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

Monday, February 15, 2010

Five weeks - blink and you missed it!

Summarizing five weeks of the GVI Amazon Expedition in 100 or so words? A tough ask, but I’ll try!

Day 1: Bus then canoe to camp. Meet staff. Make ourselves at home! See Coral Snake – very cool.

Week 1: First night walk – enchanting. Find giant tarantula under volunteer dorms – exciting! Tour Yachana Colegio Tecnico, meet students and play a thirty-a-side football match – crazy.

Week 2: Pitfalls – amphibians and reptiles galore. Butterflies begins. Sat camp – make fires, make tea, go on night walk, struggle with jungle hammocks, early rise for mist netting – some rarer bird species seen. Boys decide on silly haircuts. Girls not – sensible!

Week 3: More butterflies. Dung beetles found – quite literally - by the bucket load! Amphibian transects – see a Vine Snake. Visit Puerto Salazar for English with the children and football with the adults – only eight aside this time – Fun.

Week 4: Mist netting – rain, but lots of antbirds, hummingbirds and a very cool Cacique. Off to Hector’s Island. Weave a roof for his port, throw spears, blow darts, see some tamarins, spider and woolly monkeys. Talk oil and the Huaorani over Guayusa tea with Hector. Cold beer in Coca on return to base – refreshing!

Week 5: Final days. More transects – see Hog-nosed Viper. Night walk – see 15 ft Rainbow Boa, no, 12 ft, no 10 ft, actually, probably 6 ft. Whatever, a big boa! Party and good-byes in Tena – memorable. And there’s still more to come….

Tom Smith – GVI Amazon Internship programme, Jan-Jun 2010