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

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Changeover week & a new mystery species!

The weekend saw the departure of the GVI Amazon four week volunteers (they will be missed) and the exciting arrival of eight new volunteers, so the week has been busy for everyone with a lots of training and studying. It has also been an interesting week for animal sightings with two huge snakes being spotted on base in two days. A fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox) and a Tiger Rat Snake (Spilotes pullatus pullatus). Both snakes caused a lot of excitement for most and disappointment for one – “I thought you yelled CAKE” said one sugar deprived volunteer.

Some of the weeks other highlights have seen the addition of a few species to the species list. A Cocta Whiptail Lizard (Kentropyx altamazonica), Luscumbe’s Rainfrog (Pristimantis luscombei) and a so far unidentifiable frog found at the roadside swamp. The little fella has now been preserved and will go to our partner museum in Quito for genetic identification.

new unidentified species -- what's your guess?
The swamp is a very interesting habitat here as it holds several frog species that are found nowhere else on the reserve including Dendropsophus bifurcus. Unfortunately, work being undertaken for the installation of electricity lines and tarmac on the road threatens this unique habitat. We are currently surveying the area to figure out what is there and see how these works affect the frog populations over time. If we can get some interesting data now then hopefully we can use it as a bargaining tool to minimise the impact of any future works. The discovery of this mysterious frog on our first swamp survey is a great start for emphasizing the importance of this area. Let’s hope it continues!

Dendrosopsophus bifurcus

Bianca Op den Brouw, GVI Amazon Long-Term Intern, January - June 2012