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, May 20, 2009

Reaping the Rewards

After weeks of backbreaking labour, the pitfalls were finally ready. As the weekend came to a close, the day of truth was fast approaching. The only thing left to do now was open the buckets….

The first death march occurred on Monday, Andy, Chris, Intern Dan and Katherine braved the elements to open the 48 pitfall traps dotted around the reserve. A cloud of apprehension and anxiety descended on camp upon their return… with the blood, sweat and tears that went into the pitfall construction, they wouldn’t have an answer until the next morning.

0700: the clouds are ominous and the air is moist as Andy, Chris and Lizzie set off down Access C to check the first two pitfalls. A dagger of disappointment stabs their hearts when they discover nothing but Satan’s sporn (aka spiders) in the first set of pitfalls and only one frog in the second set. The mood is gloomy as they head to the Bloop Trail, but Lizzie has faith and secretly praised the Amphibian Gods.

Thanks to Lizzie’s heartfelt prayer, the next pitfalls were teaming with frogs. As the team worked their way up the Bloop, around Inca, through Green Inferno and up to Frontier Trail, the heavens opened up and started spitting out frogs left and right. Bilinguis, Zaparo, Okendeni, Rhodonistax, they just keep coming. Spirits are high and the pitfallers continue trekking through the forest, when all of a sudden Andy, being the snake magnet he is, steps on a Common Glossy Racer that had just been chilling on the trail. Andy barely escapes death and although the team are shaken, they continue frolicking through forest!

The rain starts as the soldiers reach Frontier, but they bravely push on. Their efforts are rewarded as they finish the seven hour trek with a total of 20 frogs, three lizards, including a Forest Whiptail and a mammal (unidentified). They return to camp at 1400 and although they are exhausted, soaking wet and covered in mud their decent down the stairs to camp is like a scene straight out of Baywatch!?!? (Imagine that if you will!) The rest of the camp celebrates the success of the pioneer pitfallers and everyone starts looking forward to day two...