Avian Research

CREA has been studying Cocobolo’s rich avifauna, both residents and migrants, since 2007. To study the bird populations of Panama, we rely on the following methods:

  • mist netting in Cocobolo Nature Reserve, identification, measurement and release;
  • early-morning bird walks to identify residents and migrating species;
  • bio-acoustics to identify birds by their call.

Climate change and habitat loss are affecting bird populations worldwide, especially migratory species that depend on intact habitat and resources in different parts of the world. Climate change is affecting the timing of the presence of essential food (e.g. insect and fruit) for migratory species, hindering their ability to successfully migrate often thousands of miles across land and ocean.

It is essential to monitor the state of bird populations to know if and which species are being affected. To do this CREA runs a bird banding station at Cocobolo and, in addition to recording resident species, records all migratory species visiting the reserve each winter. The data, when put together over time, will help us to understand how species are changing and which are most vulnerable and need attention.

Roy, M.S. and Doss, L.K. Building Migratory Bridges. The Science Teacher: Nov. 56-63 (2007).

Our new 2017 Herps Field Guide is out!

Yet another reason to be thrilled about our amazing biodiversity!

Twan Leenders​ from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History​, just sent us the updated 2017 Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Cocobolo Nature Reserve​, featuring no less than 113 species with gorgeous pictures and tips to identify them!

Get your digital copy from our website at http://www.crea-panama.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Cocobolo-herp-guide-2017-1.pdf


Herpetology Course Announced for June 2017

CREA announces a 1 week hands-on course in Herpetology to be held at Cocobolo Biological Field Station, where participants will learn and explore the multitude of amphibian and reptile species that call this biodiversity hotspot home. We are very happy to have both Alex Shepack and Abel Batista facilitate this course. They bring international expertise and immense local knowledge to this course. Please hurry to reserve your space. See the brochure here or click on the image below.


Herpetology Field Course Brochure 2017

Virginia Tech Visit Cocobolo 2017

14 students and their faculty lead, Prof. John McGee, visited Cocobolo Nature Reserve to participate in a study abroad trip organized by CREA.

This was the third year that Virginia Tech have partnered with CREA and Cocobolo Nature Reserve.

Students learnt about tropical ecology, conservation, sustainability and ecological field techniques, while seeing some amazing plants and animals in this biodiversity hotspot.

Conservation Photography Field Course 2017

JUNE 11th-17th 2017

Award winning nature photographer and documentary maker Clay Bolt together with Wildlife Biologist and Photographer Andrew Snyder will guide participants to take compelling nature photographs in a natural setting in the heart of a Panamanian rainforest.

– Learn how to effectively evaluate and respond to a photographic opportunity in the field
– Increase understanding of photographing various types of plant and animal life, and people in the field
– Use a variety of different photographic techniques to document biodiversity and story elements
– Develop a narrative with images that cover the most important elements of a story
– Have a basic understanding of how to pitch a story to editors and various media buyers

– Five full-day stay at the Cocobolo Nature Reserve’s biological field station
– Day and night hikes to discover and document a broad array of wildlife
– Hands-on photographic demonstration and experimentation
– Evening lectures and slideshows
– Image review and discussion

The Course is limited to 10 participants

Cost: $1800

Download the Brochure Here

Apply here

Clay Bolt Interview On Cocobolo

Clay Bolt, the award winning photographer and co-founder of “Meet Your Neighbors” recently visited the Cocobolo Nature Reserve along with other photographers and Scientists. He was part of a major expedition to photograph and monitor some of the last remaining Harlequin Frogs which have drastically declined due to chytrid disease, as well as document through photographs, some of the immense biodiversity of the reserve. In this interview Clay provides his impressions of Cocobolo and also some insight into his profession as a photographer and his deep seated commitment to conservation. See the full interview here

Cocobolo in FrogLog

Cocobolo tropical frog research was in the news recently! Our work in the Cocobolo Nature Reserve in Panama received global attention earlier this spring in FrogLog, the quarterly publication of the ASA. CREA is a partner organization of Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) and the Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA), with the three combining forces to carry out this tremendous work on critically endangered amphibians in Central America.

See the article on page 61 – “Life in the Time of Bd: Long-Term Monitoring of Wild Atelopus in Eastern Panama” – for all the details!

Limosa Harlequin Toad (Atelopus limosus) in New Scientist

In the 60 years that the illustrious journal New Scientist has been around they’ve never run a photo-led feature. We are very proud and honored that they decided to break with that tradition with a story on Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History President Twan Leenders’ work with endangered frogs here in the Cocobolo Nature Reserve in Panama, featuring photos of Clay Bolt. Research on a population of the exceedingly rare Limosa Harlequin Toad (Atelopus limosus) is predicted to give us more information on why these frogs are surviving while surrounding populations are going extinct. We hope that this information will support conservation efforts not only here but worldwide and reverse the global decline in amphibian populations.

Atelopus limosus New Scientist