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

Saturday, July 9, 2011

mist Wetting

Knowing it was going to be a long walk up to the Laguna, followed by a long night spent in jungle hammocks, my team and I were pleased to set off from base camp in the warm afternoon sun, with the promise of a fun and, perhaps more importantly, a dry night. We were to camp out in the for the night so that we could begin mistnetting (catching birds in large nets strung across the forest) early the next morning in the far reaches of the reserve, where we hoped to meet some exotic and exciting avian friends.

After a tough, hot walk with heavy packs, we arrived at our destination, set up our hammocks and found a nice spot overlooking the forest where we could eat our dinner and watch the birds of the rainforest prepare for sunset, swooping and singing across the canopy. After this, it was our turn to prepare for sunset by getting our campfire going and removing our essential equipment from our packs: potatoes for baking, marshmallows, chocolate (both bars of and hot), biscuits, all sorts of candy and even a banoffee pie!

After our bellies were full (and full they were) we hit the hammocks and tried to get some rest, hanging between the trees. All was well and I was sleeping soundly until about 2:30am when I heard distant thunder. I could hear it getting closer and could sense that all us campers were lying awake listening to the approaching storm, crossing our fingers that it would somehow by-pass our little camp……fat chance!!

After three hours of roaring thunder, lightning and torrential rain, not a single hammock had survived the weather and we were all soaked through. We emerged from our not so water-tight cocoons at around 6am as the light struggled through the clouds, which were still unloading on the forest, and laughed about the previous night over a good few cups of granola and some more banoffee pie. Sadly we had to cancel the mistnetting due to the rain (heavy rain = no birds) but as we trooped home to basecamp for a hot cup of tea and a shower, we joked and laughed and were all happy to know that despite the weather, nobody’s spirits had been the least bit dampened……unlike our hammocks!

Fraser Ross, GVI Amazon Assistant Base Manager