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, October 21, 2009

Snake Encounters

At one point during on of the amphibian night transect held this week, I found myself face to face, eye to eye with a snake. It was “sitting” at eye level in a shrub only one meter away from the tip of my nose. Using as little movement as possible, I quietly shouted to the rest of the transect crew “Snake!, Snake!”. Chris, one of GVI's members of staff, rushed over to assess the scene, moving shrubs and plants on his way over, the movement of which was felt by the snake which triggered it to shift even closer to me. After a minute or two of careful visual analysis, Chris set everyone’s minds at ease and positively identified the snake as an Amazon Blunt-headed Tree Snake (Imantodes cenchoa), and that it posed no threats to us. Once my adrenaline levels dropped and my hands stopped shaking, I was able to move in closer, and began to appreciate its amazing features. The snake was long and thin, decorated with a brown and beige ribbon pattern wrapped around its entire body; on its tiny head sat these massively large pearly tiger eyes.

Later in the week, Sam, Mike and I were tasked with locating the lost end of the Cascada Trail and remarking it. Half way down the trail, Sam shrieked as she nearly stepped flat footed on an incredibly well camouflaged, highly poisonous, Lance head Viper. Needless to say we were all a little shocked after the experience. Once we calmed down, we took a few photos of the little devilish fellow for some positive identification on return to base camp and went on our way, being ever more careful as to where we were placing our feet. Just goes to show you always need to have your wits about you when walking in the rainforest as there’s critters lurking when you least expect them!

Tamara Ancaer, GVI Amazon volunteer, Oct–Nov 2009