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A Gathering of Parataxonomists at Pitilla


A group photo of the parataxonomy team (photo by Marco Bustos)

On June 15, 2022, (almost) all the parataxonomists gathered for a full-day workshop at Estación Pitilla. It was the first such in-person gathering since the beginning of the pandemic. The program began with an informative session about all things DNA barcoding, including the science, the implications, and the role of the parataxonomist team, by Dr. Dan Janzen and Dr. Winnie Hallwachs.

Winnie and Dan (photo by Monique Gilbert)

Following a break for lunch, GDFCF Science Advisor Roberto Fernández captivated us with a detailed explanation of all the snakes that could be found in Área de Conservación Guanacaste. This talk was part of an effort to expand the knowledge base of the parataxonomists. Roberto encouraged them to document any snakes they find, for record keeping and to inform the overall knowledge base of ACG species.

Roberto Fernández talking snakes (photo by Monique Gilbert)

The afternoon wrapped up with a visit from the mayor of La Cruz, to show his support for our work, and with Dan handing out equipment for the parataxonomists to begin a new project called yellow pan trapping. Yellow pan trapping is another method to collect insects and the parataxonomists at each station will begin using these traps in the coming months.

Throughout the day, everyone enjoyed the delicious cooking of parataxonomist Petrona Ríos and her crew of helpers. The day started in sun and ended in pouring rain, which made for a rather exciting drive home.