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, July 12, 2010

Good Things Come in Small Packages

A rustle of leaves, a flash of bright orange eye-shine or a bum rapidly disappearing into the forest are all that you usually see of the forests most elusive group – mammals. However on rare occasions, overcome with curiosity, mammals will come in for a closer look.

Simon, usually known for his bird spotting abilities, found a tiny mammal in a tree besides the GVI Amazon base camp’s kitchen and dining area. At first we thought it was a baby opossum, but upon closer inspection we determined it to be the Little Rufous Mouse Opossum (Marmosa lepida).

From head to vent it measures only 10cm, with its tail adding a further 15cm, truly a tiny opossum! They are rarely encountered, and consequently little is known about its favoured habitats and ecology.

However, we saw ourselves that they are fantastic climbers with a keen taste for insects. We observed this individual hunting within the branches of an old lemon tree, at one point hanging upside down shoving a huge cricket down its tiny neck.

After a few photos we left it in peace... only for it to turn up on the walk way at lunch time - presumably to pose for more photographs! Intimate encounters with mammals are few and far between, we will be recounting this one for a long long time!

Chris Beirne - GVI Amazon Base Manager