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 9, 2009

Stream Walk Wonder

The night silence is broken as I slip thrashing into the watery trench. Submersed to eye-level, I whisper, "help!" Two hands appear and I crawl out of the muddy depths. Incredibly the Green-and-rufous Kingfisher (Chloroceryle inda) remains perched, unruffled, sleeping, just a couple of meters above our heads. On my feet again, with one hand I interrupt the noisy water stream cascading off my back, and with the other I reach for my camera. We are on our first nocturnal stream walk.

Clambering over fallen trees we march on. I recall the fresh tapir tracks on the sandy banks of last night's (terrestrial) walk, and keep my eyes peeled. Instead, a glass frog: hushed, we gather around the Centrolenidae. One of our two knowledgeable staff members apprehends the subject. In the sample bag, we see the frog's underside. A transparent window into it's miniature anatomy. The tiny three-chambered heart pumps to distribute its blood. The frog breathes rapidly, its lungs expanding above the beet-coloured liver and digestive tract. Did you know Centrolenidae females lay their eggs on the bottoms of leaves overhanging streams (like the one we are on)? The eggs mature far from their watery predators, only falling into the deep once hatched.

As a new GVI staff member gazing into the coming year, I am steeled for the great number of pride-crushing, unplanned slides down muddy banks into unseen pools. But these are part and parcel of the experience, and an awesome number of species; glass frogs, kingfishers, tapirs, and thousands of unknown others too await my discovery above and within the Amazonian brush.

John Guittar - GVI Amazon staff member
Photos thanks to Jenny Nockolds volunteer 094


dave said...

a window into another world