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

Saturday, May 1, 2010

B is for Butterfly

For the past two weeks, GVI Amazon has run another session of butterfly surveys for the ongoing Nymphalidae butterfly project on the Yachana Reserve. It has been a fun and successful time, as our eager volunteers and staff have set up 40 feeding traps along two trails, (Frontier and Columbia), trapped and identified 208 individual butterflies! The traps were baited every three days with fermenting bananas, a favourite food of these fruit-eating butterflies. Traps were checked by staff and volunteers every afternoon; butterflies were identified, sexed and marked for potential recapture. Some of our highlights included:

B ig butterflies – Caligos, Catoblepias – were often caught in the traps
tterly fun and sloppy, muddy slopes to battle on the trails

wo new species, Eunica clytia and Zaretis isidora, were added to the project species data
T aking time out to have some fun in the forest!

E nded each day with a super cool butterfly handshake
R ecaptures were frequent this phase
F requent sightings of other fantastic wildlife, including Ruby Poison Dart Frogs (Ameerga bilinguis)
L aura got tackled by Edwin and Joe on the slippery and steep hill of Columbia trail, ending up looking like a mud monster on a regular basis

Y es, Annie finally got a butterfly to rest on her face and tickle her nose!

The survey became a favourite among many, even possibly surpassing the popularity of those amphib surveys! A first glimpse of a giant owl butterfly (Caligo sp.), the sight of a dazzling Nessaea with its bright blue patches on black wings perched with wings open in a trap, or a spunky Archaeoprepona putting up a fight to be caught, and regardless, a sight of a spectacular Morpho butterfly with its six inch wingspan and iridescent blue colouring is bound to get anyone hooked!

Looking forward to the next round of butterfly surveys in May...

Jenn Sinasac - GVI Amazon Field Staff