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, November 4, 2011

My First Amphibian Survey

As a new member of staff at GVI Amazon, I have been running around trying to get to grips with the way things work here and absorb the mountain of knowledge required for the smooth running of both base camp and field surveys. Part of this was going on a staff-only amphibian Visual Encounter Survey (VES) as part of our ongoing training. This was a lot more exciting than it sounds; we stormed into the jungle at a pace that forced me to find my jungle feet sharpish. I stumbled my way in my oversized wellies in the direction of a worryingly loud thunder cloud but once the VES began at a gentle pace I believed that the evening would be tame from there on out. The survey involved six of us spreading out
and slowly scanning the area for amphibians, catching them, identifying them and releasing them. This would have been fine, except that our route, on a couple of occasions, took us down a cliff, and of course it started to rain as, on the final stretch, we scrambled – no climbed - up a muddy bank sending the local tarantula populations running as we squeezed under logs (while still looking for amphibs of course).

I feel I should mention the highlights of the evening: (a) The beautiful green-striped vine snake, the strange turnip-tailed gecko and (b) our intrepid leader showing us his jungle skills by getting stuck in the mud whilst “rescuing” an already thoroughly stuck staff intern. All in all a great night. There was something quite satisfying walking back in the dark and the rain covered in mud and cuts knowing that we had collected a good set of data!

Charlotte Coupland, GVI Amazon Field Staff