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, February 3, 2011

A Species List Update

One of our vital science components at GVI Amazon is maintaining a current species list for the Yachana Reserve. Last phase (October – December 2010), we had some great additions to the species list, including White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Yellow-footed Tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulata) and a rare worm lizard, Stacy’s Bachia (Bachia trisanale).

In order to add a species to our species list, we like to have a 100% confirmed visual observation and if possible, a photo or two. But there are some tricky ones… birds, as they are more often heard than seen in rainforests, can be a challenge because it may be difficult to get a visual observation. Last phase (October-December 2010), a Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus), was heard twice on the Yachana Reserve. Their distinct whistling call is hard to confuse with anything else. Knowing the ID of the call, what do we do next? Is it a confirmed addition to the list? We settled on adding it to the list in parentheses since there was no visual observation.

This week, as I was sitting in the comedor chatting to the volunteers, I heard, once again, the distinct whistle of a Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus). Dashing for my binoculars and running for a glance, I looked up and saw the big raptor soaring overhead, just in time to watch it tuck in its wings and dive into the canopy, confirming a visual observation of this beautiful bird for the Yachana Reserve! Sometimes, you just have to give them a little time and wait for them to show themselves off! (And as you can see, we still were unable to get a photo!)

Jenn Sinasac – GVI Amazon Field Staff