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, November 7, 2011

A Grid Cutting Adventure

The Grid: PPBio Australasia is a grid system used in research and data collection. It facilitates long-term ecological monitoring of key biotic and abiotic variables. Basically it allows research to be conducted in the same locations over a long period of time and the results will be measurable. GVI began implementing a version of the grid system in the Yachana Reserve in 2011 to facilitate research and provide a long-term monitoring system for the reserve.

Our adventure at GVI Amazon base camp began at 6:30am; Phil T’s cooking class allowed for a delicious lunch to be prepared promptly. "The Basics of Spaghetti 101" detailed the importance of basil, oregano and a “butt load of salt”. Tom also learnt how to prepare his first hardboiled egg and despite input /debate from many different sources (Jess, Luis and Claire), the resultant eggs were as aimed for, hard boiled.

So the trek began at 7:45AM with full stomachs of porridge (thanks to Claire and Luis) and a zest to further create the grid in unexplored territory, machetes in hand. The explorers (team consisted of: Phil T, G.I. Beau, Tom, Jess and Sophie) were on their way to the Twilight Zone (the grid location).

The access track we were to use was what some would refer to as difficult terrain, however, these explorers found the track to be merely satisfying. At the point I should add that some, and by some I mean myself, spent more time on their bottoms than on their feet. After hiking for three hours, we finally approached the one tree we required to begin our days work and at the base of this tree sat none other than a little Fer-de-lance (an incredibly dangerous/awesome snake)!

Despite the busy day, we did have time to take a moment to pause, reflect and appreciate the fauna and flora in the area. A fallen log presented us with an excellent photo moment and whilst cutting a transect we were presented with an opportunity to look at a wasps nest, or perhaps run away from it, screaming!

We ended the day with water levels low, a number of different injuries -- 14 annoying wasp stings, one irritated eye, one cut finger -- and very tired feet as we scrambled, more on hands and knees than feet, back to the road, yet somehow still having managed to have fun. An long and eventful day, but overall, job well done!

Sophie Boyd, Long-term Conservation Intern, Sept 2011 - Mar 2012