Monte Verde was amazing. I had never been in a cloud forest before, so when we made the hour long hike down a steep, wet trail to the station, I was in awe as clouds would surround me. We spent a lot of our time at Monte Verde studying frogs. We had a guest professor named Mark Wainwright, who is incredibly knowledgeable on many different topics, especially frogs and birds. He gave us a few different lectures on frog taxonomy, different types of frog calls, and frog decline. It was extremely visible how passionate he was on these topics, and it made the lectures that much more interesting. On the last night before we left Monteverde, we went out into the forest to apply all of the knowledge we had obtained in class to the field. We heard many different frog calls, but Mark was explaining that for every ten frogs you hear calling, you might find one. They are very good at camouflaging and hiding in rolled leaves or high up in the vegetation. It was tough to make our way through the forest; hundreds of different bugs were attracted to our head lamps so trying to spot well-hidden frogs as you were looking through a cloud of insects was not easy. By the time the hike had finished, we had spotted a few different frog species: the Common Rain Frog, the Branford’s Liter Frog, the Common Tink Frog, and the Spotted Shoulder Rain Frog. Mark gave us some natural history information on all the species we found, and it was amazing to be able to apply the information we learned in lectures about frog taxonomy and calls to actual frog! I will never forget my time spent in the beautiful cloud forest of Monteverde that made my passion for frogs even stronger.
Wheaton College ‘18