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Off the Beaten Path in Costa Rica: Exploring Manuel Antonio and Rainmaker Reserve

By Lavanya Sunkara
August 4, 2011
File under: Rainforest, Travel, Wildlife


The first Jeff Corwin Experience DVD I bought was about Costa Rica. I had seen the show so many times that I’d say the lines even before him. “It’s time to go from a quadruped to a biped in search of a no-ped”, is one of my favorites.

When I made my trip to the beautiful country, I didn’t have to search for any snakes. A gorgeous boa constrictor crawled from the nearby jungle onto the front yard of Costa Verde, the hotel I was staying in. It wasn’t a surprise because wildlife is abundant; more so in Manuel Antonio than in other places.

I also knew that the snake was non-venomous, but kills its prey by wrapping around it. Some boa constrictor species are endangered as they are excessively hunted for their exotic skin. As I touched this boa’s fine ornate layer, while it was being gently held by the security guard, I couldn’t help but feel exhilarated. …read more of Off the Beaten Path in Costa Rica: Exploring Manuel Antonio and Rainmaker Reserve here

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The Endangered Unknown: The Javan Rhinoceros

By Peter Kleinhenz
March 17, 2011
File under: Black Market, Conservation, Conservation Groups, Endangered Species, Habitat Loss, Poaching, Rainforest


In two pockets of dense tropical rainforest separated by thousands of miles lives one of the largest terrestrial mammals on Earth, yet few people are even aware it exists. Unfortunately for this creature, this lack of familiarity also means that few people realize that it is one of the most endangered animals in the world.

The Javan Rhinoceros, Rhinoceros sondaicus, doesn’t exactly stick out like the rhinos we picture roaming the savannahs of Africa. For an animal that is over ten feet long and that can weigh up to two tons, this rhino species is incredibly elusive. Travelling on trails that cut tunnels through thick vegetation, the rhinos spend their time between their choice feeding sites, salt licks, and mud wallows.

Both male and female Javan Rhinos maintain a territory that is marked by way of urine and feces. However, when it’s hot and the bugs are biting, a choice mud wallow is fair game for any rhinos that happen upon it, regardless of whose territory it belongs to. For most of the year, life is pretty plain, simple, and carefree for these large creatures since the adults have no natural predators, even though the females of this particular rhino species almost never have horns. …read more of The Endangered Unknown: The Javan Rhinoceros here

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