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, October 27, 2010

It's All Go Go Go...!

Things are really starting to get going as far as all the scientific surveys from camp go. I’ve helped set up mammal and butterfly transects, which meant a lot of machete work and a lot of hard core jungle canyon-hiking in wellies (what the Brits all call their rubber boots). We baited the butterfly traps and the first mammal survey has gone out - it’s a new project here on GVI Amazon - which is exciting.

Pitfalls for reptiles and amphibians are always a success out here and birding by mistnetting and point count surveys - with resident camp expert, staff member, Jenn is a huge treat in the jungle. I hadn’t realised, as an American, that hummingbirds are only a so-called ‘New World’ family. Another critter that really delights the Brits and Aussies is the Headlight Beetles. I must admit though, they’re way better down here than in the US. They have different colour lights on their top (yellow) and bottom (green) and they stay on a lot longer and move a lot faster through the trees. They apparently do tricks too- I’m still waiting to see that.

I almost stepped on a Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria) my first week in camp, on a night time bathroom run. I didn’t know my snakes and just assumed it was the Red Vine Snake (Siphlophis compressus) as others had talked about seeing it down there. I took some pictures but neglected to tell anyone else about it, minus one sleepy passer-by. Staff members who have been out here nine months and never seen one were not too psyched to hear about it the next morning (they wanted to see it too!). It definitely was the most beautiful snake I’ve ever seen. I’m hoping it will come back so I can redeem myself. I’m gonna yell “Snake!” as loud as I can - especially if it’s 4 o’clock in the morning.

Catherine Latimer - GVI Amazon Conservation Intern, Oct 2010-Mar 2011