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, October 30, 2009

Bursting with Science and Fun, Fun, Fun!

Out and about in the reserve, there was a lot of action on the dung beetle front during the last few days. The miniature pitfall traps unexpectedly revealed a high yield of beetles from the secondary forest trap sites, with around 200 beetles being caught from one trap alone - that's a whole lot of beetles! This made identification arduous, but rewarding, as several new speies were identified.

In other planned work, there was a lot to be done in the form of preparing land for planting trees. However, the long awaited rain (it is currently the 'drier' season here in the Amazon and the river levels visibly drop on a daily basis), disrupted play. Further Management Plan work had to be postponed until a later date. Rain also disrupted the butterfly work, in it's final stages of trapping for this five weeks and the traps were closed until the start of the next five week phase in early November. From the few that were caught, a new species to add to the Yachana Reserve list, was still identified. One particular, rather aged, three month old butterfly seemed insistant on returning to the trap sites and has been recaptured and released multiple times - he just couldn't get enought of that tasty fermenting banana bait!

The reserch focus moved to the community development side and an uplifting and rewarding new English teaching session at another community nearby the GVI Amazon base camp, Puerto Salazar. A successful introduction between the community and GVI was had after what initially looked like a poor turn out. The day started with some English teaching and after a slow start to a football game, the whole day was concluded with some fantastic football action as other members of the community appeared in trickles and a great day of fun and education was enjoyed by all involved.

The following day, another trip, this time to our partners across the river, Yachana. A visit to the Lodge and High School was on the agenda. Volunteers and staff enjoyed a selection of cool refreshing milkshakes and a second football match in as many days. A suitable and well deserved spot of relaxation for all the efforts and hard work volunteers and staff have been putting in to the Ecuadorian Amazon Expedition during the preceeding weeks.