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, August 16, 2010

That stick is alive!

Surveys for the second five weeks of this phase on GVI Amazon kicked off today with point counts, a means of studying bird communities on the Yachana Reserve. While some interesting bird species were observed during the survey, including Red-necked Woodpecker (Campephilus rubricollis) and Green-and-Gold Tanager (Tangara schrankii), the real highlight came while walking back to base this sunny, hot morning. Just as we were getting close to camp, an initially apparent stick lying across the road came to life. It wasn’t a stick at all, but a well-camouflaged Brown Vine Snake (Oxybelis aeneus)!

The Brown Vine Snake, (Oxybelis aeneus), is a long, pencil-thin snake with a pointy snout, which aptly allows it to take on the appearance of a vine – it will even extend its tongue to look like herbaceous vine tendrils. This species is the only vine snake that lacks green in its colour, and is very cryptically marked to look just like a slender branch. When startled, it will open its big mouth, exposing the black interior, and fires up dark markings on its scales.

The Brown Vine Snake (Oxybelis aeneus) is one of the most widespread snakes in the neotropics, ranging from Arizona to the southern Amazon. It often suns itself on open roads and paths. Up to this point, it has remained hidden on the reserve. However, after our up close encounter of this beautiful snake, we can confidently add it to the Yachana Reserve species list!

Jenn Sinasac - GVI Amazon Field Staff