Sloth Crossings Community update | July 2022

Sloth Crossings Community update | July 2022

Hello Sloth Crossings Community!

We’ve got a lot of exciting news for you this time, involving science, papers, our recent research project, and of course some amazing footage of wildlife using our bridges!

We’re also very excited to announce that we are getting really close to our 200th Sloth Crossing– Only 16 more bridges to go! Stay tuned, we’re almost there!


Where’s my bridge?

We’ve got a map for that! Use the code or coordinates we provided to check it out and see where your bridge is, and while you’re at it, get a view of the network of bridges we’re creating together.


Camera Trap Project update

Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters we are so thrilled to announce we now have 16 camera traps! We are very excited to see the results of our research project on the usage and efficiency of our sloth crossings.


Two-fingered sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) on the bridge SC-143 at Playa Negra


For a camera trap to be effective on a bridge, it must have a clear line of sight for any animals, with no leaves or branches that would get in the way of the motion sensor triggering the camera.


Variegated Squirrel (Sciurus variegatoides) on Bridge SC-081, Tortuguero. Camera images: ASVO (Asociación de Voluntarios para el servicio de Áreas protegidas)


Additionally, we are currently installing camera traps only on newly built bridges so as to record how long it takes animals to get used to the bridges and begin using them.


Kinkajou (Potos flavus) on bridge SC-143


We have the results for two of our camera traps that recorded footage for three months, and we discovered some really amazing animals using the bridges!


Wooly opposum (Caluromys philander) using bridge SC-081, Tortuguero. Camera: ASVO (Asociación de Voluntarios para el servicio de Áreas protegidas)


If you would like to donate to this project, please consider the camera traps that work best in the Caribbean climate and circumstances (according to our field experience!):

Spider monkey paper and bridge footage

Filippo Aureli from the University Veracruzana in Mexico contacted us asking about our experiences and observations of spider monkeys using our canopy bridges. He was working on a paper: “Do spider monkeys use artificial canopy bridges to cross linear infrastructure?


Spider Monkey (ateles geoffroyi) using bridge SC-081 in Tortuguero Camera ASVO


With the six bridges we installed in the North Caribbean town of Tortuguero last year we do have evidence of spider monkeys using them, and we were proud to collaborate with Aureli for his paper. We also got some very nice footage of spider monkeys using our crossings!


Spider Monkey (ateles geoffroyi) using bridge SC-081 in Tortuguero. Camera ASVO

One of the bridges in Tortuguero that got a lot of use was a connection between two trees on a rather remote property. In fact, one of the trees was in the National Park of Tortuguero. Underneath this bridge was lots of vegetation, smaller trees, and bushes. Observing this, Filippo Aureli and his team concluded that spider monkeys are more willing to use bridges over vegetation in places such as properties and gardens, but they are reluctant to use single-rope bridges above roads.


What a vacation in the South Caribbean might look like

Many of our Sloth Crossings are installed near hotels, house rentals, and accommodation properties. Every now and then visitors can get the chance to see the bridges in action!


Three-fingered sloth using the bridge SC-49, Playa Chiquita | Cederholm photography


This time our friends from UP House Costa Rica, also members of our Sloth Friendly Network Accreditation, shared with us the beautiful footage taken by their guest Ric Cederholm (Cederholm Photography):


Three-fingered sloth using the bridge SC-49, Playa Chiquita | Cederholm photography



Connecting with MOPT to install bridges above the main road

In accordance with our goal of installing differently designed wildlife bridges over roads, we recently had a meeting with MOPT (Ministry of Public Works and Transport). We are happy to say we have had some productive conversations about different bridge designs and places for possible future installations, and we look forward to collaborating with them in the future!



To start this off, we even have a donation of $5,000 from an anonymous donor that will be used to build one of our newer-design bridges over one of the main roads in Limon. Some of the roads in Limon are quite busy and are major contributors to habitat fragmentation in that area.


Bridges in the sky carry sloths to safety in Costa Rica

Need more sloths? Need more jungle wildlife on sloth bridges? We got a visit from a journalist hailing all the way from Mongabay who kindly recorded some of our Sloth Crossing Project footage. Need to learn more about generating safe connectivity for sloths in urban areas? Of course, you do! Check the video below!



Sloths and Monkeys Using Bridges

Last but not least, here is some footage of sloths and monkeys using some of the Sloth Crossing Bridges these past few weeks!



Capuchin monkey using bridge SC-129
Two-fingered sloth using SC-122 bis, above the road


Two-fingered sloth (named Tiki) using SC-122 above Tasty Waves Cantina


Capuchin Monkey on SC-080


Three-fingered sloth using SC-049



We hope you enjoyed this update, thank you so much for your incredible support of this project! Pura Vida!





-Tamara Avila

Sloth Crossings Project

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