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 10, 2009

A Night at the Laguna

The day started well. Andy, Ali, Emma, Eddie, Mike and Vicky left GVI base camp, backpacks full, at 15:00 in cloudy and rainy weather. An hour and a half into the walk to sat camp they encountered a wasp nest. Andy was the first through and arrived unscathed. Eddie, who was next, was not so lucky and got stung a good five times! Mike got a sting in the arm and the three girls who followed got through OK.

After a good hike out into the rainforest, they arrived at the satellite camp location and set up their jungle hammocks and soon after got a fire going and had a lovely cup of tea, much to Ali’s delight. They then ate their dinner (prepared earlier!) and waited for darkness to fall so they could begin their night time walk down to the Laguna.

They began slowly, checking all around for any wildlife lurking in the surrounds. First they found a Forest Dragon (Enyalioides laticeps) . He was cool. Next they spotted a juvenile Phyllomedusa vaillanti (a green tear-drop shaped tree frog). They searched the Laguna for eye-shine from the caiman but there were none to be found. They did however spot some rather large Cichlid Fish in the water, which must be a source of food for the caiman living there. They spotted a tree frog high above them in the tree, but it was too high for them to reach. As they steadily made their way around the Laguna they found some juvenile Phyllomedusa, which still actually had their tails on, despite having grown all of their legs. Ali called them all back and showed them two beautiful adult Phyllomedusa sat close together and a stone’s throw away!

As the group admitted defeat in their caiman hunt and headed back around the Laguna, they stumbled upon some extremely slippery clay banks. Trying to tackle the bank, poor Mike fell into to the Laguna waist deep, much to the delight of Andy and Eddie. How he stank!

On the way back to satellite camp the night’s finds were not yet complete and the group spotted a Blunt-headed Treesnake (Imantodes lentiferus), about two-three feet long but as thin as a little finger. It was amazing how well it could support its body as it moved through the trees.

Finally back at camp, the fire was re-ignited; cups of tea, baked potatoes and hot bananas were consumed, whilst sharing stories, before turning into their jungle hammocks for the night. An amazing night out in the rainforest and the group were sung to sleep by the noises of the insects of the Amazon.