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Our dream is to translate our book - on the conservation of the Monteverde cloud forest - for the next generation of Latin Americans.

Helping to Conserve Rainforests by Translating Science into Spanish and Making it Freely Available Online 

(versión en español abajo)

In 2000, more than one hundred biologists and residents working in Monteverde, Costa Rica joined together to document in a single volume everything known about the natural history and ecology of one of Central America's most spectacular cloud forests. The result is Monteverde: Ecology and Conservation of A Tropical Cloud Forest, a 573-page book published by Oxford University Press and co-edited by Nalini Nadkarni (University of Utah) and Nathaniel T. Wheelwright (Bowdoin College).

Soldier beetle, part of the rich Monteverde insect fauna
Soldier beetle, part of the rich Monteverde insect fauna

Because the ecology of Monteverde is similar to that of many tropical cloud forests, biologists and decision-makers throughout Central and South America can apply the scientific knowledge in this book to help them appreciate and manage cloud forests in their own countries. Monteverde is also unlike other cloud forest sites—a Quaker community, a haven for those seeking spirituality, an ecotourism destination, a model for community-based rainforest protection—so it can provide a novel model that can inspire grassroots conservation of other cloud forests. This is especially important for those involved in outreach and education such as local natural history guides and teachers.

Now is the time to translate the book into Spanish and make it available free online to anyone in Latin America with an interest in understanding and protecting tropical cloud forests. Although the English edition (in its second printing) is still available on Amazon and elsewhere, its cost and the lack of Spanish translation effectively put the book out of reach for many readers in Latin America. 

Sharing knowledge about cloud forest conservation with the next generation
Sharing knowledge about cloud forest conservation with the next generation

Two Monteverde biologists, both bilingual and recent college graduates (Mt. Holyoke, Bowdoin), are ready and eager to translate the book, Oxford University Press has given us permission to post it online, and it will be hosted on a website with page-turning features. As in the original English version, each of the book's 12 chapters focuses on a synthetic overview of a different taxonomic group (e.g., plants, insects, birds), ecological dynamics (plant-animal interactions, conservation biology), environmental features, or human impacts (agroecology, settlement history), and each is written by researchers who are specialists in that topic. Within each chapter, short accounts contributed by other Monteverde researchers describe the ecology of specific plant or animal species, ecological interactions, or field experiments. The voices of academic scientists, farmers, natural history guides, anthropologists, educators, and homemakers provide important insights into Monteverde's biology and conservation. The book is illustrated throughout with black and white images, maps, tables and figures. There are 10 appendices with annotated species lists of all the major taxonomic groups. Each chapter and appendix is downloadable and fully searchable.

Local farmers are critical allies in the conservation of tropical cloud forests
Local farmers are critical allies in the conservation of tropical cloud forests

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Although we believe we have selected the perfect individuals to translate the book, they have never taken on a project of this magnitude. Translating the technical parts of the text without losing the lyrical, human, and social aspects will be a challenge. If it turns out that they are unable to fulfill the project, we will seek professional translators or solicit the help of seasoned bilingual biologists to meet our deadline of posting it by June, 2014. A second challenge will be to get the word out to Spanish-speakers throughout Latin America. To make that happen, we hope to team up with such groups as the Organization for Tropical Studies and the Monteverde Institute, to take advantage of the listserves of groups such as the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation and Ecological Society of America, and follow the lead of Dan Janzen, Winnie Hallwachs, Luciano Capelli and Area de Conservación Guanacaste, who recently made available a free online Spanish edition of "Costa Rican Natural History." As for creating a website that will be well-supported and freely accessible, we have already arranged to post the book at http://digitalcommons.bowdoin.edu/.

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AYUDANDO A CONSERVAR LOS BOSQUES LLUVIOSOS MEDIANTE LA TRADUCCIÓN DE LA CIENCIA AL ESPAÑOL Y SU DISPONIBILIDAD GRATUITA EN EL INTERNET

En el año 2000 más de cien biólogos y residentes que trabajaban en Monteverde, Costa Rica unieron fuerzas para documentar en un solo tomo todo lo que se sabe de la historia natural y la ecología de uno de los bosques nubosos más espectaculares de Centroamérica. El resultado es Monteverde: Ecology and Conservation of A Tropical Cloud Forest, un libro de 573 páginas publicado por Oxford University Press y a cargo de los editores Nalini Nadkarni (University of Utah) y Nathaniel T. Wheelwright (Bowdoin College).

Como la ecología de Monteverde es similar a la de muchos bosques nubosos tropicales, los biólogos y responsables de toda Centroamérica y Sudamérica pueden aplicar el conocimiento científico que contiene este libro como manual para apreciar y administrar los bosques nubosos en sus propios países. Al mismo tiempo, Monteverde se distingue de otros sitios con bosques nubosos—es una comunidad cuáquera, un refugio para los que buscan la espiritualidad, un destino para ecoturistas, y un modelo de comunidad que protege su bosque lluvioso—así pues ofrece un modelo novedoso que puede animar al esfuerzo popular para la conservación de otros bosques nubosos. Esto es especialmente importante para los que están involucrados en la promoción y educación, como los guías locales de historia natural y los maestros.

Es el momento adecuado para traducir este libro al español y hacerlo disponible y gratuito en la red para todos los latinoamericanos con interés en comprender y proteger los bosques nubosos tropicales. Aunque todavía se puede conseguir el libro en inglés (en su segunda edición) en Amazon y en otros lugares, su alto precio y la falta de una versión en español lo ponen fuera del alcance de muchos lectores en Latinoamérica.

Dos biólogos costarricenses, los dos bilingües y recién graduados de la universidad (Mt. Holyoke, Bowdoin), están dispuestos a traducir el libro. Cada uno de los 12 capítulos del libro se centra en una visión general sintética de algunos aspectos: bien un grupo taxonómico diferente (plantas, insectos, aves etc); bien diversas dinámicas ecológicas (interacciones entre planta y animal, biología de conservación); bien algunos aspectos medioambientales; o bien los diferentes impactos humanos (agroecología, historia de poblaciones). Escrito cada uno por especialistas en el tema, incluyen también informes cortos aportados por otros investigadores de Monteverde que describen la ecología de una planta o un animal particular, unas interacciones ecológicas específicas, o unos experimentos de campo. Las voces de científicos académicos, agricultores, guías de historia natural, antropólogos, educadores y amas de casa proporcionan ideas importantes sobre la biología y la conservación de Monteverde. El libro incluye muchas imágenes en blanco y negro, mapas, tablas y gráficas; tambien 10 apéndices con listas de especies con anotaciones de todos los grupos taxonómicos mayores.

RIESGOS Y RETOS

Aunque creemos que hemos seleccionado a los traductores ideales para este libro, ellos nunca se han enfrentado a un proyecto de este tamaño. Traducir las partes técnicas del texto sin perder los aspectos líricos, humanos y sociales será un gran reto. En caso de que no puedan realizar el proyecto, tendríamos que buscar a traductores profesionales o solicitar la ayuda de biólogos bilingües con más experiencia. Un segundo reto será correr la voz entre hispanoparlantes de toda Latinoamérica. Para asegurar que esto suceda, esperamos colaborar con grupos como la Organización de Estudios Tropicales y el Instituto Monteverde, aprovechar los listados de contacto de grupos como la Asociación de Biología y Conservación Tropical y la Ecological Society of America, y seguir el ejemplo de Dan Janzen, Winnie Hallwachs, Luciano Capelli y el Area de Conservación Guanacaste, que pusieron en la red una edición en español de su libro Costa Rican Natural History. En cuanto a crear un sitio web bien provisto y accesible a todos, se ha dispuesto que el libro se publique en la siguiente dirección: http://digitalcommons.bowdoin.edu/.

(video music credit: "Danza con Toledos" by Manuel Obregón)

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    Your name will be listed as a donor in the online version of the book, with thanks in English—¡y gracias en español!

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    Your name will be listed as a donor in the online version of the book, with thanks in English—¡y gracias en español!—and 25 native tree seedlings will be planted in your name by volunteers from the Monteverde Institute. Your donation will not only increase the knowledge and understanding of tropical forests, you will also plant a tropical forest!

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    Your name will be listed as a donor in the online version of the book, with thanks in English—¡y gracias en español!—and 50 native tree seedlings will be planted in Monteverde in your name. Your donation will not only increase the knowledge and understanding of tropical forests, you will also plant a tropical forest!

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    Your name will be listed as a special donor in the online version of the book, with thanks in English—¡y gracias en español!—and 100 native tree seedlings will be planted in Monteverde in your name. Your donation will not only increase the knowledge and understanding of tropical forests, you will also plant a tropical forest!

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    Your name will be listed as a generous donor in both online versions of the book, with thanks in English—¡y gracias en español!—and 100 native tree seedlings will be planted in Monteverde in your name. Your donation will not only increase the knowledge and understanding of tropical forests, you will also plant a tropical forest! In addition, you will receive the original Oxford University Press English version signed by the co-editors and Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

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