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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Night Life

Back at GVI Amazon for a new phase and amidst the hectic schedule of training, there is ample time for exploring the forest when it is most active – at night.

Along the forest trails, the possibilities fro what you might see are endless – large wandering spiders, leaf katydids and colourful Ruby Dart Frogs (Ameerga bilinguis) were some of the initial finds. At one point, we stopped to look at a tree, and as we looked up, a Turnip-tail Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicaudus) stared back down at us. The best was yet to come – as we were crossing a stream, Caoimhe, one of our new keen volunteers, was scanning along a bank and said the threee words we hope for on any walk, “here’s a snake”. As I looked over, an adult Peruvian Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria gaigei) was curled up along the bank. Its red scales with contrasting black open spots have an opalescent shine, making it one of the most beautiful snakes in the Amazon.

Other highlights during the week included a pair of Monkey Frogs (Phyllomedusa tomopterna) hugging in amplexus, a Common Blunt-headed Snake (Imantodes cenchoa), stretched out along some low vegetation and a venomous Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops atrox), coiled up along the riverbank. Along the stream, a tiny green frog blinked back at me as I was checking out a leaf – a glass frog! These delicate frogs have specific habitat preferences and are rarely seen on the reserve. If you were to flip it over, you can see its internal organs through its thin transparent skin. This species, Cochranella ritae, has dark spots on its upperside and barely reaches 2 cm in length. A great find!

Getting out in the forest at night was a great way to kick off this phase! You never know what you might see...

Jenn Sinasac - GVI Amazon Field Staff