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 21, 2010


Across the Northern Hemisphere it is coming to the height of summer. The days are long and the warmer weather welcome. Here on the equator we have no such seasonality. The sun rises at 6am and sets at 6pm with relentless regularity. Being detatched from the trappings of normal society; no newspapers, no television, no news on the cricket, it is easy to forget the exact date and sometimes even the exact month. However, as staff it is always a reminder that summer is here when we hit capacity. School’s out, universities are on break and people want to volunteer. Large groups are great to have on base. Not only does personality diveristy increase but more volunteers means more eyes and currently we are seeing more than ever before just on and around GVI Amazon base camp.

The most recent addition to our incidental sightings list was the Barred (Tiger-Striped) Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna). The frogs of this charismatic genus are known as monkey frogs due to their method of travel. Although able to leap large distances they much prefer to get around by climbing hand-over-hand. The first finger and first toe are opposable to other digits providing a strong grip on branches and stems. Toe pads are also well developed. Monkeying around is not the speediest way to travel and as a result the monkey frogs rely on camouflage as opposed to evasive maneuvers in order to thwart predators. Phyllomedusa tomopterna is evidently quite brightly coloured (also note the heel spurs) but when under threat, or simply bothered by the GVI paparazzi, they will draw in their limbs leaving only their leaf green dorsum visible. Although a treefrog the tomopterna utilizes a wide range of habitats from pools within the primary forest to puddles in agricultural clearings or even next to the stairs on the way to our toilets.

Olly Burdekin - GVI Amazon Field Staff