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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Mammal Species

Sorry for the spoiler in the title but I am really excited!  I recently took charge of the mammal project and so not only have the GVI camera traps become my camera traps but I also take personal credit for every photo that they take, even if I didn’t put the camera up. Such an occasion was a recent one – there were men working on the road and as such I felt that we shouldn’t be measuring the edge effect of the road as we would really be measuring the edge effect of Men at Work. This insightful piece of project management meant that, one day, our delightful Assistant Base Manager Philip Brown was handed a load of camera traps to lug down to the waterhole to be set up with a volunteer team. This was with a view to ‘seeing what we could find”.

A couple of weeks later I brought them in to begin work studying the road once more and checked the photos (you can guess what happened next). Low and behold we came across a strange looking creature. “Is it a Coati?” asked one person? “No! Look at the nose!” I cried! To cut a long conversation short we settled upon ‘Cacomistle’ – A NEW SPECIES FOR THE SPECIES LIST - and quickly put it into the end of phase presentation and told all the volunteers about it. 

Only... it wasn’t actually a Cacomistle. 

That was TOTALLY wrong – I’m glad I’m in Quito this week to avoid the embarrassment – it was in fact a Crab-eating Raccoon. A NEW SPECIES FOR THE SPECIES LIST! In my defense I would like to say that Raccoon was my first thought, honestly it was! 

Anyway, what is exciting about this is firstly, it is very rare for us to get a new medium-sized mammal for the list and secondly, that we are right on its known range according to the IUCN database. Camp is situated in the lower-foothills of the Andes and as such we get a mixture of upland and lowland species and this makes for a really interesting study. Hurray!

Charlotte Coupland, GVI Amazon Field Staff



Anonymous said...

Yay! Go Charlie (and everyone else)! Keep up the great work

Jas x