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, March 22, 2010

Another Rainforest Treat!

Tamanduas - arboreal anteaters - are a not altogether common find, so it was special indeed to see one whilst wandering through Yasuni National Park at the end of our GVI Amazon 10 week expedition. Somewhat smaller than the Giant Anteater they are nonetheless a sizeable mammal, their head and body ranging from around half a metre to just under 90cm long. They possess a strong prehensile tail, normally two-thirds of their body length, ensuring a sure, firm grip on tree branches. It is up in the trees that you will normally find tamanduas, searching for ants, termites and bees to eat: yum! Although they do not possess the best eyesight, they will sometimes venture onto the forest floor to forage too, and are often attracted to water courses. It is best not to alarm them if they do cross your path; they are defensive and standing on their hind legs can inflict severe wounds with their powerful claws. We were quite happy that the species we saw - a Southern Tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla) with a light grey/ almost cream coat - remained in the tree posing for photos therefore! Here´s a picture for you...

The recent sightings on the GVI Amazon expedition have been an amazing way to round up the first 10 weeks of the year. There is a two week break before the next volunteers come and join the expedition in Ecuador. I wonder what the rainforest will have in store of them..?

Tom Smith - GVI Amazon Intern - January to June 2010