Nestled at the edge of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, the UGA Costa Rica campus sees many fascinating creatures. Early morning is certainly a great chance to see some of our more than 200 bird species and hear their varied songs. You might even see the White-throated Capuchin monkeys as they swing from tree to tree. But what about they many animals most active during the night? Instead of waiting in a dark forest for hours, we have placed five cameras along our trails to catch these special wildlife sightings.
1.) Puma – This one will make you think twice before setting out alone on a dark night. Pumas in Costa Rica are about 43 inches long, slightly smaller than their counterparts in North America, according to Mammals of Costa Rica by Mark Wainwright. Some of their favorite sources prey include monkeys, agoutis, opossums, bats, and snakes.
2.) Blue-crowned Motmot – A Motmot burrow is a rare sight. Although we often see the Motmot perched on a tree at the edge of the forest, seeing one near it’s home is a real treat. Motmots nest in burrows like the one below where they will lay their eggs.
3.) Long-Tailed Weasel – The thin, long body of the weasel allows it to hunt in tunnels and burrows for food such as rodents, rabbits, frogs, sakes — and even bird eggs!
4.) Agouti – Usually active by day, these rodent-like animals often search for fruit and seeds for food. They bury excess seeds and retrieve them during seasons of low fruit. This method of food storage is also an important method of seed dispersion. Since they stash their seeds in many small pockets, those that are not uncovered later have been spread and are already set up to start growing.
5.) Armadillo – Armadillos cover a wide range of territory, from South America to North America. This armadillo might be looking to make a meal out of some ants or termites. Although his armor will protect him from smaller predators, it would not hold up against the likes of a puma.