Our Beautiful World

Parque Nacional Volcan Turrialba

The Turrialba Volcano National Park (Parque Nacional Volcan Turrialba) remains one of the least visited in the
entire country. The volcano sits at 3,328 m along the southeast end of the Central Volcanic Corridor. From the summit on a clear day, the picturesque view includes the Atlantic coast to the east and other volcanoes such as Barva, Poas and Irazu. Turrialba Volcano was declared a national park in 1955, and protects an area of 4 kms diameter around the volcano.

The road to the top of the volcano
(This picture might be copyrighted)

The beautiful volcano, covered in dense vegetation, looks out over approximately 3,900 acres (1,577 ha) of
mostly montane rain forest. A large portion of Turrialba Volcano National Park is made up of primary and
secondary forest, which is where it is most common to view the smaller wildlife scurrying around.

Keel-billed Toucan (also known as Sulfur-breasted Toucan and Rainbow-billed Toucan)
at Macaw Mountain Bird Park, Copan Ruinas, Honduras

Photo: Adalberto Hernandez Vega

This Keel-billed Toucan, Ramphastos sulfuratus, is common from sea level to 1,200 m in forest,
tall second growth, and pastures that contain some mature trees.

The Keel-Billed lives between southern Mexico and northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.
It is common on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, but less so on the Pacific side, and is rarer in the
northern Pacific region of the country, such as in Valle Central.

Choruses that sound like frogs may be sung while in their flocks; individually, the toucan may croak or call in a wooden or metallic tone, or sing a series of shrill chirps that resounds like a cricket.

Male Keel-Billed Toucans reach 47 cm in length and 500 g; females are smaller, at 44 cm and 380 g.

Hiking along the trails allows you to see the various lava flows that give evidence to the once flowing rivers of
hot magma. Once on the various viewpoints along the well preserved trails around the rim of the summit give
spectacular 360º views.

As in most other Central American countries, the fauna is something unknown to europeans and others.

The Turrialba Volcano National Park was officially closed in August 2009 when increased volcanic
activity caused the CNE to issue a yellow alert for visitors. The volcano continued to emit gases and ash
throughout the final months of 2009, and the CNE and Costa Rican Red Cross held several meetings to prepare residents for evacuations in the town of Santa Cruz, located at the base of the volcano.

On Jan. 5, 2010, the Turrialba Volcano experienced its largest eruption in more than 140 years, spewing
ash, rocks, gases and helium into the air and covering Santa Cruz and surrounding communities in soot.
Forty residents were evacuated and moved into temporary shelters, while ash from the eruption was
carried as far as the San José neighborhood of Desamparados, about 40 kilometers away. Gases and
ash from the volcano covered nearby trees, turning them yellow

Increased degassing and resultant burned vegetation around Turrialba's W crater,
as illustrated in this photograph from June 2005.

Courtesy Eliécer Duarte, OVISCORI-UNA.

The January 5 eruption was the biggest since 1866, but it wasn’t as dangerous or problematic.
The reason the ash was blown to San José was because of strong winds, not because the eruption
was particularly strong.

The National Park was re-opened in July, 2011.

Long-tailed Hermit. Spanish name: Ermitano Colilargo, Gorrion
© http://www.anywherecostarica.com/flora-fauna/bird/long-tailed-hermit

In wet lowland forests the Long-tailed Hermit, Phaethornis superciliosus, is active in the understory,
light gaps, forest edge, and old second growth. It commonly lives at elevations as high as 1,000 m,
but above this elevation the Long-tailed is replaced by the Green Hermit, which is similar in biology
and habitat choice.

The Long-tailed Hermit can be found between southern Mexico and central Brazil.
From January to August it is most common in Caribbean lowlands along the length of Costa Rica;
from May to September, it is more common in the southern Pacific slope.

Long-tailed Hermit (Phaethornis superciliosus)

The Long-tailed Hermit inhabits forest undergrowth, usually near water and its preferred food plants.
It is 13.5 cm long and weighs 4-6 g. The bill is very long and decurved (3.6-4.3 cm), with a red tipped
black lower mandible, and the central feathers of the tapered tail are long (6.3-6.8 cm) and white-tipped.

During the breeding season, male Long-tailed Hermits sing in communal leks of up to several dozen
birds, and also wiggle their long tails in display. Competitive lek singing can occupy half of the daylight
hours, the purpose of course being to attract females. The female selects the best lek singer to mate with.

Mantled Howler Monkey. Spanish name: Congo
Howlers live in the canopies of lowland and montane forests.

© http://www.anywherecostarica.com/flora-fauna/bird/long-tailed-hermit

The Mantled Howler Monkey, Alouatta Palliata, lives up to an elevation of 2,500 m from southern
Mexico to northwestern South America.
Adults are black with brown or blonde saddles; infants are silver to golden brown and become
increasingly like adult coloration until they are about 12 weeks old.

The mantled howler is one of the largest Central American monkeys, and males can weigh up to 9.8 kg
(22 lb). It is the one Central American monkey whose diet is composed mostly of leaves.
The mantled howler lives in groups that can have over 40 members, although groups are usually smaller.

© Leonardo C. Fleck (leonardofleck@yahoo.com.br)

The infant is carried under its mother, clinging to its mother's chest, for the first 2 or 3 weeks
of its life. After that, it is carried on its mother's back. At about 3 months the mother
will usually start to push the infant off, but will still carry the infant some of the time until it is 4
or 5 months old. After the young can move on its own, the mother will carry it across
difficult gaps in the trees. Juveniles play among themselves much of the time. Infants are
weaned at 1½ years old at which point maternal care ends

Howlers are famous for the incredible vocalizations made by adult males. Their howls can be heard
more than 1 km away through the forest. They often make calls at sunrise and sunset or in response
to people, airplanes, rain and thunder, or other howlers.

Agouti, Spanish name: Aguti, Picure
© http://www.anywherecostarica.com
In Costa Rica, Agoutis, Dasyprocta punctata, are common in relatively undisturbed forest from low
elevations up to 2,000 m. They can live in the driest deciduous forests to the wettest tropical
evergreen forests.
Agoutis can be found between southern Mexico and northern Argentina.
Head and body length ranges from 41.5 to 62 cm; they weigh about 4 kg.
Central American agoutis are monogamous and mate with each other for life.

Central American Agouti (Dasyprocta punctata), Manuel Antonio Park, Costa Rica
Photo:D. Gordon E. Robertson

Agoutis are terrestrial and cursorial which means ground dwelling and built for running with speed.
They walk, trot or gallop on their toes, and can jump up more than six feet from a standing position.
They prefer tropical, terrestrial habitats. They also build small caves around sources of water.
When their territory is challenged, males often get into fights.

They mainly feed on fruits, and on excursions they search for fruit bearing trees . They are able to hear
fruit falling from trees from far away. When food is abundant they bury the seeds of many species of
forest trees. Dasyprocta punctata also sometimes browsed and ate crabs, vegetables and other plants

Armadillo, Cusuco

The Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, can survive in many different types of habitat: cloud forest,
lowland tropical rainforest, dry deciduous forest, as well as thorn scrub forest and grassland.

This armadillo's range stretches from central and southern United States to Argentina.

The armor of this specific armadillo has nine bands on the midsection of its back, hence its name.
This armor is made up of dermal bone plates covered with epidermal scales. The long slim tail is
also covered in this armor, as is the top of the head. The armadillo has small fine hairs between the
plates on the back, and more hair on the belly.

Armadillo on it's hind legs on the Campus of Oklahoma Baptist University
Nine-banded armadillos weigh 5.4–10.0 kg. Head and body length is 38–58 cm, which combines
with the 13–48 cm tail for a total length of 51–110 cm. They stand 15–25 cm tall.

The nine-banded armadillo has been rapidly expanding its range both north and east within the
United States. The armadillo crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico in the late 19th century, and
was introduced in Florida at about the same time by humans.

Nine-banded armadillos are solitary, largely nocturnal animals that come out to forage around dusk.
They are extensive burrowers, with a single animal sometimes maintaining up to 12 burrows on its
range. These burrows are roughly 20 cm wide, 2.1 m deep, and 7.6 m long!

Coati. Spanish Name: Pizote

Within its range, the Coati, Nasua narica, can survive in any wooded habitat at elevations of
up to 3,000 m. The coati lives in a range of forests, from temperate oak and pine forests to
deciduous and lowland tropical rain forests. It is even sometimes seen in deserts and savannas.

Its range is from Southwestern Arizona through Panama and Columbia to Argentina.
Adult males generally weigh 6 kg, and are 1.1 to 1.2 m long with a tail 0.500 to 0.6 m long;
females are smaller.

The side view of a White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica)
Photo by Derek Ramsey
GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2

Comfortable and agile in the tree tops as well as on the ground, the coati uses large, strong claws to
access different levels of forest. Impressively acrobatic, it can climb down trees headfirst, pass from
tree to tree on small branches high off the ground, and even walk upside down hanging from lianas.
Its tail is not prehensile but helps balance during climbing. Coatis sleep in trees at night, unless they
are hunted in their area by humans, in which case they become more nocturnal.

Coati social structure changes throughout the year. Several family units of females and their offspring
collect in bands of 4-30 coatis. Males under the age of two years may also be in the band.
Adult males are solitary except during the breeding season, when a single male will join a band of
females and occupy a subordinate position for the entire breeding season.

Most of the text on this page has been made thanks to anywherecostarica.com,
where you can find much interesting stuff on this subject. Other parts more or less from Wikipedia


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