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Parataxonomists (Gusaneros)

36+ resident Costa Ricans from the communities surrounding the ACG are dedicated to the collection, rearing, identification, data-entry, barcoding, and photographing of thousands of species, many of which are undescribed. The parataxonomists work across a system of twelve research stations, often in very remote areas of ACG's tropical forests, with typically 2-3 people per station on a rotating schedule. We also have two marine parataxonomists, who are based in the small fishing village of Cuanjiniquil. Many of the parataxonomists pictured here have been working in the ACG for more than ten years and they have developed a keen understanding of the natural history of this region. Several papers have been written about their role in discovering and cataloging the tremendous species richness of the ACG and as a model for science research that is well integrated into the surrounding rural communities.