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, June 7, 2012

Back to the Grind -- Grid cutting day

Old volunteers will be familiar with seeing “All Day Grid Cut” written on the schedule. This day of hard physical work, but also good fun, reappeared on the schedule this week as there were three points remaining on the reserve grid system which were not yet marked or set up for surveying. The team -- Tom, a GVI Amazon scholar asked to stay on after his expedition as a short-term member of the staff team; Henry, a student from our partner,Yachana's, Technical High School who was completing a six week internship with us; four hard working volunteers and myself -- set off to the far boundary of the Yachana reserve, to a spot in the northwest corner. 

The walk there took us around two and a half hours and included a couple of frog spots, one wasp sting for Tom and a lovely view from the Laguna view point. When cutting the scientific survey transect to allow study in the area, the first 100m was fairly easy; an area of really nice forest. We commented how nice it would be to survey this area of reasonable flat primary forest. The following 50m however were a little more tricky, there was a big tree fall which involved scrambling over and under big logs and clearing all of the light loving pioneer plants that had started to colonise the area and create massive overgrowth that makes nighttime surveys nearly impossible if not cut back. Once we were past that we were back to nice primary forest again for the reaming 100m of our 250m transect. 

gorgeous primary forest in the northwest part of the reserve
Later, we came across a sweat bee nest, which included big biting ones (noooo!), and then we found a small, very simple bird nest in the leaf litter. We didn’t hear any warning calls or see the bird leave but made sure we gave the area a wide berth after its discovery and a couple of quick photos. After finishing the transect we had a late lunch and feeling satisfied with our work made our way back to camp taking a few alternative routes and having a bit of an explore in this area of rarely visited forest. 

bird nest
When we got back to the Laguna view point we found a dead Ornate Coral Snake (Micrurus ornatissimus) being devoured by ants. Did Tom sit on it when we stopped there for snack on the way out or did it die at some point between our two visits to the view point? For the sake of storytelling we are going to assume that Tom killed a coral snake with his bum! Bad Ass! (Bad joke)!
To end our day, we were proud to note that we have now successfully installed 30 of our 32 grid points as part of our term monitoring programme using a grid system called PP Bio and we are well underway with surveying those already installed! 

Phil Brown, GVI Amazon Assistant Base Manager



I. Winther said...

The awareness of the perservation of the rainforests and the wildlife cannot be stressed enough.