Joris van de Ven
I am an Applied Biology student at the HAS University in the Netherlands. For our internship, we get the opportunity to do this abroad. So I was looking for an internship in Costa Rica, one of the most beautiful countries in the world because of their great biodiversity and untouched nature.
Via school I came in contact with Oscar Brenes, biologist and director of Reserva Playa Tortuga. He offered me a research with snakes, investigating the (density and distribution of) snakes in the area around RPT. Besides, I take morphological measurements to see if there are major differences in morphology between species. For this, I have to catch the snakes and bring them back to the station.
The catching of snakes is not really hard, while the finding of snakes is the exact opposite of easy. To do this, I made squares in the area to investigate at daytime. At night, I am going over trails in the forests to look for the snakes. Besides, I place PVC tubes as a trap in already excisting holes where snakes can go in to sleep, whereafter I can take the PVC tube with the snake. After catching, I bring them back to Reserva Playa Tortuga to do all measurements such as length, body girth and mass.
Besides snakes, I am helping with other researches such as a mammal monitoring, sea turtles monitoring and a crocodile and caiman monitoring program. All of this work is done with the best team consisting of staff, volonteers, locals and interns. RPT provides a great work environment with good facilities.
In your free time, there is a lot to do such as visiting National Parks, going to town like Dominical or Uvita, or just go for a cooling swim in the sea or river nearby the station. On fridays and sundays, a volleyball day is organised at the beach, a great place to learn people from all over the area!