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, October 18, 2010

A Tripanurgos to the Toilet

It can be quite a daunting prospect waking up in the middle of the night to find nature calling. When I say nature calling, I don’t mean the cacophony of crickets, I mean the need to head down the stairs to use our trusty latrines. Situated at the bottom of a hill it is necessary to get the head torch out and descend the stairs... oh for an ensuite. Usually it’s an uneventful journey. However, occasionally you get an unexpected surprise.

Passing by toilet two I could hear the cistern running. With a limited water supply this can be a problem so I poked my head in the door to investigate. Just as I was about to curse the untidy mongrel that had left the toilet in an untidy state when I realised it wasn’t litter on the floor, but a very uncommon visitor. Tripanurgos (now Siphlophis) compressus must also have been caught short in the night, as there he was in toilet two. The journey had evidently made him peckish as he was in the middle of devouring a lizard (Tropidurus plica). To complete the mini ecosystem of toilet two, the red vine snake had a pseudoscorpion attached to his tail. Psuedoscorpions have invaded the urinal and in order to disperse themselves they attach to anything and everything with a little silk.

So what started as a necessary annoyance turned into an impromptu night-walk. Just another reason why this place is so amazing.

Olly Burdekin, Field Staff Ecuador