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

Friday, July 24, 2009

Amazon Avian Action

The focus shifted this week from amphibian research, as our feathered friends of the Yachana Reserve took centre stage. A full week of mist-netting was carried out on a previously non-surveyed stretch of the Cascada Trail. The objectives of this project and method are to sample new areas of the Reserve to capture cryptic and secretive species otherwise impossible to observe and indentify. Ultimately the aims are to collect data that indicates what species can be found where and to add new species to the reserve checklist.

Two sessions were carried out daily, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and all volunteers had the opportunity to get involved. In fact, despite the initial lack of interest shown in birds at the start of the expedition, three of the BTEC students decided to carry out their field leadership assignment through this survey. The week was characterised by very hot, sunny weather – not great conditions for bird activity – so the groups found their start time of 0630 meant they were missing out on some avian action. So despite the visible shock on the faces of the volunteers, a departure time of 0515 was set instead.

In total 31 birds were caught, consisting of seven hummingbird species, three manakin species and one flycatcher species. Unfortunately none were new to the species list, but the rarely seen Buff-tailed Sicklebill (Epimachus albertisi) was a great highlight of the week. In the next five weeks the mist-netting project will be continued on the Inca Trail, where many antbirds are anticipated. Fingers crossed no new species will slip the net next time!