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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Opossum's Pitfall!

The last week at GVI Amazon has been focused on surveys. Pitfall trapping is a great way to get up close and personal with the amphibians and reptiles. Pitfalls are used in tandem with baffles (drift fencing) to stop amphibians in their path and direct them towards the pitfalls (or buckets as they’re affectionately known). Anything captured is then measured and weighed to aid identification. The pitfall sites are distributed in both primary and secondary forest to give us an idea of what species are found where.

The nature of such a survey technique means we get a chance to see a range of fauna which find themselves in and around the traps, from tarantulas the size of your face to beady eyed opossums to brightly coloured snakes.

The highlight so far was seeing the Black-headed Calico Sanke (Oxyrhopus melanogenys), munching down on an opossum for breakfast; nature at its best! This tri-coloured snake can grow to three feet in length and is found in primary and secondary forest hunting for small mammals. It was CHEVERE! (Ecuadorian for untold awesomeness). We also had the pleasure of seeing a Yellow-tongued Anole (Anolis chrysolepis scypheus) which is one of the longest lizards in the Anolis genera. They can reach 28cm and ours measured 20cm. It is a unique lizard because it has an awesomely coloured dewlap.

So, pitfalls get a big thumbs up!

Joe Langridge - GVI Amazon long term intern, April-October 2010