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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Our last big CT hurrah!  As GVI Amazon begins it's last 3 months of hardcore data collection, we now need you more than ever! We have massive plans for our volunteers from now through the end of September. In preparation of the handover to our local in-country partner in October, we've decided to go out with a major bang, raising money for the communities & surveying like never before!  
Thus, we present to you...

GVI BioBlitz Charitable Trust Challenge in the Amazon
A week-long extreme-surveying challenge to add as many species to the Yachana Reserve species list as possible before GVI leaves the Amazon, all the while raising funds for conservation in our communities!
July 19-25, 2012*
Want to help?  Donations for the community reforestation program can be made at

What is a BioBlitz Challenge?
5 days of extreme spotting, netting, photographing, trapping, chasing, and documenting species in the furthest corners and most unique habitats of the Yachana Reserve. Swamps, canopies, tree falls, remote areas: Here we come.
Hundreds of species of birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, butterflies, and mammals to be added to the list, some of them potentially previously unknown to science.

With little sleep, long days and nights in the field, inventive techniques, and experts by our side: how many can we add to the list?

Where will the money go? GVI volunteers raise money in our Challenges by seeking sponsorship from friends, family, coworkers, your football buddies… anyone and everyone!  The funds will go to the creation of a tree planting and education program for local Amazon communities. These trees will reforest pastures, increasing plant diversity and serving as long-term investments for the communities. The high-quality wood trees, when mature, can be harvested on a rotating basis to provide the money needed for the next generation to go to university- a cost unobtainable by almost all of the families in the region. The rotating harvests will also ensure that there are more trees continually being planted and overall much greater area of forest in the region. This project will be led by conservationist and long-time GVI partner Hector Vargas who has successfully implemented similar programs in other Amazon communities.

Why add species to the Yachana Reserve species list? GVI has been doing active research in the Yachana Reserve for the last 7 years and we are still finding new species to add to the species list almost every week. As GVI heads out of the Amazon, the species list is an incredibly important document to leave for our partner organization, the Yachana Foundation, to show what was found in the area during this time. This allows for future monitoring comparisons, opens the area up to having more researchers work here, and provides a basis for continued protection of the reserve. With hundreds of species of butterflies, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians already documented, we are determined to get as complete an image as possible of what is thriving in this area at this time.  Data will also be shared with major international databases such as the Global Amphibian Bioblitz, and Ecuadorian projects such as Anfibios de Ecuador, through the use of the iNaturalist citizen science program.

Who will be a part of the challenge? It will not only be the GVI volunteers and staff working hard in the field. We are inviting experts from universities and institutions in Quito to assist us in difficult identifications and to provide extra hands in the field, as well as getting the local school children to help us spot and photograph butterflies and birds along the road.
*exact dates may change slightly depending on availability of Ecuadorian scientists/experts 

This is an extreme challenge for an extremely important cause; please help us raise the money to further ensure GVI leaves this region in much better condition than it would have been without the hard work of our volunteers over the years.

Tax-free donations can be made at 
And yes, there will be a prize for the top fund-raiser J
(if you're donating for a specific volunteer, make sure to mention their name!)