Thursday, January 22, 2009

Earthquake Rattles the Costa Rican Bird Route

Though less deadly than the 1991 quake, the January 8 earthquake of 6.2 magnitude has tested the Costa Rican government in an emergency situation.

The earthquake hit the mountainous region northwest of San Jose, displacing more than 2,000 people, the number of deaths being estimated at 23. Most fatalities occurred during landslides. The displaced individuals have been sleeping on thin foam mattresses in temporary shelters in churches, schools and tent camps set up in soccer fields.

Much of the devastation has occurred in the northern region of the country where the Costa Rican Bird Route is located. One site in particular has been affected significantly; the main house at the remote site of Albergue el Socorro has been leveled. The owner of Albergue el Socorro has worked tirelessly to develop his site for tourism and had made much progress in the past two years; building cabins, creating trails, and making changes to his operation in order to be more sustainable.

RBG is raising money to help the site of Albergue el Socorro re-build the house they lost. To donate money, please visit this link:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Recycle your E-Waste

As fast as technology advances these days, it's awful easy to stock pile old cell phones, TVs and computers. But don't just throw them away! Americans toss about 2 million tons of "e-waste" each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Those heaps of electronics won't biodegrade anytime soon, plus they're leaching lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and other toxic elements into the environment, putting us at risk for nervous system and reproductive diseases.

Recycling Computers: If your computer is less than 5 years old and in working condition, consider donating it (and peripherals) to a non-profit organization like Rainforest Biodiversity Group. RBG will gladly take older, functioning laptops and give them to students or adults who need them in Costa Rica.

For more decrepit computers, call the store where you plan to purchase an upgrade. Many manufacturers, such as Dell and Apple, recycle their own brands for free.

For guaranteed recycling, Staples recycles any computer or printer, no matter what condition, for $10.

Cell Phones: Donate your cell phone to the Wireless Foundation's Call to Protect program ( for more info).

Other options: will purchase your phone and plant a tree for every phone it recycles!

Televisions: Sony will recycle any of its own televisions if you drop them at a designated site ( Best Buy will haul away your old model if you purhase a new TV for home delivery at their store. When you buy one of Office Depot's "Tech Recyling Boxes" for $5, $10, or $15, the company recycles whatever you can fit inside (including TVs)

Visit to find places near you that will accept old electronics to recycle.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Photos from the November trip to the Costa Rican Bird Route

All photos by David Edwards

Crossing the river in a basket to the remote site: Bosque Tropical del Toro.

Broad Billed Motmot

American Crocodile


Violet Sabrewing


Jesus Christ Lizard

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Latest edition of newsletter now available

The 2008 Fall/Winter edition of Rainforest Biodiversity Group's newsletter is now available to view online at: