Ancient suburban swamps harbor an incredibly tough collection of critters as we say here in the South. Here at the southernmost tip of Texas the ancient swamps greatest battleship is the prehistoric relic of DNA, the infamous and mysterious Alligator Gar. iNaturalist listing
These two words separated conjure vicious attack speed rapacious appetite and deadly accuracy but combined we need to add the superlatives of gargantuan overkill and armor to match. To call an Alligator Gar a fish is to thoroughly miss the point that somehow a conscious organism with this tool set is actively prowling the rivers and shallow waterways we often overlook with labels such as ditch or drainage. Far from that these areas are active pools of superfast adaptive evolution where new ideas are often chastised with early death and old ideas like Gars still somehow persist. They have gills but breathe air like a frog releasing gulps of gas in exchange for a fresh gulp from the surface.
The Alligator Gar is an undisputed freshwater goliath that grows to massive proportions by fulfilling an instinctive skill of prowling on all types of water, land and air dwelling organisms easily up to the size of the large healthy catfish seen as prey in these rare photographs of an Alligator Gar in action during the early morning hours.
It is the hope of this author that sharing these rare experiences here can motivate us to come together in a common bond of awe and respect for these miraculous beasts that inhabit the world with us and we continue to protect them.
Nature is abundant with magical creatures of legend and lore easily up to par and beyond the grasp of the words we use to describe them. However in reality these pictures do not do this phenom of a being any justice compared to the price of its existence for millennia in suburban swamps way down south by Mexico way.
Whales and all cetaceans are highly complex social creatures whose position underwater in relationship to each other is vital for survival. These organisms are not just hanging around waiting to be harassed, they are listening, hunting, fleeing, resting, and in general probably growing from the experiences around them as they pass on their guardianship to the next generation. They not only need the space but our own laws should serve us as very minimum guidelines, (what our common sense, long lost for many, has told us all the time).
We must protect our right to Life in all its diversity in a healthy environment starting with our own behaviour. Environmentalists make the call and environmentalists with badges receive it.
In response to a complaint from onshore observers that jet skis and fishing boats were harassing a whale with its newborn calf the Commander said biologists in kayaks from the area would begin a vigil and all evidence would be analyzed.
NMFS is (1) prohibiting approaches within 200 yd (182.8 m) distance as outlined in the proposed rule; (2) implementing a ‘‘slow, no wake, safe speed’’ requirement within proximity of a humpback whale;
NMFS es (1) enfoques que prohíbe
dentro de 200 m (182,8 m) distancia como se indica en la norma propuesta; (2) la implementación de un” A baja velocidad, sin oleaje ” requisito dentro proximidad de una ballena jorobada;
Palm Oil plantations are on the rise in central america and many tourists encounter them in Costa Rica as they search for virgin territory to spy wildlife before man arrived. On this quest that leads many through the Oil Palm plantations of Parrita on their way to destinations as exotic as Manuel Antonio National Park or Corcovado further south you will drive or fly over 40 thousand hectares of this “fruit”.
See these powerful links to get a greater grasp of this issue:
To quote an article from WWF “Global production of palm oil has doubled over the last decade. By 2000, palm oil was the most produced and traded vegetable oil (FAO 2002), accounting for 40% of all vegetable oils traded internationally. By 2006, the percentage had risen to 65% (FAO)Worldwide demand for palm oil is expected to double again by 2020. New plantations are being developed and existing ones are being expanded in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian countries, as well as in Africa and Latin America. But this expansion comes at the expense of tropical forest – which forms critical habitat for a large number of endangered species.”.
CRNC toured the plantations with local guides and found a surprising panorama to educate your own views, see our unedited tour here, below is the exact location of our short tour. Thank you following CRNC and stay tuned for more info on the efforts to find friendlier alternatives to our current agricultural needs.
“Giant Crocodiles of the Tarcoles River” presents a brief view of the saltwater central american crocodile and its relationship to local tourism adventurers in a famous sighting area over the Tarcoles River in Costa Ricas central pacific coast. These are wild animals yet they know instinctively to get along (so to speak) with humans and their particularly odd behaviours, such as feeding them for others entertainment. There are recent incidences proving them relatively safe to trust in their natural ability to destroy the weak in any society including our own however as seen in this recent newspaper report from this very same bridge where the enormous crocodiles are fed. ticotimes. missing man eaten Despite these “accidents”, however, there are many reasons to be fascinated by these magnificent creations of the Universe. In the famous words of Dr. Carl Sagan himself so eloquently phrased, “it does no good whatsoever to ignore the reptilian component of human nature, particularly our ritualistic and hierarchical behavior. On the contrary, the model may help us understand what human beings are all about”. But, to keep things fair it is important to examine other views about fetuses resembling animals as the develop in the womb as some sources have a vested interest in the point of view they reveal.
male ctenosaur hunting for eggs in pochote tree
Costa Rica Territory is home to approximately 225 reptiles, over 70 species of lizards, geckos, Striped basilisk, Ctenosaura and Black and Green iguanas. There are also 120 species of Snakes, boas, colubrids and 20 venomous snakes, including coral snakes, vipers, rattlers, and bushmasters. They all know their place just as do the crocodiles but we have our place too, so be grateful, smart and safe in this amazing cradle of civilization called Costa Rica, you are welcome and being watched by more eyes than you may ever know.
Flying deftly around the dark cave the bat circles erratically to distract me from the females and young hanging overhead.
This is not just a Halloween character but a real resident of my coastal front yard. I know how this furry flying mammal thinks and feels and I respect its space and urge to protect its family. Silently I pay my respects, film and move out without to much stress to the little bats budding solitary colony.
There are nearly 1,000 species of bats ranging in size from the tiny bumble-bee bat of Thailand , to the vulture size Fox bats. Their diet consists primarily of insects, but some species eat nectar and fruits. The vampire bats drink the blood of other animals.
Bats contribute to and maintain biodiversity by enriching and replenishing forests and in pollinating and dispersing the seeds of fruit and nut trees. Literally thousands of economically important plants depend on nectar feeding bats for pollination of their flowers.
Bats are the only major predators of night flying insects. Guano from bats continues to be a major fertilizer in many countries.
Much more could be said about bats but realize that they are not flying rats or vermin to be mistreated when we find our un-maintained dwellings have “sprouted” a colony.
Bats are highly evolved, interesting and vital residents of the earth worthy of every effort to guard their well being. Learn, Love, Conserve CRNC cr nature
Whales are currently being sighted off Jaco beach, Herradura and Punta Leona moving south. I have seen them myself from my balcony about 200 yards offshore.
Making local news for their famous journeys http://news.co.cr/whale-watching-season-starts-in-costa-rica/24072/ these behemoths of the deep have come from as far away as Antartica for a vacation or honeymoon or maybe a bigger ritual than those every year since we remember and more, hopefully forever.!
Please remember these are wild animals that need their privacy and safety to recuperate from human pressure, keep your distance and absolutely no fishing around them of any kind.
Costa Rica holds the longest season for humpback whale watching in the world. This whale specie comes to migrate in this country whenever winter comes in the Antarctica (between August to October). Come December to April, other whales come in to Costa Rica from Antarctica to mate and nest.
Observe the 1000 meter rule and use telephoto lenses particularly where calving is occurring.
This may not seem touristy but it is the ecologically responsible humans criteria that allows us ALL a time to adjust to our new, (hopefully friendly) behaviors toward each other after so many centuries hunting them down without regard to their innate citizenship.
These mystifying Giants of the marine world should be GPS tagged and declared non human citizens and watched with satellites to protect them wherever they go.
They could then earn a taxable income and pay for their own protection worldwide.
We are the ones that have to convince ourselves first that it is worth it.I know it is when I see them and my heart jumps for joy. Cordially, Capt. Richard Barone in Punta Leona
currently spotting three whales moving south along Jaco coast.
Scarlet Macaws flying to nest over Punta Leona, Costa Rica. I am currently documenting the trajectory of a young flightless scarlet macaw that recently was blown out of its nest during a storm. The young bird was rescued by local conservation personnel and is currently in a rehab center being fed and paired up with a mate.
Young scarlet macaw rescued after a storm blew it from its nest.
The birds release is planned to be in the area of its original home with the acquisition of a specialized release and quarantine cage. Stay tuned for more pics and eventually an HD video! These glorious creatures are a marvel to behold in their natural habitat. It is an incredible privilege to participate in these conservation efforts.
Scarlet macaw conservation in Costa Rica requires a variety of protected habitats for successful nesting. This ocean view nesting colony may be many macaw generations old and provide a key sanctuary for the species in this area.
Scarlet Macaw nesting in Ceiba tree over Punta Leona
Current Events in the nest site
July 18, 2013 entry 3 Ctenosaur Relocation planning begins.
The 3 member Ctenosaur family should be remove from the scarlet macaws nest. A camera should be used to inspect the nest. The birds should be encouraged to return by repeated cleaning of the site. A quarantine cage may be installed on the site after experts confer on inspection. Carara oficials will be contacted soon.
Conservation is a term many leave for institutions and agencies yet true conservation works best when it starts at home.
If you have ideas related to how you conserve please fell free to share them with this readership.
Thank you for your conscientiousness. Together we can all bring the dream of a healthy planet and society into reality.
Live, Learn, Conserve. cordially Capt. Richard Barone