About

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Who are we?

The Bushmaster Conservation Project is a conservation program founded by the Herpetological Education & Research Project (H.E.R.P.).

It is an effort to protect and understand the Central-American Bushmaster (Lachesis stenophrys) in its natural habitat in the South Caribbean region of Costa Rica. The effort has been set in motion by five passionate naturalists, devoted to protect and study their favorite snake genus, the Bushmaster.

The project is housed in the Biological Research Station, located in the middle of the primary rainforests of the Kéköldi Indigenous Reserve.

The Research Station

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The Research Station is situated in the heart of the primary rainforests engulfing the Kéköldi Indigenous Reserve. It is accessible from the main 256 road going to Playa Negra by a trail leading deep into the forest. Getting up to the station requires a 2km jungle hike through some challenging terrain, so make sure you come prepared!


The station itself has a kitchen, library, office, bathrooms, showers and a main area with hammocks and tables used for working, eating and relaxing. The main area has an immense balcony that looks down on the forest floor and into the forest canopy. Sloths, kinkajous, snakes and birds can be seen minding their own business, straight from the platform.

The station has a second floor with accommodations for up to 24 people, with
6 rooms, each equipped with two bunk beds. Bed linens and towels are provided. There is third floor on top, that can also be used for camping under the open skies or bird watching.

Around the project you can hike several long jungle trails that amount up to around 10km! These hikes will bring you to small creek habitats, hilly slopes, dense rainforests, large rivers, beautiful sceneries and even a 50m high waterfall.

The Team

Laura Ruysseveldt

Laura is a Belgian herpetologist, specialized in snake ecomorphology, ethology and public education.
She is the founder of the Herpetological Education & Research Project (H.E.R.P.) in Belgium.

As a young entrepreneur she has decided to aid in the protection of several genera of herpetofauna, by setting up and supporting in-situ conservation and research efforts in prime habitat.

Bryan Minne

Bryan is a herpetologist specialized in lizard ecomorphology, snake ecology and captive management of herpetofauna.

As a passionate biologist and COO of the H.E.R.P., he is keen on educating the masses on the importance of the presence of reptiles, such as large venomous snakes, in local ecosystems. Being a viper enthusiast, he has a soft spot for the Lachesis genus.

Sebastián Hernández

Sebastián is the president of Kéköldi Wak Ka Koneke, a civil association protecting the indigenous BriBrí lands in the Kéköldi Indigenous Reserve, as well as all organisms living within them.

He knows the lands and animals around the project like the back of his hand and is the founder of the research station in Kéköldi that houses the Bushmaster Conservation Project.
 

Greivin Corrales Chavez

Greivin is considered one of the major Bushmaster experts in Costa Rica. He works as a herpetologist/toxinologist in the Instituto Clodomiro Picado and has been keeping and breeding Lachesis sp. for years.

He has spent the last years researching bushmaster venom and development, as well as their behavior in captivity.

Aarón Gómez Argüello

Aarón is the curator of the Serpentarium within the Instituto Clodomiro Picado. He is responsible for a major part of the research conducted towards the production of antivenom within the institute.

His primary interests are toxinology, immunology and hematology. Next to these fields of study, Aarón has also conducted various ethological studies on venomous snakes

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