Caves of Costa Rica and their inhabitants

2019-01-10


Welcome to Planetarium of the RNHM - Plovdiv on 10.01.2019 (Thursday) at 19:00 to get to touch an unknown and interesting world!

Costa Rica is a country that, despite its modest size, shelters over 5% of the Earth's biodiversity. Lush rain forests, active volcanoes and endless beaches attract generations of scientists, explorers and adventurers from around the world. Despite the numerous expeditions that are organized each year, vast areas of the country are still wild and unstudied - for example, the southeast region called Brunka in the name of the indigenous tribe.

In the Brunka region, the so-called "Primary" rain forests, untouched by human activity, and a wide variety of habitats scattered from the Pacific Ocean to over 4,000 meters above sea level. This region has the largest number of open caves in the country. The harsh tropical rains have sculpted extensive labyrinths of tunnels and galleries inhabited by numerous animal species - insects, spiders, snakes, and sometimes large mammals like cougars and jaguars.

The most interesting cave dwellers are certainly the bats - there are over 100 species in Costa Rica, including the vampire bats and the fruit-bearing leaf bats. Only recently the cave bats study in the country raised the interest of a small team of researchers. The Brunca bats project was designed to explore the region's caves and help to preserve them.

Besides being very important for the protection of the caves, the project is interesting because it is leaded by a girl from Plovdiv. How come this strange relationship between Bulgaria and Costa Rica you'll find out if you visit the presentation.

About the lecturer:

            Stanimira Deleva is a biologist, cave researcher and environmentalist, currently a PhD student at the University of Costa Rica. She studies the diversity and ecology of cave bats. Her research interests include ecology of caves and cave bats, bio-speleology and animal behavior. In 2015, Stanimira launched the Brunca bats project, the first significant effort to explore and protect caves in Costa Rica (www.bruncabats.info). From 2018 Stanimira is a researcher at National Geographic. The project studies the relationship between caving bats and nutrient transfer in the rainforest of Costa Rica and Borneo. More information: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/find-explorers/stanimira-deleva


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