with​ ​the​ ​data​ ​collection,​ ​limited​ ​time,​ ​and recordings: many methods​ ​were attempted to protect the equipment from water damage in vain. This year’s team benefited from good weather and having 2 members instead of 1 during the second week of the trip. This allowed one member to go out on hikes and one to stay at base camp with the Birds Team to recorded any alarm calls from birds caught in the nets.

The 2018 Bioacoustics Team has achieved the goal to obtain high quality recordings of animal sounds, although sometimes the quality of the recordings was slightly diminished by human background noise due to the powerful microphones that pick up the voices of other teams. The Bioacoustics Team submitted 25 sounds to the Macaulay​ ​Library this year.  The recordings of reptiles and amphibians have not been submitted to the Macaulay​​ ​Library yet; the Bioacoustics team is working with an archivist to enter those recordings into the library.

Acknowledgments

The​ ​author of this report ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​thank​ ​Ms.​ ​Wendy​ ​Welshans, director of the Rainforest Project,​ ​for​ ​her​ leadership and ​invaluable​ ​contribution​ ​to many​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​the team’s​ ​work. ​The​ ​author​ ​would​ ​also​ ​like​ ​to​ ​acknowledge​ ​J. Epstein, head of the Spidersilk team, for joining the Bioacoustics Team during the second week. A thank-you is extended to Ms. Chen, a writing teacher and a cheparoen of the trip, for her organization and her help with the writing component of the project .

Citations

LaRocca​ ​Stravelle,​ ​Z.,​ ​Silver,​ ​P.,​ ​&​ ​Keilty,​ ​A.​ ​(2016).​ ​Bioacoustic​ ​Collection​ ​of​ ​Animal Species​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Costa​ ​Rican​ ​Rainforest.​ ​1-9.​ ​Retrieved​ ​May​ ​20,​ ​2017.

 

Najri, S. (2017).  Acoustic​ ​Sampling​ ​of​ ​Species​ ​in​ ​The​ ​Costa​ ​Rican Rainforest. Retrieved​ ​May​ ​22,​ ​2018

“The​ ​Cornell​ ​Lab.”​ ​​​ML:​ ​Frequently​ ​Asked​ ​Questions​.​ ​Web.​ ​23​ ​May​ ​2016. <​http://macaulaylibrary.org/faq​>.

Dissertation Day is Here!

The Rainforest Project Dissertation Day is TODAY from 8:30am-1pm! Thankfully, you don’t have to be here to see it. Click the link below to watch it LIVE! What a great way to celebrate The Rainforest Projects 25th Anniversary!

https://livestream.com/accounts/10616561/events/8185311

2018 Birds Team Methods

Wyatt Sherburne

Zachary Orio

Methods for the Bird Team

There are many different methods when it comes to catching birds in the rainforest.  The main thing that needs to be done is to know how to set up the net and how to catch the birds. Capturing the birds is called mist netting.  When a bird is caught, we have to hold the bird by the legs– this way the bird is either hurt nor capable of escaping.  We then need to take notes about the bird’s measurements, its sex, the species, amount of fat, whether it has feathers on its belly or not, and the kinds of feathers it has.  After recording the information, we release the bird back to the wild.

For the construction of mist netting, we need

  • two poles
  • the mist net
  • four stakes
  • Two steel rebars
  • hammer and a rope (three meters is fine)

We follow these steps to set up for mist netting:

  1. Take the steel rebars on opposite sides and hammer them down
  2. With the mist net all in order, put the panels on the poles and then put the poles on the steel rebars
  3. Take two stakes and hammer them into the ground on opposite sides of the pole at a 45° angle.
  4. With the rope, tie a knot on each of the stakes
  5. Go between the panels and tie a knot to tighten the mist net

2018 Mammals Methods

Mammals Team Methods 2018

Wilson.BA, JoJo Azzara, Quintin J Lepold; (with prior help from: MeeMee Filan & Charu)

________________________________________________

Introduction

The Mammals Team is a part of the Forman Rainforest Project, a program composed of high school students that has been conducting cutting-edge biological field research at two basecamps, El Plastico and Rara Avis, both located on the Caribbean side of pre-montane Costa Rican rainforest, since 1992. The research conducted by the Mammal Team focuses mainly on species of mammals in the Costa Rican rainforest living in decreasing habitats due to global warming and other environmental and human factors. The Mammal Team has returned annually to the same locations to study the same species and to observe long term patterns and changes in population, especially in relation to speciation. Speciation is the decrease of genetic diversity due to isolation of populations from shrinking habitats, and it is one of the biggest threats on the species the team is studying.

________________________________________________

Most recently, in 2017, the Mammals Team has been asked by Panthera’s Jaguar Initiative to create a census of the jaguar population and activity — which has been threatened to near extinction by speciation — in Costa Rica, where the Mammal’s Team will be conducting research. The objective of this is to figure out where the jaguars are migrating to and from accurately, giving the Jaguar Initiative the data they need to more confidently propose a corridor stretching through Argentina to Mexico. This corridor would allow the Jaguars to migrate through the fragmented habitat they have left, as well as give the jaguar population the ability to reconnect with other jaguar populations who have developed different genes, helping reduce genetic defects and vulnerabilities caused by inbreeding of the isolated groups.

The goal of the Mammals team is to be a part in the protection of the various mammal species in the Costa Rican rainforest and on a much larger scale from the effects of global warming and other factors that threaten their species. Our research plays a part in making a change for the better in the lives of these incredible creatures in a fascinating part of our world.

Hard Traps

Used to track and trap the mammals of the rainforest, the method varies within the different branches of the animal with different types of equipment. Hard Traps: Havahart 2-Door Small Animal Cage Trap is for catching rats, weasels, chipmunks, flying squirrels and similar-size animals. It is constructed of high-tensile wire with steel reinforcement and has smoothed inside edges for protection of the animal.

How to Use Hard Traps

The most important step in the live animal trapping process is baiting the trap. Baiting any live animal trap serves two purposes: luring the animal into the trap, and encouraging it to engage the trigger. Positioning the bait towards the center of the trap, luring the animal directly to the trigger plate. Either place the bait directly onto the plate, hang it from the top of the trap directly above the plate, or place it in a hole in the ground directly underneath the plate. With door locks in the open position, check that the doors can be opened by gently pushing down on trigger rods. Notice that trigger rod with offset loop is above straight trigger rod, so pushing down loop rod opens both doors. Using live traps, where the animal is just captured, and not killed or hurt. The traps consist of an enclosure where the doors are held open by a trigger mechanism that is connected to a treadle on the floor of the trap. When an animal enters the trap, it steps on the treadle and the doors instantly close, trapping the animals inside. Mammals can be lured into these traps by baiting them, or the traps can be set along natural walkways. The traps can either have a door on one or both sides for the animal to enter.

Setting the Hard Traps

Traps should be set to take advantages of the nonrandom fashion in which mammals use the environment.

  1. Turn the door locks to the open position.
  2. Push down on the straight trigger rod to open door.
  3. While holding door open, place bait on the bait pan. See back for bait suggestions. When finished, close door.
  4. Push down on the offset loop on the looped trigger rod to open both doors
  5. Position the flat end of the looped trigger

rod under the flat end of the bait pan trigger,

so that both doors are held open and the bait pan is level.

  1. Turn door lock knobs so that both door locks rest on doors

Advanced Telemetry Systems Collars, Antennas, and Receiver:

Advanced Telemetry Systems (ATS) are used to track small mammals of the Costa Rican rainforest. The information gathered is used to develop more complete understandings of the habits and habitats of the species in question. It is composed of two antennas, two receivers, two cables, and the transmitter collars.

To attach Transmitter collars to animals:

  • Thread zip-tie through tubing, to protect animal, then thread wire of transmitter through tubing and have it exit the tubing halfway through a slit, and glue transmitter to zip-tie and tubing on one end.
  • Use zip-tie to attach collar around animal’s neck or leg

To set up antenna:

  • Remove antenna from bag, and stretch out bars of antenna, with top first. Once each side of each bar is touching in the middle, tighten the nuts to secure them in place.
  • Attach one end of the cable to the port on the antenna
  • Attach the other other end to the receiver.

To operate receiver:

  • Plug cable into ANT port on receiver.
  • Set channel knob to number corresponding with key on side of receiver. It needs to match with the number on the transmitter.
  • Set FINE TUNE to 1.
  • Turn both switches on.
  • Adjust FINE TUNE slowly, until appropriate sound is reached. (Make sure volume is set to an audible level.)

To track transmitters:

  • Point antenna in cardinal directions and follow the sound of the receiver as it increases in frequency and volume.

Camera Traps

Camera traps are used to collect videos and pictures of animals we wouldn’t normally see. This is done to confirm the existence of species in the ecosystem. They can also be used to find the number of individual animals in a area.

  1. Trophy Cam, see that the Trophy Cam has eight battery slots. Inserting the SD Card The Trophy Cams have 32MB internal memory, hold only about 20 photos (@ 5MP resolution).
  2. The OFF, ON, and SETUP MODES The Trophy Cam has three basic operational modes: • OFF mode: Power switch in the OFF position. • ON mode: Power switch in the ON position (LCD screen is off.) • SETUP mode: Power switch at SET UP position (LCD screen is on).
  3. OFF Mode The OFF mode is the “safe” mode when any actions must be taken, e.g., replacing the SD card or batteries, or transporting the device. Use OFF mode if connect the camera to a computer’s USB port later. Be sure the camera’s power is switched OFF before inserting or removing SD cards or batteries. 10 to download photos/videos. And of course, when storing or not using the camera, switch to OFF.
  4.   ON Mode Anytime after the batteries and SD card have been inserted, switch on the camera. When the power switch is moved to the top position, the camera will enter into the ON (Live) mode. The motion indicator LED will blink red for about 10 seconds. This interval allows time to close the Trophy Cam’s front cover, lock it, and leave the monitored area. Once in the ON mode, no manual controls are needed or possible. The Trophy Cam will take photos or videos automatically when triggered by the “PIR sensors” detection of activity in the area it covers
  5. SETUP Mode in the SETUP mode, check and change the settings with the help of its built-in LCD. In the SETUP Menu, the photo or video resolution, interval between photos, switch the time imprint on, etc.
  6. SETUP Mode Shortcut Keys/Functions four of the keys below the LCD have secondary, “shortcut” functions when the camera is switched to SETUP mode • Press the UP key to quickly set the camera to shoot video clips. • Press the DOWN key to quickly set the camera to take still photos. • RIGHT key to manually trigger the shutter. This is useful for testing the camera-make sure in SETUP mode, press the RIGHT key, and a few seconds later a photo or video will be saved to the SD card.
  7. Setting the camera trap.
  8. When setting trap in the field slide strap through the back of the carma trap then wrap strap around tree or stick and buckle the strap making sure the strap is tight so it it won’t move. Make sure camera is facing desired direction.
  9. Find the GPS location of where camera trap is being sent and write it down as well as which camera trap it is at that location.

Plaster of Paris:

Plaster of Paris is used to preserve the prints and tracks left by animals in the rainforest; by using plaster, one can abide by international law by not taking any mud or animal parts and successfully export the plaster of the prints back into another country.

Plaster of Paris recipe

Preparation

  • Put one part of water into a mixing container or ziplock bag.
  • Slowly, add the powder into the water by sifting it.
  • Stir the mixture slowly with a stirring device, or shake it up gently if it is in a ziplock bag; be careful to make sure there are no air bubbles.

Applying the plaster to print

  • Carefully, pour the mixture into the print.
  • Wait for the liquid plaster to settle into the print (This may take a minute or two).
  • Carefully, dig the earth around the plastered print to remove it. (Be gentle as the print may be brittle!)
Materials

    • One part water
    • Two part Plaster of Paris
    • Container or Ziplock bag
  • Optional Stirring Device

 

We Are the 2018 Spider Silk Team

The 2018 Spider Silk Team is led by Wendy Welshans, who is assisted by Jason Epstein, a student researcher. The Spider Silk Team has a long history, which started in 1997 as an “accident” when a student silked a Golden Orb Weaver using nothing but his hands and a coke bottle! The program has since evolved to possess two groundbreaking patents to its name as well as becoming the life’s work of Wendy Welshans.

The Nephila Clavipes, common name Golden Orb Weaver, is native to the southern states in the United States of America as well as Latin America.  In fact, it is heavily present in Costa Rica, where the majority of the team’s research is done. Spider silk has many positive qualities: it does not cause immune responses when implanted in the human body– meaning the silk could be used for artificial tendons, tissue scaffolding, or even nerve regrowth; the Nephila’s silk is at least three times stronger than Kevlar, and more elastic– meaning silk could be used as ballistics protection (Cheryl Hayashi, 2010). To further attest to its strength, in 2017, the Spider Team conducted tensile strength testing of spider silk in 250 strand bundles, which are still functionally weightless but have an average of 6.21 Newtons, attesting to its strength.

The overall goal of the Spider Team, besides carefully documenting the amazing properties of one of the strongest natural fibers of the world, is to create a sustainable resource in the tropics of the rainforest that can replace cattle ranching. Harvesting spider silk would utilize land that would otherwise need to be destroyed. The Nephila spider must live in its natural habitat to produce quality silk. The flora in its home, however, is a veritable treasure trove as well. Interestingly, almost 25% of prescription drugs are made using ingredients derived from plants (James A. Duke, 1997), and yet only 1% of plants in the most biodiverse area on earth have been studied.  Preserving the rainforest allows for the study of potential life-saving drugs. Adoption of silking gives access to a valuable animal product as well as flora that can be worth more than gold.

The Forman Rainforest Project had its first official expedition in the spring of 1992. A year later in 1993, the arachnid project was introduced where student researchers studied Argiope spiders as well as the Golden Orb Weaver (Nephila Clavipes). Originally, the arachnid project focused on studying web anatomy and its construction. It was not until Bryan Sullivan (arachnid project 1997) and the “coke bottle incident” did spider silk itself pique interest: Bryan was handling a golden orb weaver when it laid a sticky disc– a sticky glob of silk that a spider drops to anchor its silk line– on Bryan’s hand and continued to let out dragline, the strongest type of silk the spider produces; Bryan started to wrap the silk around a coke bottle and noticed its incredible strength. It would not be until 2002 that the Forman Spider Team was officially founded.

The 2018 team has decided on three goals for agenda:

  1. The team will be collecting spider silk samples 4 feet/ 1.22 meters long of varying bundle sizes by working with Alex Newbury– resident in UMASS Medical School for Orthopedics– and Teleflex, a biomedical company, to conduct research using spider silk as suture materials and for use in repairing flexor tendons in the hand,
  2. The Spider Team will continue to be recording the tensile strength of spider silk as was done for the past 20 years. The goal of this research is to find the link between atmospheric conditions and the silk’s strength to answer the question: When is the silk secreted by spiders the strongest– at a certain temperature, or specific barometric pressure?
  3. In anticipation of spider silk becoming a valuable resource, the Team will be creating a working manual on how to silk spiders, including:
    1. People-to-spider ratio for maintaining efficiency
    2. Identifying different qualities of silk
    3. Providing methodology of silking the spiders
    4. Properly capturing, housing, and maintaining spiders.

 

METHODS::

Once the team lands in Costa Rica and everything is settled, a trek to El Plastico commences. The Spider Team collects the Nephila Clavipes in transit; the Nephila clavipes is plentiful in the area. The method employed in capturing the spiders resembles the hand placement one has in order to make a shadow puppet of a crocodile. A team member swiftly closes their hands around the spider. An important note is that the researcher should not be concerned about disturbing the web when apprehending the spider. Another thing to note is when collecting the spiders, the researcher needs only target the females, which are easily identified because they are much bigger than the males, of which there is usually one on the web. After apprehending the spider, the researcher simply traps them in a bag, typically the Spider Team uses an onion bag acquired in town. One should not worry about multiple spiders in the bag cannibalizing each other. It has has occurred that in the bag, one spider has eaten another, but they have been rare occurrences.

Once the Team arrives at El Plastico, it is important to immediately set the spiders in their habitat. At the El Plastico basecamp, there is a permanent habitat for the spiders constructed out of wood. It is simply open squares situated vertically. After a team member puts a spider in its own box, its instincts will take over and it should set up a web in that location without any further encouragement. A small note is that the male Nephila clavipes and smaller parasitic spiders will appear in the webs over time; however, this is normal. Mapping all the female spiders in the constructed habitat will be one of the most important tasks to set up the silking operation. Mapping allows to identify all of the spiders and where they are situated. It is important to record which spider was silked and at what time. The time of day and weather conditions at the time can greatly affect the silk quantity and quality. Also, the record is important because oversilking a spider can cause distress or even kill her, not to mention affecting the quality of silk.

This described method of silking should be observed closely, as this procedure has been shaped after almost two decades of the Spider Team’s trial and error.

  1. The first step of silking is removing the female spider from her web. It is important not to disturb the web. The method used is affectionately called the “Welshans’ Cage Method”. The researcher hovers their hand in front of a web, slowly moving it downward towards the spider. The Nephila’s instinct is to travel upwards, which is used to our benefit. The spider should attempt to travel over the researcher’s hand, it is at this point that the hand is gently closed around the spider. The Nephila clavipes is not aggressive, and will only bite if pinched or handled roughly. That being said, if bitten, the only effect will be local redness and swelling.
  2. The Nephila should be supported on the back of the hand, prompting her to lay a sticky disc– a type of silk used to anchor their dragline– in the hand of the handler. It is important to immediately place the sticky disc around the silkinator’s wheel. Using two hands, the handler should move their hands in a waterfalling motion, which tricks the spider in to thinking it is falling, thus stimulating it to continue to let out its silk.
  3. A second researcher should turn the silkinator’s crank. A bike odometer is used to count the number of rotations the wheel has made, which should under no circumstances exceed 350 in order not to overtax the spider. Once 350 rotations has been reached,or the spider stops silking on its own, it is returned to its own web. It is important not to directly handle the silk on the wheel, but to use forceps so as not to leave oils from the skin on the silk. The current version of the silkinator features collapsible rods, which makes removal much easier. The silk sample should be labeled and stored for later testing.

http://web.mit.edu/course/3/3.064/www/slides/Ko_spider_silk.pdf

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/golden_silk_spider.htm#life

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-49_banana_spider.htm

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1993/V2-664.html

2-https://www.adventure-life.com/amazon/articles/medicinal-treasures-of-the-rainforest 3-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358962/

more sources to cite- www.canadianpharmacymeds.com › … › Health Infographics

Spider Silk 2016-2017 Report

The Effect of Combining Nephila clavipes Silk to find Correlations between Splicing with Fibers

By: Parker Broadnax, Logan Faucett, and Natalie Canterbury

Abstract

To date, spider silk is one of the world’s strongest natural fiber. It possesses outstanding feats of strength, all while staying extremely lightweight and flexible. These qualities are unmatched by other fibers, such as cotton or nylon and ounce per ounce is stronger than steel, giving it a wide variety of industrial applications. It’s value increases furthermore, since it is a renewable resource. The potential to utilise this resource is declining since spiders habit in Costa Rica is being threatened by deforestation. Many companies also use abusive methods to obtain this material, including pinning down the spider and forcibly pulling its silk. This paper studies the silk of Nephila clavipes in Costa Rica. The goal of the Forman Spider Silk Team is to further researching humane practices of spider silk extraction and to look at the strength of the silk when combined with other fibers. This study explores the change of spider silk’s strength when combined with wool, kevlar, hemp, nylon, cotton, and nylon monofilament.

Introduction

The 2017 Spider Silk team was led by Logan Faucett, Parker Broadnax, and Natalie Canterbury. (figure 1 from left to right Parker, Natalie, Logan, Wendy Welshans)  The Spider Silk team is entering its twenty first year of operation. Past research has included the economics of harvesting spider silk, designing enclosures for the spiders, and collecting/testing spider silk mega samples. The objective for this project is to incentivise spider silk as a valuable resource, discourage the destruction of the spider’s habitat through deforestation. The spider being looked at in this project  is the Nephila clavipes, more commonly known as the Golden Orb Weaver spider. Nephila clavipes silk is one of the strongest of the orb weavers spiders; however, they are one of the few with significantly strong silk that live together in colonies. These traits makes them an ideal choice for farming, and a very promising renewable resource.

The silk is extracted using the “silkinator,” a patented spider silk technology. The silkinator in past years has been a metal disk, with eight spokes welded around the circumference. The wheel is mounted onto a metal box, approximately 16 cm^3. A thin metal rod runs through the wheel and the box, enabling technicians to spin the wheel by cranking a handle. This year a new wheel (figure 2) was developed, a wheel that can collapse to allow the operators to easily remove the silk for testing.   The spider’s silk is attached onto the wheel, and it collects around the wheel as it turns. The specific silk the team is harvesting comes from the major ampullate gland, also known as dragline silk. This dragline silk is the strongest of all the spider’s natural silk glands (Hayashi, 2010).                                                                                                                                        

The Forman Spider Silk team is one of the few programs that practices the humane extraction of spider silk. Many other companies use questionable practices. A live spider is taped or even pinned to a board, while it’s silk is harvested (Adams, 2013). The consideration for the well being of the spider does not take away from any aspects of the efficiency or yield of silk collection.

Patents found in (figure 4), and (figure 5) represent Forman school’s first patents regarding the manual and mechanical extraction of spider silk. The patent found in (figure 6) represents a healthy and renewable structure to farm Nephila’s  for their silk.

Methods

The first step to farming is the mapping process the spider enclosure. Keeping a record of how many spiders there are, where they have constructed  webs, and tracking which spiders are silked when helps to ensure that the same spiders are not over silked. Mapping also records which spiders are fed. The mapping process removes the possibility of silking a spider more than once in any given day or over taxing a spider’s health.

At the time a session starts environmental factors are recorded using a portable weather station. The factors including time of day, collection date, temperature, dew point, barometric pressure, and wind speed. All are entered into a data table with specifications of the silk from that session. This will be used to look at correlations between strength of silk and whether or not certain conditions affected the silk.

Spiders live on their webs when they are not being silked and after a session is complete they are returned to the same web. In order to safely care for the spiders and their webs the use of a method that is described as the Welshans cage method is employed.

The Welshans cage method is the process of removing the spider from their web without harming the spider and damaging the web. The handler hovers their hand in front of the web, and going down ward stopping at the spider to corral the spider into their hand. It is the spider’s instinct to travel upwards and this is used as an advantage. It is extremely important not to touch the web. The spider will crawl into the open palmed hand.  Once this happens the handler will close their hand a small amount very gingerly as to simply cage the spider.      

After using this method to pick up the spider they are brought over to the station to begin silking. The handler will support the spider on the back of their hands, (figure 7) and once the spider has lain a sticky disc it will be plucked from the handler’s hand, and placed onto the wheel. Once the silk is around the wheel, the operator will begin collecting the silk. The amount of silk and the rate of silking is measured by a bike odometer.

Using this odometer data can be collected regarding rotations, speed of rotation, and then calculate collective feet gathered. Using (r = no. of revolutions)  Amount of silk in feet = r x 10/12”  to convert rotations to feet. The bike counter also needs to be set to the number 1500 to take into account the smaller wheel as opposed to that of one from an actual bicycle.

Once 250 rotations has been reached the spider is returned to its web and the operator then does one of two things. Either an operator combines the silk with one of six fibers that are being looked at or, starts to remove the silk for testing without being spliced. To remove silk with the new collapsible wheel it is first pushed together within ¼ (Figure 8) an inch using two probes carefully, as to maintain the quality. Following this the spinner then unscrews the pegs to allow them to collapse releasing the silk to be collected on these two probes. (figure 9) These probes with the silk around them are taken over to the field tensile lab to be tested.  

To combine the silk with fibers for testing, the operator starts from when silking has ended and spider has been returned to its web. From this step the silk is bunched together tightly on the wheel, taking note to maintain the quality of the silk. Fibers are broken down proportionally as shown in (table 1) Each fiber is cut at 22 inches long and then applied to the silk.

Table 1. Thickness for fibers tested with spider silk

(table 1)

Fiber type r thickness
Nylon 1/6
wool 1/4
hemp 1/4
kevlar 1/6
cotton 1/33
Nylon monofilament 1

With this fiber in one hand the operator begins to splice the fiber with the silk. Starting from the inside between two pegs it is twisted three times between each peg. Taking care full note not to stress the silk nor the fiber. After every three twist it is brought over once more in the same fashion yet making sure that it goes over the peg as to not create space between the silk and the fiber that would cause problems in the future. This step is repeated eight times for a total of 24 twist altogether. Then taking the two ends of the fiber the surgeon’s knot shown in (figure 10) is tied tightly as to have no excess space between the fiber and silk. From this point it is removed in the same fashion as before, by releasing the screws allowing the pegs to slide inward and taking two probes to transfer the spliced fiber and silk  to our field testing tensile lab.

The  Vernier Wireless dynamics sensor system (tensile lab), (figure 11) as stated is used to measure tensile strength, shown in Newtons (N). The silk is pulled by an actuator, at a constant speed giving us consistent data representative of the silks strength. This data is collected from the tensile lab and shown on a graph as force (N) over time (s). Example of Graph (figure 12) Shown is a graph of 250 rotations of pure spider silk with a reading of 19.8N.

 

Graph of spider silk, measured in force (N) over time (s)

This is an example of a sample of 250 strands of golden colored silk.

Equipment

  1. Two Silk Extractors- made out of aluminium
  2. Silkinator 2.0 (collapsible wheel )
  3. Tool Kit
  4. 1 meter Level
  5. Rite in the rain notebooks
  6. Flagging tape
  7. Duct tape
  8. Wrist rocket (slingshot)
  9. Black light
  10. Light meter
  11. Odometers (x5)
  12. Rubber bands
  13. Wool
  14. Kevlar
  15. Paracord
  16. Hemp
  17. Polyester
  18. Cotton
  19. Actuator (BMW car antenna)
  20. Vernier Scale
  21. Portable weather station

Results

Over the course of fourteen days, the team collected silk from forty five different Nephila clavipes spiders. In the twenty five trials that tested spider silk on its own, on average the strength of the silk measured 6.21 N.  Within the twenty-five trials with only spider silk, there was a standard deviation of 4.873. The silk of the Nephila clavipes was spliced with six different types of fibers: hemp, nylon monofilament, kevlar, wool and cotton. The control value of hemp measured 7.44 N and increased in strength by 321 percent once combined with spider silk reading 31.29 N. The control value of kevlar measured  5.58 N  and increased in strength by 427.5percent  when combined with the silk, measuring 29.429 N. The control value of  nylon monofilament measured  16.4 N and increased by 7.83percent once combined with silk which measured 17.69 N. The control value of  wool measured 4.57 N and increased by 229.76 percent once combined with the silk at 15.07 N. The control value of cotton measured 9.3 N and increased by 32.15 percent in strength once combined with the silk measuring 12.29 N. The control value for nylon measured 9.78 N and increased by -7.9 percent in strength once combined with the silk measuring 9.007 N. All of these measurements can also be seen in table 2, 3 and 4 as well as figure 4. Though these percent’s show interesting results, more sampling must be done to make any final conclusions.

Below the tables represent the strength of the fibers before splicing.

(Table 2) Control Strengths of Each Fiber in Newtons

Fiber type Newtons
Nylon 9.78
wool 4.57
hemp 7.435
kevlar 5.579
cotton 9.3
Nylon monofilament 16.4

 

(Table 3)Strength of Native Non-spliced Spider Silk Samples Tested

Fiber type Strength (N)
Spider silk 7
Spider silk 9.1
Spider silk 17.5
Spider silk 19.8
Spider silk 2.49
Spider silk 13.2
Spider silk 8
Spider silk 1.5
Spider silk 2.1
Spider silk 6.9
Spider silk 6.4
Spider silk 6.8
Spider silk 8.7
Spider silk 2.9
Spider silk 2.8
Spider silk 2.769
Spider silk 3.34
Spider silk 2.248
Spider silk 1.2
Spider silk 4.192
Spider silk 9.6
Spider silk 1.186
Spider silk 4.202
Spider silk 3.666
Spider silk 7.579

 

(Table 4) Strength of Spider Silk Combined with Fibers

Silk Combined With Fibers Strength in Newtons
Silk & nylon 9.78
Silk & wool 4.57
Silk & hemp 7.435
Silk & kevlar 5.579
Silk & cotton 9.3
Silk & nylon monofilament 16.4
Silk & cotton 15.07
Silk & hemp 24.072
Silk & wool 10.5
Silk & kevlar 23.85
Silk & nylon 8.234
Silk & nylon monofilament 18.97
Silk & cotton 12.5
Silk & hemp 34.07
Silk & hemp 35.75

 

 

(figure 15): Microscopic images hemp, kenaf, cotton, and polyester.
(Arenas & Crocker, 2010, p. 14)

 

Discussion

In the original hypothesis, it was predicted that the spider silk would increase the strength of all of the fibers equally. In this theory, the high modulus fibers would result in the strongest fiber when combined with the spider silk. However once the experiment was conducted, the spider silk proved to increase the strength of each fiber unequally. Nylon Monofilament was the strongest fiber on its own (16.4 N), even though it had one of the smallest amounts of growth (7.83 percent). On the other hand, hemp had the second largest growth (321 percent) despite being one the weaker fibers. It is predicted that this splice is as strong as it is do to the silk’s gossamer qualities mixing with hemp’s coarse and fibrous qualities. The increase in percent growth of tensile strength has a direct correlation to fibers with a rough and fibrous texture. The silk had better enhancement properties when it had a more opportunites to hook onto the fibers’ surface, making nylon monofilament a weak candidate. As seen in (figure 15), hemp has an extremely dense and bristly structure to ensnare the silk. For future research, combining spider silk with other fibrous materials like hemp and kevlar would potentially yield some significantly strong results. In addition, fibers with textures similar to hemp, such as kenaf, would make promising candidates for future spider silk splicing trials.

This year’s findings have led to a promising future for spider silk. The team has communicated with Alex Newbery, an alumnus of the project from 2005. Alex is currently finishing his M.D. as an orthopedic surgeon at Massachusetts Medical School he is exploring the use of spider silk in the orthopedic field. He is looking at the possibility of using spider silk to rebuild flexor tendons in the hand. Spider silk’s high tensile strength along with its antimicrobial, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable properties (Römer & Scheibel,2008), makes it perfect for a variety of orthopedic applications. He estimates that it will perform significantly better than the material that is currently used today. The team’s tests on the interactions between spider silk and nylon monofilament will contribute to Alex’s research.

References

Adams, T. (2013, January 12). Fritz Vollrath: ‘Who wouldn’t want to work with spiders?’. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/jan/12/fritz-vollrath-spiders-tim-adams

Arenas, J. P., & Crocker, M. (2010). Recent Trends in Porous Sound-Absorbing Materials. Sound & Vibration, 44(7), 12-17. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272151761_Recent_Trends_in_Porous_Sound-Absorbing_Materials

Ebbert, D., & Dietrich, W. (2016, May). Spider Silk: A Mega Year with Mega Findings.

Hayashi, C. (2010, February). The Magnificence of Spider Silk [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/cheryl_hayashi_the_magnificence_of_spider_silk

Römer, L., & Scheibel, T. (2008, November). The elaborate structure of spider silk. The elaborate structure of spider silk, 2(4), 154-161. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2658765/#R67

Acknowledgments

A special thanks to:

Naked Nuts

Patagonia

William Dietrich

 

Authorship

Robert Logan Faucett

Parker Durrah Brodnax

Natalie Rose Canterbury

Mammal Team 2016-2017 Report

Research on Population Inventory of Mammals in Sarapiqui

By: Mee Mee Filan and Charuprabha Gaur

Abstract:

The Forman Rainforest project has been around for 24 years, and since last year, has brought back the mammals team. Learning hands on in the heart of Costa Rica’s Rainforest about the mammals interaction with their diverse environment. This year, the main focus was on collecting information on mammals and their population of the animals that specifically lived in areas near the two base camps. The main purpose was to track and locate mammals on the CITES, IUCN, and Red lists. CITES was used as a base of information of the mammals of Costa Rica. CITES is The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora between governments as an international agreement.

Introduction:

The adaptation of survival of the rainforests exotic species is mainly due to the environmental forces. The main focus of the team this year is to focus on the mammals that live in the decreasing habitat due to global warming, which is pushing species further north due to temperature changes. Going back to the same location year after year to study the same species, forming patterns of speciation within species. When a species environment changes revolved around it, so the species changes the reproduction of organisms which then gets passed on to next generations, leading to speciation. Comparing the species that have been collected in the same locations would make comparing and finding any mutations or adaptations of species to the area. Coevolution of selective pressure will be strongest when there is a close ecological relationship of evolving in response to the other selective environment that is constantly changing.

The aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens all around the world of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.The CITES lists to find what level of danger the species found were in. The Appendix I list has about 1,200 species that are the most endangered among the CITES-listed animals and plants, making them most threatened with extinction. CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of Appendix species except when the purpose of importation is not for commercial use. The Appendix II list is over 21,000 species of those that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled and monitored for protection.

Cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation is needed to avoid in cooperation with the species survival. The Appendix III list includes around 170 species which individual countries have asked for assistance and protection for conservation of their plants and animals. Trade in the species is only allowed when a permit in the country of which the species are in is made with the government.

Methods:

  • Hardtraps

Used to track and trap the mammals of the rainforest, the method varies within the different branches of the animal with different types of equipment. Hard Traps: Havahart 2-Door Small Animal Cage Trap is for catching rats, weasels, chipmunks, flying squirrels and similar-size animals. It is constructed of high-tensile wire with steel reinforcement and has smoothed inside edges for protection of the animal.

  • How to Use Hard traps

Examine the cage carefully. One of the most important steps in the live animal trapping process is baiting the trap. Baiting any live animal trap serves two purposes: luring the animal into the trap, and encouraging it to engage the trigger. Positioning the bait towards the center of the trap, luring the animal directly to the trigger plate. Either place the bait directly onto the plate, hang it from the top of the trap directly above the plate, or place it in a hole in the ground directly underneath the plate. With door locks in the open position, check that the doors can be opened by gently pushing down on trigger rods. Notice that trigger rod with offset loop is above straight trigger rod, so pushing down loop rod opens both doors.

Using live traps, where the animal is just captured, and not killed or hurt. The traps consist of an enclosure where the doors are held open by a trigger mechanism that is connected to a treadle on the floor of the trap. When an animal enters the trap, it steps on the treadl;e and the doors instantly close, trapping the animals inside. Mammals can be lured into these traps by baiting them, or the traps can be set along natural walkways. The traps can either have a door on one or both sides for the animal to enter.

  • Setting the Hard Traps

Traps should be set to take advantages of the nonrandom fashion in which mammals use the environment.

  1. Turn the door locks to the open position.
  2. Push down on the straight trigger rod to open door.
  3. While holding door open, place bait on the bait pan. See back for bait suggestions. When finished, close door.
  4. Push down on the offset loop on the looped trigger rod to open both doors
  5. Position the flat end of the looped trigger rod under the flat end of the bait pan trigger, so that both doors are held open and the bait pan is level.
  6. Turn door lock knobs so that both door locks rest on doors
  • Bat Nets

The Triple High Mist Net System- The portable Forest Filter mist net system consists of poles and an associated hoist system capable of creating a huge mist net 24’ (7.3m) tall. To remove a bat or bird from any net, a pulley system quickly and carefully collapses the net stack until the animal can be reached. The nets can be set up, raised, lowered, and packed up by a single person. Each tier of every net can be individually adjusted and tensioned in seconds for any bag-overlap desired, and to prevent sag.

Bats struggle in nets and become severely entangled, it is best to check the nets at least once per hour. When a bat is found in a net, decide which side of the net the bat hit and should work from that side. Pull the large pieces of the net away from the bat to expose the belly with no fibers on it. Begin untangling the feet. At the wings, do one at a time, by moving the strings away from the forearms. Once the wings are past the forearms, they should easily slide off the rest of the wing. Always release an animal at the exact same spot captured. Do not run the mist nets in rain as captured bats can die from hypothermia. Begin to close nets as soon as it starts to rain.

  • Bushnell Trophy Camera:

These cameras were set up in trails around the base camps to places that the big mammals cannot be trapped so these cameras were handy to keep a track on the population inventory around Costa Rica. The 8 cameras were set up in different locations around both of the basecamps. The best locations were at intersections of trails and openings of trails. Each camera was put on a different trail at the beginning of getting to both base camps.

The Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Essential is a digital scouting camera. It can be triggered by any movement of game in a location, detected by a highly sensitive passive Infrared (PIR) motion sensor, and then take high quality pictures (up to 12MP still photos) or video clips. Once motion in the monitored area is detected, the digital camera unit will be triggered at once (typically less than 0.3 second) and then automatically takes photos and videos according to the previously programmed settings.

Mount the Trophy Cam HD Essential on a sturdy tree about 16-17ft (5 meters) away from the ideal monitored location. Will not get the best results at night when the subject is within the ideal flash range, no further than 3-24 meters.

How to Use Camera:

1) Trophy Cam, see that the Trophy Cam has eight battery slots. Inserting the SD Card The Trophy Cams have 32MB internal memory, hold only about 20 photos (@ 5MP resolution).

2) The OFF, ON, and SETUP MODES The Trophy Cam has three basic operational modes: • OFF mode: Power switch in the OFF position. • ON mode: Power switch in the ON position (LCD screen is off.) • SETUP mode: Power switch at SET UP position (LCD screen is on).

3) OFF Mode The OFF mode is the “safe” mode when any actions must be taken, e.g., replacing the SD card or batteries, or transporting the device. Use OFF mode if connect the camera to a computer’s USB port later. Be sure the camera’s power is switched OFF before inserting or removing SD cards or batteries. 10 to download photos/videos. And of course, when storing or not using the camera, switch to OFF.

4) ON Mode Anytime after the batteries and SD card have been inserted, switch on the camera. When the power switch is moved to the top position, the camera will enter into the ON (Live) mode. The motion indicator LED will blink red for about 10 seconds. This interval allows time to close the Trophy Cam’s front cover, lock it, and leave the monitored area. Once in the ON mode, no manual controls are needed or possible. The Trophy Cam will take photos or videos automatically when triggered by the PIR sensor’s detection of activity in the area it covers

5) SETUP Mode In the SETUP mode, check and change the settings with the help of its built-in LCD. In the SETUP Menu, let the photo or video resolution, interval between photos, switch the time imprint on, etc.

6) SETUP Mode Shortcut Keys/Functions four of the keys below the LCD have secondary, “shortcut” functions when the camera is switched to SETUP mode • Press the UP key to quickly set the camera to shoot video clips. • Press the DOWN key to quickly set the camera to take still photos. • RIGHT key to manually trigger the shutter. This is useful for testing the camera-make sure in SETUP mode, press the RIGHT key, and a few seconds later a photo or video will be saved to the SD card.

  • Plaster of Paris:

The ratio should be 2 parts powder to 1 part water. If measured out 1 cup of water in Step 1, then need 2 cups Plaster of Paris Powder. Start adding the Plaster of Paris powder to the water in a mixing container by sprinkling or sifting the powder over the water. Don’t want to get air bubbles into the plaster mix. They take away some of the detail of the track. Don’t whip the mix. Just stir it gently until it is evenly mixed and has no lumps.

The plaster should be mixed in a plastic bag with water quickly before it hardens in the bag. Close the seal and shake. Move leaves and sticks, not any that are within the print. Pour the plaster into the print and cover with the plastic bag, might need to rip open the bag if the print is larger.

Results:

  • Traps
When Where
Dusky rice rat (Melanomys caliginosus) 5 March 2017, at 5:30 am male found in the kitchen (tail 195mm, body spread out 104mm, ears 5mm, foot 30mm, legs 29mm, width 35mm) Base camp one, El plastico
Grey four eyed opossum (Philander opossum) 5 March 2017, at 10:49 pm male in kitchen 650 grams (7 cm head, 24cm head body, 4.5 cm hind foot, 26 cm tail,)

6 March 2017, at 8:20 pm a mother

7 March 2017 8:30 pm baby months old? (hind foot 35mm, tail 135mm, head body 150mm, weight 20 grams)

9 March 2017 baby weeks old? (hind foot 21mm, tail 131mm, ear 15mm, head body 122mm, head 49mm)

Base camp two, Rara Avis
Vesper rat (Nyctomys sumichrasti) 9 March 2017, at 7:54am (length 65mm, no tail, 40mm height, 40mm width, 90g weight) Base camp two, Rara Avis

 

  • Bat Mist Nets
When Where
Common Long tongued bat (Glossophaga soricina) 1 March 2017, at 7:15 pm In mist nets at El plastico
Chestnut long tongued bat (Lionycteris spurrelli) 1 March, at 7:15 pm In mist nets at El plastico
Seba’s short tailed bat (Corollia perspicillata) 3 March 2017, at 6:30 pm and another at 9:30 pm In mist nets at El plastico
Common Mustached bat (Pteronotus parnellii) 3 March 2017, at 9:30 pm In mist nets at El plastico
Orange nectar bat (Lonchophylla robusta) 7 March 2017, at 8:00 pm In mist nets at Rara Avis

 

  • Cameras
When Where
Brown throated three toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus) 1 March 2017, between 9:34 am to 10:54 am Frog Heaven-Horquetas de Sarapiqui. Puerto Viejo Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) 1 March 2017, between 9:34 am to 10:54 am Frog Heaven-Horquetas de Sarapiqui. Puerto Viejo Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Forest spiny pocket mouse (Heteromys desmarestianus) 4 March 2017, at 5:09 am and 4:4 am and 4:26 am Seen on camera 7 picture 54
Central america spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi (panamensis) 8 March 2017, at 2 pm Seen when returning from hike with Twan to the waterfall
Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) 7 and 8 March 2017, at 1:30 am   Seen on camera 2 pictures and videos
Rice rats (undefinable) 5 March 2017, at 12:57 am and 2:07 am Seen on cameras
Paca (Agouti paca) 4 March 2017, at 1:14 am Seen on camera 7 picture 5 from Levi trail
Red tailed squirrel (Sciurus granatensis) 4 March 2017, at 10:30 am Seen on camera 2 on video 16

Seen on camera 7 photo 45

 

  • Plaster Prints
When Where
Jaguar (Panthera onca) Back to El plastico hike from Rara Avis
Puma (Puma concolor) Fresh footprint seen 11:19 am, 2.3 inches length and 2.4 inches width Back to El plastico hike from Rara Avis
Tapir (Baird’s tapir) Left El Plastico base camp at 2:40 to set up plaster prints, came back with 6 the next day El Plastico hike in the hills on Prisoners trail
Anteater (undefinable) Left El Plastico base camp at 2:40 to set up plaster prints, came back with 6 the next day El Plastico hike in the hills on Prisoners trail

 

Birds Report 2016-2017

Neotropical Migrant Birds of Rava Avis and SelvaTica Reserves Heredia, Costa Rica

The Birds Team has been one of the longest teams in the rainforest project, this is it’s 20th year. The purpose of this years bird team is to keep track of the population of the birds in Costa Rica and the migratory tracks they take. These birds are commonly known as Neotropical Migrants. A Neotropical migratory bird, is a bird that breeds in Canada and the United States. The same birds that we catch in Costa Rica are on the red list, or list of concern. More than 3,000 species of birds make their home in the Neotropical Zone. This represents about one-third of the bird species in the world. It has more bird species than in any other region.

The Neotropical migratory bird they migrate from Rara Avis or El Plastico to Canada and United States. The Birds Team has been one of the longest teams in the rainforest project, this is it’s 20th year.The purpose of this years bird team is to keep track of the population of the birds in Costa Rica and the migratory tracks they take. Some expectations I had before going to Costa Rica were not catching birds that are already been banded by previous teams, not catching any of the birds that are on the IUCN red list and rain wouldn’t interfere with catching the birds.

This is a list of what I did before our research trip:

  • What species are on the IUCN Red list – computer
    • Birds of Costa Rica Field guide – researched the birds and marked who I am looking for
  • Learned what birds were caught last year and compared them to the IUCN red list
  • Sean Graesser from National Audubon taught us how to put up nets, poles

I how to write in a scientific journal , Learned about data sheet and how to fill out , Learned how to take birds out of net , Learned how to identify the age of a bird , Learned how to identify the sex of the bird. Learned how to identify the fatness of a bird , Learned the international laws of how to protect the species , Learned how to band , Learned how to read the bands if we caught any birds. Learned how to record the bands of the birds we caught ,Learned how to check nets carefully . Learned time management.

Can you imaging catching the same bird, in the same tree , within the same couple of days, year after years? This is new science , that they come back to the same location year after year.

El Plastico, used to be a prison for criminals that were accused for committing crimes of passions. The prisoners would be given machetes and tarps and then head their way to the forest and live there but come back to the “reserve” during dining times. After a few years leaving away from civilization, guards and prisoners became really close and build a friendship relationship among each other. One day the guards and the prisoners became friends and told each other “let’s get out of here”. And so they all walked together, forming the paths that are now used for research hikes, and eventually began building what it’s now the Town of Horquetas.

You will need: habitat, vegetation, rainfall  we had a total of 7in or 17.78cm of rain, location, elevation,

Rara Avis lodge and reserve, located deep into the jungle, 3 miles from El Plástico. Rara Avis has more biodiversity and a better location for data collection.

Using data and research collected from years past, I knew where to do my first observation. I used the GPS coordinates N 10 degrees 16’54.7, W 84 degrees 02’42.0. I did observations of the birds from the ground.  I noticed that the birds will fly from one tree to another.  That is where I setup my first set of nets. It was a quadruple set.  I would open the nets at 5:45 in the morning.  I would then check on the nets every 35 minutes. When I checked the nets, I had a bird bag and radio if I needed help.  When checking the nets, I go close to the nets to look.  If a bird is there, I would need to see which pocket the bird fell in. I would carefully take it out, trying not to hurt the bird.  If I needed help because a bird was stuck, I would get help from the base camp.  If I noticed that the bird was too exhausted, I would just release the bird back into the wild, without doing any measurements, etc. I put bird in bag and bring back to base camp.  Once at the camp I would identify the birds using the books brought with us.   The birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide; ( Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean).  I would start filling in my data sheet.  I was writing down alpha code, age, how aged, sex, how sexed, fat, wing length, mass, date, time, location, what net it came from and most importantly what band number.  If it was a hummingbird or another little bird, I made sure to give him water. I would take a picture of the bird and then let it go from the base camp.  If there is no bird in the net I would go and check the other nets.  If there was more than one bird in a net, I would call base camp and they would come and help me take the birds out of the net. If it is raining out, I would still need to go outside to close the nets if they were open and also check to see if any birds were caught in the net. Throughout my time in Rava Avis, I was able to set up a total of 6 nets in a day.  

In the 9 days of capturing birds I caught a total of 99 birds.

Discussion:

The most species caught is the White-collared Manakin. One of the least species caught was  the Great Kiskadee. Many variables may have affected our catches this expedition like weather, location and time of day.  The Chested-sided Warbler is an example of a banded species caught in the same tree and same time as last year. This is exceptional data and unexpected data. This kind of data reinforces the need for conservation of certain spacial area within the forest. Many Species were CITES and Red listed like the Tyrant flycatchers.  This is important as teams like ours monitor their numbers. In table #1 you will see the banded birds we processed this year.

Monitoring birds whether banded, on the IUCN Red List or CITES is important for watching the health of the RainForest and gauging it’s inevitable change by global warming and species movement.

Results

Species name Alpha

Code

A

G

E

How aged S

E

x

How sexed CLP BP Fat Body MLT FF

MOLT

Wing

Measurements

Mass Date Time Station N

E

T

Band Number
Great Kiskadee PitSul 6 P U P 1 113mm 55g 2/317 6:45 am ELPL 3
White Collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 2/3/17 6:50 am ELPL 2
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird AmaTzac 1 P M P 2/3/17 10 am ELPL 2
Stripe-tailed Hermit PhaSti 2/3/17 12:25

pm

ELPL 1
OvenBird SeiAwr 5 L U 2 70mm 18g 2/3/17 1:00 pm ELPL 1 229163990
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 4:00 pm ELPL 2
Red-legged Honeycreeper CyaCya 1 P M P 2 64mm 14g 2/3/17 4:45

pm

ELPL 2
Tawny-capped Euphonia EupAnn 6 P F P 3 61mm 15g 2/3/17 4:55

pm

ELPL 3
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher MioOle 5 P U 1 70mm 15g 2/3/17 5:05 pm ELPL 2
Oven bird Sei

Aur

5 P U 2 75mm 20g 2/3/17 5:45

pm

EPLP 1 229163991
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 55mm 20g 3/3/17 6:53

am

ELPL 2
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher MioOle 5 P U 1 65mm 15g 3/3/17 7:56

am

ELPL 2
Stripe-throated Hermit Pha

Str

1 P U 1 39mm 3/3/17 8:22

am

ELPL 1
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 55mm 20g 3/3/17 8:30

am

ELPL 2
White-necked Jacobin FloMel 6 P M P 1 71mm 3/3/17 8:35

am

ELPL 3
Red-legged Honeycreeper CyaCya 1 P M P 1 60mm 12g 3/3/17 9:40

am

ELPL 3
Variable Seedeater SpoCor 1 P M P 1 55mm 13g 3/3/17 9:49

am

ELPL 2
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 1 50mm 18g 3/3/17 10:14am ELPL 2
Long-billed Hermit PhaLon 1 P U 1 60mm 3/3/17 10:20 am ELPL 3
Long-billed Hermit PhaLon 1 P U 1 60mm 3/3/17 11:00 am ELPL 6
Rufous- tailed Hummingbird Ama

Tza

P M P 2 45mm 3/3/17 1:10

pm

ELPL 1
Striped-throated Hermit Pha

Str

1 21mm 3/3/17 1:30

pm

ELPL 2
Chested-sided Warbler Set

Pen

6 P M P 3 53mm 9.5g 3/3/17 4:10

pm

ELPL 2 250058695

(from last year)

Red-Legged Honeycreeper CyaCya 6 P M P 2 50mm 14g 3/3/17 5:01

pm

ELPL 2
White-ruffed Manakin CorAlt 5 P F P 3 47mm 13g 3/3/17 5:29

pm

ELPL 2
Sooty Thrush TurNig 6 P U 1 75mm 36g 3/3/17 5:46

pm

ELPL 1
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner AutOch 1 P U 3/3/17 6:03

pm

ELPL 6
Blue-Chested Hummingbird AmaAma 6 P M P 1 40mm 3/3/17 6:22 pm ELPL 3
Summer Tanager Pir

Rub

6 P M P 1 2 75mm 27g 3/4/17 7:49

am

ELPL 3 22916392
Chestnut-sided Warbler Set

Pen

6 P U 1 60mm 11g 3/4/17 9:30

am

ELPL 8 250058632
Black-faced Solitaire MyaMel 6 P 3/4/17 10:02am ELPL 1
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 55mm 18g 3/4/17 10:10am ELPL 8
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher MioOle 1 P U 1 65mm 13g 4/3/17 1:40

pm

ELPL 1
White-ruffed Manakin CorAlt 1 P F P 4 60mm 14g 4/3/17 2:54

pm

ELPL 7
Passerini’s Tanager Ram

Pass

6 P M P 1 80mm 33g 4/3/17 3:44

pm

ELPL 8
White-bellied Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 55mm 21g 4/3/17 3:44

pm

ELPL 8
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher MioOle 1 P U 1 61mm 13g 4/3/17 4:07

pm

ELPL 1
Black-crowned Antshrike ThaAtr 1 P F P 1 62mm 23g 4/3/17 4:22

pm

ELPL 2
Golden-winged Warbler VerChr 6 P M P 3 63mm 9g 4/3/17 4:23

pm

ELPL 3 250058698
White-ruffed Manakin CorAlt 5 P M P 1 60mm 9g 4/3/17 4:37

pm

ELPL 8
Chestnut-sided Warbler Set

Pen

6 P U 1 60mm 11g 4/3/17 4:40

pm

ELPL 3 250058632
Green Kingfisher Chl

Ame

6 P F P 85mm 40g 4/3/17 5:00

pm

ELPL 6
Violet-crowned Woodnymph Tha

Col

1 P M P 1 55mm 4/3/17 5:23

pm

ELPL 3
Blue-chested Hummingbird Ama

Ama

6 P F P 1 56mm 4/3/17 5:53

pm

ELPL 3
Buff-throated foliage gleaner Aut

Och

1 P U 1 85mm 58g 4/3/17 6:14

pm

ELPL 7
Passerini’s Tanager RamPass 6 P F P 1 76mm 31g 4/3/17 6:14

pm

ELPL 7
Golden-hooded Tanager TanLar 6 P U 1 67mm 18g 5/3/17 6:20

am

ELPL 10
White-ruffed Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 3 60mm 14g 5/3/17 6:37

am

ELPL 3
White-ruffed Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 3 58mm 16g 5/3/17 6:53

am

ELPL 2
White-ruffed Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 2 60mm 13g 5/3/17 7:18

am

ELPL 7
Thick-billed Seed-Finch Ory

Fun

1 P F P 1 57mm 14g 5/3/17 8:38

am

ELPL 1
White-breasted Wood-wren Hen

Leu

5 P U 1 54mm 18g 5/3/17 9:00

am

ELPL 5
Red-throated Ant-tanager Hab

Fus

6 P F P 1 85mm 34g 5/3/17 9:05 am ELPL 5
Crowned Woodnymph Tha

Col

6 P F P 1 48mm 5/3/17 6:05

pm

RAVA 1
Long-Tailed Woodcreeper Dec

Lon

1 P U 1 100mm 47g 6/3/17 2:47

pm

RAVA 4
Tawny-faced Gnatwren MicCin 1 P U 3 55mm 12g 6/3/17 4:30

pm

RAVA 6
Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant Lop

Pil

6 P U 2 50mm 9g 6/3/17 4:30

pm

RAVA 6
Louisiana Waterthrush Par

Mot

5 P U 2 80mm 6/3/17 5:50

pm

RAVA 6 229163993
Chestnut-backed Antbird Myr

Exs

1 P M P 1 65mm 28g 6/3/17 5:55

pm

RAVA 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler Set

Pen

5 P F P 1 62mm 10g 6/3/17 6:00

pm

RAVA 1x 250058633
White-collared Manakin ManCan 1 P F P 1 60mm 14g 7/3/17 8:40

am

RAVA 5
Olive-striped Flycatcher MioOli 1 P U 1 70mm 15g 7/3/17 8:40

am

RAVA 6
Olive-striped Flycatcher Mio

Oli

1 P U 1 60mm 14g 7/3/17 9:30

am

RAVA 4
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 54mm 20g 7/3/17 10:40

am

RAVA 3
Crowned Woodnymph Tha

Col

6 P M P 1 58mm 7/3/17 10:45

am

RAVA 5
Crowned Woodnymph Tha

Col

6 P M P 2:50

pm

RAVA 1x
Cocoa Woodcreeper Xip

Sus

1 P U 1 85mm 38g 7/3/17 4:07

pm

RAVA 6
Tawny-crested Tanager TacDel 1 P F P 1 70mm 18g 7/3/17 4:15

pm

RAVA 3
Carmiol’s Tanager ChlCar 1 P U 1 90mm 33g 7/3/17 4:20

pm

RAVA 3
Carmiol’s Tanager Chl

Car

1 P U 1 91mm 40g 7/3/17 4:25

pm

RAVA 3
Spotted Barbtail Pre

Bru

1 P U 1 65mm 18g 7/3/17 4:26

pm

RAVA 3
Black-faced Solitaire Mya

Mel

6 P U 1 95mm 28g 7/3/17 5:11

pm

RAVA 4
Black-and-yellow Tanager Chr

Chr

6 P M P 3 67mm 9g 7/3/17 5:11

pm

RAVA 2
Wood Thrush Hyl

Mus

6 P U 2 110mm 7/3/17 5:30

pm

RAVA 6
Dusky Antbird Cer

Tyr

1 P F P 3 53mm 10g 7/3/17 5:31

pm

RAVA 6
Dusky Antbird Cer

Tyr

1 P M P 3 55mm 10g 7/3/17 5:33

pm

RAVA 6
Crowned Woodnymph Hummings Tha

Col

5 P M P 2 55mm 7/3/17 6:00

pm

RAVA 3
White-ruffed Manakin ManCan 5 P M P 3 60mm 13g 8/3/17 7:10

am

RAVA 1x
Wedge-billed

Woodcreeper

Gly

Spi

1 P U 2 1 74mm 8/3/17 7:40

am

RAVA 4
White-crowned Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 3 63mm 15g 8/3/17 7:40

am

RAVA 4
White-ruffed Manakin Man

Can

5 P M P 2 55mm 13g 8/3/17 7:40

am

RAVA 4
Chestnut-backed Antbird Myr

Exs

6 P M P 1 68mm 28g 8/3/17 9:00

am

RAVA 3
Emerald Tanager TanFlo 1 P U 4 64mm 19g 8/3/17 9:20

am

RAVA 1x
Spotted Barbtail Pre

Bru

1 P U 3 60mm 9g 8/3/17 10:41

am

RAVA 6
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lep

Sou

1 P U 1 80mm 37g 8/3/17 10:47

am

RAVA 6
White-crowned Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 1 70mm 15g 8/3/17 1:48

pm

RAVA 5
Black-faced Solitaire Mya

Mel

6 P U 1 95mm 36g 8/3/17 4:45

pm

RAVA 4
White-crowned Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 3 65mm 14g 9/3/17 7:25

am

RAVA 3
White-ruffed Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 3 60mm 14g 9/3/17 9:30

am

RAVA 3 ❤ 1790

Resident

Bright-rumped Attila Att

Spa

6 P U 1 93mm 45g 9/3/17 12:27

pm

RAVA 4
Russet Antshrike Tha

Ana

1 P U 1 63mm 28g 9/3/17 1:30

pm

RAVA 3
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Aut

Och

1 P U 1 90mm 9/3/17 1:31

pm

RAVA 3
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Aut

Och

1 P U 1 85mm 40g 9/3/17 1:32

pm

RAVA 3
Green

Honeycreeper

Chl

Spi

6 P M P 2 71mm 18g 9/3/17 1:33

pm

RAVA 1
White-ruffed Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 2 60mm 13g 9/3/17 3:37

pm

RAVA 6
White-ruffed Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 2 63mm 14g 9/3/17 3:38

pm

RAVA 1x
Tawny-capped Euphonia EupAnn 6 P F P 2 59mm 18g 9/3/17 3:42

pm

RAVA 1x
Tawny-capped Euphonia Eup

Ann

6 P M P 1 69mm 16g 9/3/17 3:53

pm

RAVA 1x
Chestnut-sided Warbler Set

Pen

5 P U 4 60mm 14g 9/3/17 4:14

pm

RAVA 1x 250058634

Acknowledgments:

Wendy Welshans, Sean Graesser, Eli Del Castillo, Silvanna Najri Saladin.

Literature Cited:

The birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide; ( Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean).

Training Manual for Field Biologists in Papua New Guinea; (Andrew L.Mack and Debra D.Wright).