The End of an Era

After over 6 years of intensive research and community development work in and around the Yachana Reserve, GVI Amazon is coming to a close. We have finished our final research project (look forward to our Road Effects paper, coming soon!) and are handing over the project to our partner, The Yachana Foundation. They will continue to maintain and monitor the reserve, using it as an hands-on science education center for students -- we're very excited to see what fabulous things this next generation of scientists find! For more detail on GVI Amazon's closure, and our accomplishments over the years, please read on...
GVI Amazon Closure Statement

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Volunteers, New Experiences.

"I've got another one!" shouted Eddie. We all turned and then carefully sloshed our way towards him in the darkness, using our head torches to light the way, as we waded, belly button deep, through the stream at night. The small frog he had spotted, 4cm long, was an Engystomops petersi, a beautiful specimen with black and white cow-like patterns on its stomach and the largest of the three we had found that night. As Andy, our team leader, arrived from further upstream with the callipers to begin the measurements of the frog, he casually turned to his right and suddenly his eyes grew huge with excitement. "Oh my god!", he exclaimed. Just 30cm away, sitting on a broad leaf over-hanging the river, was a Hypsiboas boans, or Gladiator Tree Frog, a mammoth tree frog, larger than a baseball in size. "Now that's a proper frog!".

It seems that mind-blowing situations like this have now become part of daily life. A little under a week ago a new GVI Amazon experience began for 19 volunteers and from the bus ride onwards they have been utterly spoilt. Travelling over the Ecuadorian Andes, through cloud forest, littered with waterfalls, they saw the Amazon sprawl out in front of them - an endless expanse of green trees to the horizon and their first glimpse of real primary rainforest. After nearly 10 hours of combined bus journies from Quito, literally to the end of a dirt road, 19 volunteers boarded a narrow, 15 meter long canoe and travelled a further 45 minutes down the Rio Napo to eventually arrive at the Yachana Reserve, GVI base camp and home for the next 5 or 10 weeks.