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

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Species!!!

Amphibian Visual Encounter Surveys are a regular evening activity for staff and volunteers at GVI Amazon, however despite being 8 weeks into this phase I only went on my first survey a couple of weeks ago. We started off with a few good spots on the way to the survey site, a night jar, a small poison dart frog and a water opossum. The survey went well, we caught a few Pristimantis kichwarum, a couple of Rhinella margaritifer, and saw a Leposoma parietale and a Bolitoglossa peruviana. On the way back from the survey I heard a rustling to my left and shined my torch over the area. I saw the back and rear end of a massive armadillo, far bigger than any others that I’ve seen on the reserve in the past nine months. Nicole who was directly behind me got a good look at its tail but not a lot else. We crept off the trail into the forest in the direction it had gone but unfortunately it was nowhere to be seen. I was pretty pleased that I had seen a really big armadillo but didn’t realise the significance until I got back to base and got the mammal books out. Going on the overall size there was only two species of armadillo that it could have been and neither are on the reserve species list. One had a ringed tail and the other had a smooth tail. Also the plate structure on their backs are quite different, after comparing notes with Nicole we easily narrowed it down to one species – the Giant Armadillo (Priodontes maximus). Not only is this new to the reserve species list but it is also listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List with its population trend decreasing.

All in all a very enjoyable and successful night, another amphibian VES completed on the new reserve grid system and a new Vulnerable species added to the reserve species list!!!!

NOTE: We have yet to capture the giant armadillo on film, but our staff are on the case. For this blog, all photos from

Phil Brown, GVI Amazon Field Staff