Monitoring Costa Rica's Wildlife in the Cloud Forest Region
Costa Rica’s cloud forests are a menagerie of amphibians, birds, insects, reptiles and mammals intertwined with each other. To stay in the Cloud Forest is one thing, to find a research center is another.
The Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Hotel & Nature Reserve is said to be the first hotel property in Costa Rica to have a research facility in operation on its grounds. Opened in June 2008 by the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), the facility was first named the InBio Research Station and occupied by the institute’s scientists who conducted research there until April 2012. Now the research station collaborates with the National Institute of Meteorology, biology students from the University of Costa Rica, and nonprofits that are developing programs relating to climate change, biodiversity, and education within local communities. Researchers also don’t have to go very far to conduct their studies. They can walk right into the neighboring 2,000-acre Los Angeles Cloud Forest Biological Private Reserve. This reserve features five kilometers (or just over three miles) of nature trails maintained by Villa Blanca staff members. Guests at the hotel can visit the research station to learn more about its work.