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

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pitfalling or Porridge? You Decide...

There are a few good reasons to get out of bed at 6am in the jungle, and pitfalling yesterday was one of them (it certainly wasn’t the porridge!). I headed out to part of the secondary forest along the Waterhole trail with three other volunteers to check six of the twelve pitfalls on the Yachana Reserve. After a dry spell lasting over two weeks we haven’t been finding much in the traps, but thanks to a mixture of eagle eyes and luck we had quite a number of amphibs. The first pitall produced three tiny Pristimatis kichwarum frogs, and a Lepsoma parietale (a lizard with a very pretty orange belly). The next five were just as good, and we found another kichwarum, an Ameerega bilinguis with tadpoles on his back, a couple other frogs and a Slender Anole (Anolis limifrons) which was sitting on a tree. We also found a tarantula in one of the buckets, and the mandatory crickets pretending to be frogs.

Halfway through, we stopped off at the abandoned cabin for a snack (my snack had of course been demolished before we had even finished the second pitfall). The cabin is extremely creepy and it gives me the heebie jeebies looking at the solitary jar of sugar that sits on the side!

On the way back to camp our pitfalling survey seemed to turn into a birdwatching session. We found some gorgeous Masked Crimson Tanagers (Ramphocelus nigrogularis) that were perched in a tree just above us. We also saw an Ivory-billed Araçari (Pteroglossus azara) and a Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) that was just hopping around on a trunk directly in front of us. Another good spot was a beautifully weird big-legged bug Chris found sitting on a flower, which he ended up chasing through the forest with a camera. All in all a productive morning and back in time for lunch!

Charley Tyrrell - GVI Amazon volunteer, Aug-Sept 2010