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Latest news from GVI's Amazon Rainforest Conservation Expedition in Ecuador. Read research news and volunteer stories straight from the project base in the Amazon Rainforest.

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Meet the gang!
We've got new neighbors at GVI Amazon base camp, and thought you all might like a little photo-introduction. &nbsp;A few months ago, base manager Charlie Coupland wrote a report on one of our recent achievements -- the development on a new swamp habitat near to base camp, to provide a safe living environment for swamp-dwelling amphibs whose home was being damaged due to development along the road. &nbsp;There are few quality swamp environments within the Yachana Reserve, so we wanted to ensure our legacy included leaving at least one more good habitat for these little guys. &nbsp; We made the new swamp near to base camp so that GVI volunteers and future students at Yachana would have a chance to observe the species in situ, monitoring levels near camp as well as deeper in the forest. &nbsp;It's a bit of an experiment, as our swamp is, of course, manmade; &nbsp;but early results have been very promising!<br /><br />You can read more about the swamp project in the July Achievement Report below, but first, say hello to the gang! <br /><br /><i>Phyllomedusa tomopterna</i>, a.k.a. Tom -- Tom's bright flashy colors and "look how cool I am balanced on this twig" poses make him one of the most photographed of the swanky swamp crowd. &nbsp;While it's easy to be fooled and just think he really gets around, there is actually not just one, but a minimum of SIX Toms living at our swamp these days, although you may not see all six every night.<br /><br /><i>Dendropsophus rhodopeplus</i>, a.k.a. Rod -- At first shown up by Tom's fancy displays, Rod just seemed like another swamp regular, until we realized that we should have named him "Hot Rod"... within weeks he'd already found a mate -- the lovely Rodina -- and has no qualms about showing his feelings for her on a regular basis. &nbsp;They do make a lovely, albeit tiny, couple, and it's always good fun to try and spot them amongst the plants at night.<br /><br /><i>Lithobates palmipes</i>, a.k.a. Paul -- We're still not quite sure how we feel about good ol' Paul. &nbsp;He just sort of showed up one day, and (in our humble opinion) is a bit too large for our little swamp, and yet, weeks have gone by and Paul's still here. &nbsp;He spends most of the day asleep under a log, and hangs out on the little island at night, and would seem pretty harmless if we hadn't caught him hiding in the grass, spying on a rather personal situation between Rod and Rodina... (see last photo below)<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aIkXQT5J_0I/UGSU6tKoE_I/AAAAAAAAAXU/5jkfxAhy0UM/s1600/IMG_2388+crop.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="381" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aIkXQT5J_0I/UGSU6tKoE_I/AAAAAAAAAXU/5jkfxAhy0UM/s400/IMG_2388+crop.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Tom 1, showing off his acrobatics</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: left;"></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--p6ced4KpC0/UGSWBBJu5VI/AAAAAAAAAYA/ANMUN7OSSx8/s1600/IMG_2389+close+crop.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--p6ced4KpC0/UGSWBBJu5VI/AAAAAAAAAYA/ANMUN7OSSx8/s400/IMG_2389+close+crop.jpg" width="395" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Tom 2, playin' it cool&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dDheOpKI6oc/UGSV65TggdI/AAAAAAAAAX0/-qAM8uaonW0/s1600/IMG_2399.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dDheOpKI6oc/UGSV65TggdI/AAAAAAAAAX0/-qAM8uaonW0/s400/IMG_2399.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The latest couple on camp,&nbsp;Rod and Rodina,&nbsp;spending some quality time together in amplexus</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-So-_OdHVHv0/UGSV46bsg0I/AAAAAAAAAXs/gtCLBSgq3sk/s1600/IMG_2391.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="640" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-So-_OdHVHv0/UGSV46bsg0I/AAAAAAAAAXs/gtCLBSgq3sk/s640/IMG_2391.jpg" width="480" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paul, in the upper right-hand corner, being a bit of a creeper, <br />spying on Rod &amp; Rodina's (lower left) special alone time...</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/107171677/GVI-Amazon-Monthly-Achievement-Report-July-2012" style="display: inline !important; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin: 12px auto 6px;" title="View GVI Amazon Monthly Achievement Report - July 2012 on Scribd">GVI Amazon Monthly Achievement Report - July 2012</a><br /><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.707514450867052" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="600" id="doc_32071" scrolling="no" src="http://www.scribd.com/embeds/107171677/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-1jnjfgczmu3bv41tdawi" width="400"></iframe>


GVI Amazon volunteer hikes over 4 months to raise money for GVI Charitable Trust!
How far are YOU willing to go to fundraise for a cause you believe in? &nbsp;GVI Amazon volunteer Leif Middleton has set the bar pretty high in terms of fundraising events, and hopefully his story will inspire all of you GVI fans out there to start your own CT fundraiser challenge! &nbsp;It doesn't have to be quite as massive as Leif's trek; CT fundraisers can be anything from a sports adventure (a race, marathon, mtn climb - whatever you love to do) to a theme party at your home or favorite bar! &nbsp;The important thing is that you plan something fun, ask for support, donations or sponsorship, and most of all, that you share your passion for supporting GVI's conservation and community cause!<br /><br />Check out Leif's story to get inspired, and then GO FOR IT!<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E51VpQrr128/UE--ACUeBtI/AAAAAAAAAV0/l3OZ2Y-RWRo/s1600/Leif+&amp;+back+pack_starting+off_with+GVI+Amazon+shirt.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-E51VpQrr128/UE--ACUeBtI/AAAAAAAAAV0/l3OZ2Y-RWRo/s320/Leif+&amp;+back+pack_starting+off_with+GVI+Amazon+shirt.jpeg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Leif at the start of the trail</td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: center;"><b><span style="font-size: large;">HIKING THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL FOR THE GVI CHARITABLE TRUST</span></b></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div>GVI Amazon volunteer Leif Middleton came away from Ecuador with not only great memories, blowdart skills, newfound friends and an in-depth knowledge of fieldwork and monitoring in the rainforest; he also took back with him a deep respect for the work being done around the world through GVI’s Charitable Trust (CT). &nbsp;Always an adventurer, Leif’s next major journey after leaving the Amazon was to challenge himself with a massive trek all the way up the eastern side of the United States, following the Appalachian Trail as it winds it way through the mountains from Georgia to Maine. &nbsp;The Appalachian Trail (AT) is one of the longest hikes in the US, covering 2,184.2 miles (3515 km) through the Appalachian Mountain range along the entire length of the East coast. &nbsp;Only an estimated 10% of people who start the trail actually arrive at the end; those who do take an average of 4-5 months to complete the journey, carrying a 30-40lb pack on their backs, and sleeping in tents and shelters along the way. &nbsp;Leif chose to take this vastly challenging hike one step further, by making it a fundraiser for the GVI CT, asking friends and family for “sponsorship” through a donation to the CT. &nbsp;At the time of writing this article, after finishing his journey, Leif has raised over £1,300 for the CT, and donations are still coming in on his site, <a href="http://www.justgiving.com/Leif-Middleton">“Leif’s Walk in the Woods – JustGiving”</a><br /><br />Why the GVI Charitable Trust? &nbsp;In Leif’s own words, &nbsp;“To be honest I decided to do the AT and then thought: ‘it'd be a good chance to raise money for something... what good charities do I know?’ The answer was obvious.” &nbsp;He explains, “I have worked with this charity in the past and truly believe in what they do. The charity operates in many countries, combating poverty, lack of education and [providing] disaster relief. A good example of their work is what I saw them doing first-hand in Ecuador: raising money to provide educational supplies to combat illiteracy, teaching English and science in the local schools of isolated communities in eastern Ecuador. This is a genuinely good cause that I think deserves a little bit of support that it didn’t ask for, to help it do the incredible job that it does.”<br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3-Rk7-xYWss/UE--BN8rUZI/AAAAAAAAAV8/o4FQlGYZNDw/s1600/McAfee's+Knob.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3-Rk7-xYWss/UE--BN8rUZI/AAAAAAAAAV8/o4FQlGYZNDw/s320/McAfee's+Knob.jpeg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Leif on McAfee's Knob - a trail highlight in Virginia</td></tr></tbody></table>Along the way, Leif faced all manner of obstacles, from literal ones such as car-sized boulders and the even worse “ankle-busters” that wreck your joints and even destroyed two pairs of Leif's boots, to mental obstacles such as finding the strength and motivation to carry on day after day, and challenging one’s own beliefs about people in order to accept help along the way. <br /><br /><i>“Just the last two days I did 53 miles in the rain to get here and every hiker has similar tales, yet there is no drill sergeant screaming in our ears, no parent goading us on... the only thing pushing us is ourselves. Needless to say most do not make it this far, Stats are difficult to calculate but some put it as low as 20% get here. I know that I was the 406th to start at springer and I am the 186th to arrive here. Those that are left are a 'hardened few'.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><i>The ATC recognizes the 'hardened few' with a picture adorned with their trail name and placed in an annual. I was proud today to have my photo taken and placed amongst these 'hardened few'. But for all that said, and everything that we have been through, we are not even halfway yet. We have 1200 more miles to go, only half of the 'hardened few' will make it our final goal.”</i><br /><br /><i>“…what has kept me going and my spirits high through all of it was the trail magic. This much talked about phenomena combined with the hospitality of the south is a combination of charitability and kindness like which I have never experienced. You see the trail is constantly watched over by 'trail angels': ex-hikers, churchgoers determined to help the needy (us), and just good natured people who want to help those of us coming through and see us through to Maine. I will never forget the countless snickers bars and honey buns given to me out of a hikers pocket, the cans of soda left in a cooler by an under used road. One particular act of kindness was at a town called Burke's Garden. The local pastor's wife took us in from the trail, drove to her house, gave us a showers, laundry, a hot meal and organised a bed for the night. I hadn't slept in a bed for 3 and a half weeks at that point. In the morning she made us breakfast and drove us back to the trail. What amazed me was not that she didn’t ask us for anything in return, she wouldn't even accept the money we offered in return. She was doing god's work, she said, and that was enough for her. The truth is all AT hikers are backed up by an army of supporters determined to see us succeed. And they call us the heroes!”</i><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HmVQ2MQWl84/UE--EXYCtkI/AAAAAAAAAWc/cVUSGHAivOA/s1600/waterfall.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HmVQ2MQWl84/UE--EXYCtkI/AAAAAAAAAWc/cVUSGHAivOA/s320/waterfall.jpeg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Cascades along the Trail</td></tr></tbody></table>From Georgia to the Virginia border, the first two months saw over 400 miles of trail and “all the extremes of weather from searing 85°F (27.5°C) heat to 4 inches of snow and all the points in between! “Later challenges included the 6288 ft (1917 m) Mt. Washington, which holds the record for most lives claimed on the trail, and boasts the highest wind speed ever recorded on Earth’s surface, followed by Maine’s daunting 100 Mile Wilderness, and at last, the final, and hardest summit of the trail, the northernmost point of the trail, Mt. Katahdin in Maine. &nbsp;He hiked at quite a fast pace, finishing the trail in just over 4 months (134 days) – pretty amazing for someone whose longest hike prior to the trail was only 10 days! Leif’s updates from the trail are full of great stories – challenges, adventures, injuries, mishaps and even one very close encounter with a bear. <br /><br />His favorite spot on the trail? &nbsp;Mahoosuc Notch:<br /><br /><i>“This 1 mile in southern Maine has a reputation and it lived up to it! It is a mile long boulder run situated between two mountains, which we have to 'spiderman' our way across (scramble, jump, crawl – anything but walk!). The biggest surprise down there was how cold it was – there was snow and ice in the crevices, in July! I also remember sideling across a ledge and looking down, realizing it was 8 feet to the bottom if I fell, and thought: 'this is awesome!' There was also the 'hole' itself, 2-3 feet wide and 4 yards long (you can squat in the middle, but the opening is only 2-3 feet wide), you have to crawl through. That one mile was like something from another planet!”</i><br /><i><br /></i><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_DfD8Yb5f3E/UE--B3aIyEI/AAAAAAAAAWM/xXhUGYUv3RY/s1600/drying+boots.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_DfD8Yb5f3E/UE--B3aIyEI/AAAAAAAAAWM/xXhUGYUv3RY/s320/drying+boots.jpeg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Boots drying in the sun</td></tr></tbody></table>Beyond just a great, and challenging, time in the mountains, the trail was a learning experience. &nbsp;While defining himself as someone who doesn’t plan things out ahead of time, Leif is a believer in constantly learning, from anyone and anything that is part of his path. &nbsp;He held this philosophy during his time volunteering with GVI, and took it with him while hiking the trail, building on things he first began to see in the Amazon: “far more important than the skills you'd memorize for a job interview, I learned to appreciate life on a far greater scale; I learned that the natural world is far more beautiful than I, a conservationist, first supposed; I learned that the bug that buzzes around my head has a story to tell as much as the bear that tried to share a shelter with me. That’s what you really take away from a program like GVI, and that’s what really stays with you.” <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yPmDu7PFYiE/UE--Bm_oaBI/AAAAAAAAAWE/JpZFLFg8QJM/s1600/deer+next+to+trail.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yPmDu7PFYiE/UE--Bm_oaBI/AAAAAAAAAWE/JpZFLFg8QJM/s320/deer+next+to+trail.jpeg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">A deer alongside the Trail</td></tr></tbody></table>His two most important lessons from the trail itself?<br /><i><br /></i><i>“What have I learned over the last 134 days in the woods? Don’t judge people, the best trail magic (help) came when I was least expecting it and from people I never expected it from. The most important thing I learned, though, was that we are all stronger and more capable than we think we are. I don’t think I ever really thought I'd get to Maine [when I was] in the south or even reach Katahdin, but I did, just by sheer grit and determination. We all can do what we want, as long as you believe in yourself, keep your wits about you and stay determined to finish.”</i><br /><br />Leif’s grit and determination makes him a hero in our book, and we want to take this chance to congratulate him on this incredible accomplishment, and to thank him publicly for his phenomenal effort in support of the GVI Charitable Trust and the work we do around the world. &nbsp;Way to go Leif!<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Vns9BJZeFsA/UE_DiBBZhKI/AAAAAAAAAW8/a07nmC05WyY/s1600/Katahdin_end+of+trail_GVI+shirt.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Vns9BJZeFsA/UE_DiBBZhKI/AAAAAAAAAW8/a07nmC05WyY/s320/Katahdin_end+of+trail_GVI+shirt.jpeg" width="240" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Leif at the end of the Trail, in his GVI Amazon t-shirt!</td></tr></tbody></table>For those of you thinking of undertaking similar grand fundraising challenges, some advice from Leif as to what worked for him on the AT:<br /><br />1) <i>Just do it! I had less than a month's planning for the whole adventure and just jumped head-long in. I know loads of people who planned for months in advance and found they didn’t enjoy it, and if you don’t enjoy something as massive as the trail, you won’t finish.<br /></i><br />2) <i>Another good one is actually not to make the fundraising the total focus of the adventure, don’t go for sponsorship, etcetera. I know others who fundraised in this way and got pledges of thousands and thousands of dollars for their hikes off businesses, etc., and they put themselves in a position where they HAD to finish... if they didn’t they didn’t get the money, and some of them were really, really hurting and even if they did finish... 4-6 months of suffering later... it kind of wasn’t worth it.</i><br /><i><br /></i><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QJ18wWxJ2zM/UE_DdRS0zAI/AAAAAAAAAW0/xZRiIPF9S-g/s1600/Katahdin+2_end+of+trail_GVI+shirt.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QJ18wWxJ2zM/UE_DdRS0zAI/AAAAAAAAAW0/xZRiIPF9S-g/s320/Katahdin+2_end+of+trail_GVI+shirt.jpeg" width="240" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">134 days trekking... what an achievement!</td></tr></tbody></table><div><br /></div>


BioBlitz Pt.3 - Canopy Mist Netting
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mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal">As part of our BioBlitz preparations at the end of the last phase, a group of GVI Amazon volunteers (myself included) assisted Lana – the avian field staff member – in setting up a canopy mist net to try and catch different bird species. &nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal">A mist net is somewhat similar to a badminton net, made of very fine strands and multiple layers, each with pockets to gently hold birds that have flown into the net.&nbsp; Nets are checked at regular intervals and captured birds are carefully removed, identified, measured and then released. &nbsp;&nbsp;Normal mist nets are about 3m high; the idea with the canopy net is to string the net high up in the trees to study canopy-dwelling species. After a few practice set-ups around base (the technique is a VERY complicated system of rope and pulleys), we set off to the road to find a suitable location, somewhere with two trees of equal heights with clear space in between to put the net up. Using an adapted methodology from a paper published in the 1960’s, we got our two hoist lines over some pretty high branches by a slow process of shooting a sock filled with sand up into the trees until we finally achieved our goal. Once these were up we could build the rope frame that would enable us to move the net up and down in order to get the birds out and all of this used a series of metal loops to hold it in place. After a long day we set off back to base, looking forward to trying it out the next day.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JxMTaR-vnfo/UEZgt3tiX3I/AAAAAAAAAVI/2iHeI-xI4Fw/s1600/canopy+mist+net.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JxMTaR-vnfo/UEZgt3tiX3I/AAAAAAAAAVI/2iHeI-xI4Fw/s400/canopy+mist+net.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Our rolled-up canopy mist net up in the trees, soon to be unfurled <br />(note the black line stretched across, marked with arrows)</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal">However, as with many science experiments, not everything goes as one would expect. The main problem we encountered was that at this height, it was difficult to keep tension in the net. We attempted to fix this using the limited resources we have at base. Six poles, some duck tape and some string later, we had a net that was tight enough that our catch would not see the net and also stay in the net once caught. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Having fixed our first issue, we reset the nets but unfortunately, we were thwarted again – despite our efforts at improvements we couldn’t move the net high enough to catch the toucans that seemed to live directly in our net vicinity! Instead, not wanting our hard work to go to waste, we decided to try and catch bats in the hopes of adding something new to the species list. This would also give us an opportunity to get an up-close look at these elusive creatures that normally just speed past our heads. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">We are still hopeful for toucans in the net someday soon, but until then we are satisfied with the large fruit bat that chewed a hole in the net!<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S2Uv_W4nTVw/UEZeV7Jh2RI/AAAAAAAAAU4/v31uvmBD5KM/s1600/P8034067.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S2Uv_W4nTVw/UEZeV7Jh2RI/AAAAAAAAAU4/v31uvmBD5KM/s400/P8034067.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Lois Mayhew – GVI Amazon Long-term Conservation Intern<o:p></o:p></i></div><!--EndFragment-->


BioBlitz Pt.2 -- The Glass Frog and My Face
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mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal">The race is on to find as many species as we can over one week! With tension mounting for weeks as we at GVI Amazon planned out the bio ‘blitzes’ the excitement finally began. One of the main events that I was most looking forward to was our Mega VES (visual encounter survey). This involved taking fifteen or so of our best spotters and sending them to search the most densely populated transect we have found, known only as VES A. Previously we had found 87 frog and reptile individuals on this transect with a team of just six spotters so we were eager for similar results.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0y2nvRGHrT0/UEZS_X0TSdI/AAAAAAAAATY/ZAJugLOrrkM/s1600/biobliz+Blog+Sateesh.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0y2nvRGHrT0/UEZS_X0TSdI/AAAAAAAAATY/ZAJugLOrrkM/s320/biobliz+Blog+Sateesh.JPG" width="320" /></a>Having fifteen people instead of the normal six we felt that on this night we would not leave a single frog, snake or lizard unseen. The VES started with quite a shock as we slid down the hill towards the start of the transect, Charlie (Assistant Base Manager) yells out “caiman!” At first I thought she must be joking – there’s no way a caiman would be out here without a stream. But sure enough there was a 2.5 foot caiman in a small creek. With the night off to a good start we plunged into the forest looking for more. We came across many of the usual suspects and diligently took vital measurements and photos of each new species. These will later be used to add to an online database called <a href="http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/gvi-amazon">iNaturalist</a> that compiles data from around the world. We also ran into some rarer species and a couple that had us stumped. The next day, after taking them home for a better look, we discovered that they were new to our species list – success!<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--GgKekd4Jm4/UEZTGLzFpFI/AAAAAAAAATg/vgkC4jRvKoc/s1600/biobliz+Blog+Sateesh2.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--GgKekd4Jm4/UEZTGLzFpFI/AAAAAAAAATg/vgkC4jRvKoc/s320/biobliz+Blog+Sateesh2.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BAsLGS5ATBg/UEZWd9zyhJI/AAAAAAAAAUI/2DWdcoP4wSQ/s1600/biobliz+Blog+Sateesh3.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BAsLGS5ATBg/UEZWd9zyhJI/AAAAAAAAAUI/2DWdcoP4wSQ/s320/biobliz+Blog+Sateesh3.JPG" width="240" /></a>A highlight for me, however, was probably when a glass frog decided he wanted to jump into my mouth. We found him on a leaf off which he jumped to land on my bag. As I looked down at him, he looked curiously back up at me with his big eyes and I could just see his thought process “hmm that dark place up there would be a good place to hide from these crazy people.” Then sure enough, he had jumped onto my face and was desperately trying to squeeze his way into my tightly shut mouth. After this effort failed he hung off my lower lip by his hind foot – a common position for a glass frog looking for a fight! <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NtVypzQuh2Q/UEZWjEJDybI/AAAAAAAAAUQ/i0_9bgICurU/s1600/biobliz+Blog+Sateesh4.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NtVypzQuh2Q/UEZWjEJDybI/AAAAAAAAAUQ/i0_9bgICurU/s320/biobliz+Blog+Sateesh4.JPG" width="240" /></a>When he detached himself and disappeared off in search of a better hiding place we moved on to find the concluding species of the night, an <i>Enyaloides laticeps</i> – a type of lizard known as a forest dragon – quite content on Charlie’s head. Overall it was a great night with some amazing encounters.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Sateesh Venkatesh – GVI Amazon Field Staff<o:p></o:p></i></div><!--EndFragment-->


Results are in!
<i>The BioBlitz update is finally here! &nbsp;The remote location of our base camp means that sometimes news takes quite a while to reach me here in Quito, where I post all these updates to all the GVI Amazon fans out there. &nbsp;My apologies for the delay, but I don't think you'll be disappointed! &nbsp;BioBlitz was fantastic, and once again, we want to send a huge thank you to all our alumni, friends, family and fans who donated in support of the community reforestation program in the Amazon -- your donations kept us going through this crazy week of survey madness -- THANK YOU! &nbsp;</i>&nbsp;<i>And a special thanks &amp; congrats to our top fundraisers, stellar volunteer Carl and GVI Amazon's newest base manager and queen of Candy Mountain, Charlie --- way to go!</i><br /><i>GVI Ecuador Country Director, Blaine Clarke &nbsp;&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><i><b><span style="font-size: large;">¡BioBlitz!</span></b></i><br /><br /><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> 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mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal">GVI Amazon’s BioBlitz was intended to be a week of non-stop survey activity for GVI volunteers to find new species for the Yachana Reserve species list.&nbsp; If we can give a comprehensive species list to the Yachana Foundation when we hand over the project in late September, we know we will have done the best job we can, and the species list will be an incredibly valuable tool for Yachana, in both their ecotourism program (employing large numbers of local people) and the education program as high school students continue to use the reserve as a hands-on science education center. Additionally, the BioBlitz was a chance to catalog many of the species here in the reserve and add them to the international iNaturalist wildlife database (<a href="http://www.inaturalist.org/">www.inaturalist.org</a>), and a fun way to raise money for our partner's community-focused reforestation program in the Amazon through the GVI Charitable Trust.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4BYp6KMbHEM/UDaXw_ezOFI/AAAAAAAAAS4/BB_LyhpLMX4/s1600/Paleosuchus+trigoatus+(6)+Charlie+4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-4BYp6KMbHEM/UDaXw_ezOFI/AAAAAAAAAS4/BB_LyhpLMX4/s320/Paleosuchus+trigoatus+(6)+Charlie+4.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">measuring a caiman for iNaturalist</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal">Even more, however, it was an opportunity to do things that we have always been curious about: how much would we see if we did a twenty-man (rather than the normal six) visual encounter survey? What comes to the waterhole at night? Is that muddy puddle a peccary wallow? What will we catch if we put a mist net high into the trees?<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-d_QXihmqxm4/UDaXZsau3wI/AAAAAAAAASg/xZDhwuvm4jQ/s1600/Bioblitz+-charlie+1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-d_QXihmqxm4/UDaXZsau3wI/AAAAAAAAASg/xZDhwuvm4jQ/s320/Bioblitz+-charlie+1.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Abdon and the hide-building crew in front of their work -- can you see it?</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal">And so it was that we, GVI Amazon volunteers and staff, entered BioBlitz week with an intrepid sense of adventure. Abdon, our Reserve ranger, built us a fantastically camouflaged hide of leaves at the waterhole; Lana and her team adapted a pulley system to hoist mist nets into the canopy; whiteboards were filled with schedules and plans; and we were ready to go. Seven, long sleepless days later what can I tell you? As I try to clear the fog from my eyes to focus on the screen, I can tell you we had fun. There were times when we had to draw strength from the fact that our friends and families donated money for the cause, just to get up and get out there again. We had to tell ourselves that a five hour walk in already-wet clothes after a four hour walk at the crack of dawn was a totally acceptable Sunday morning activity! <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GT8Bu56N6Zo/UDaXmJZGhxI/AAAAAAAAASo/9bAB9mbD2fI/s1600/Hylomantis+Hulli+(5)+Charlie+3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GT8Bu56N6Zo/UDaXmJZGhxI/AAAAAAAAASo/9bAB9mbD2fI/s320/Hylomantis+Hulli+(5)+Charlie+3.jpg" width="213" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">glass frog</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal">I can also tell you that the muddy puddle IS a peccary wallow (although we sadly have no photographic evidence); and I can tell you that a twenty-man VES – through the forest at night is a NIGHTMARE for the poor staff members trying to keep a track of everything – although we did see some beautiful rarely seen frogs and a bad-tempered caiman. Additionally, there are even <i>more</i> butterflies on the reserve than we realized; previously unseen bat species are what will fly into the tree-top and steam-spanning mist nets, and beautiful leafy hides wash away in storms! <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ExdcgxNZ9Pg/UDaX4c8H4PI/AAAAAAAAATA/EaGH7rkclS4/s1600/Vampyressa+thyone+(4)+Lois.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ExdcgxNZ9Pg/UDaX4c8H4PI/AAAAAAAAATA/EaGH7rkclS4/s320/Vampyressa+thyone+(4)+Lois.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">new bat species!</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Overall, BioBlitz was a great success. We saw some amazing things, explored our rainforest, registered 12 brand new species for the Yachana Reserve species list</b> (see the additions below)<b>,</b> <b>and raised over&nbsp;</b><span style="font-family: Times, Times New Roman, serif;"><b style="background-color: white;"><span style="color: #1c1c1c; line-height: 19px;">£1000 (GBP)</span><span style="color: #1c1c1c; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19px;">&nbsp;</span></b></span><b>for community reforestation and education in the Amazon!</b> And now it is time for bed.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Charlie Coupland, GVI Amazon Base Manager<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i></i><br /><i></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i></i><br /><i></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><u>Newly recorded species for the Yachana Reserve, from GVI Amazon BioBlitz 2012</u></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><u></u></b><br /><b><u></u></b></div><div 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font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> </div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Frogs<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Teratohyla amelie</i>(glass frog)<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Leptodactylus hyladactylus<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Pristimantis luscombei</i><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Mammals<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Mus musculus</i>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Vampyressa pusilla</i> (?) -- (A&nbsp; bat species – not vampire! – species to be determined)<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Butterflies<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal">Skippers:<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Urbanas simplicius<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Quadrus contueeralis</i><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal">Butterflies:<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Eunica norica<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Strynon bubastus <o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Hyposcada kena<o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Anteros acheus</i><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Reptiles<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Eunectes marinus</i> (baby anaconda! – technically, this guy showed up a bit before BioBlitz officially began, but we're including him as our first new species that kickstarted the week!)<o:p></o:p></div><!--EndFragment--><br /><!--EndFragment-->


The Early Bird
<br /><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">For those of us who don’t mind early mornings, getting up at 5:00 am, with the possibility of coming close to some birds of the forest, isn’t a hardship. A group of us walked up onto the ‘Ridge’, nearby GVI Amazon base camp, as the sky lightened and we saw the mist rising over the Rio Napo and swirling through the forest.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">We unfurled the mist nets and retreated to our temporary base and waited about 30 minutes before checking the nets – but no birds. This was repeated at regular intervals over the next few hours but we caught only one Blue Crowned Manakin – interestingly it had a band put on previously by GVI.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6AWx-_SDKVk/UCKiniUfu-I/AAAAAAAAASA/-49KQpy1EdU/s1600/pam+pic1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6AWx-_SDKVk/UCKiniUfu-I/AAAAAAAAASA/-49KQpy1EdU/s320/pam+pic1.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SIEIIjRc2rE/UCKioqExvRI/AAAAAAAAASI/DNOR-9YuEaU/s1600/pam+pic2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-SIEIIjRc2rE/UCKioqExvRI/AAAAAAAAASI/DNOR-9YuEaU/s320/pam+pic2.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">But by using a recorded call of a white-tailed Trogon (sounds a bit like a gull) we became focused on the responding call of a real White-tailed Trogon which came closer to us to investigate the source of the calling. We watched as it got closer to the net area, and although it didn’t get into the net, we were really thrilled to catch sight of both a male and a female above us in the canopy – we had a good view of the orangey underparts and the distinctive white tail with some bars.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">As the sun got stronger and evaporated the mist the bird activity increased and we saw a Roadside Hawk soaring on a thermal. Even more exciting was a beautiful Swallow Tailed Kite, with its long forked tail. So even though our netting was not as successful as we had hoped, we were certainly happy with the sightings we had. Well worth getting up early!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><i>Pam Lloyd, GVI Amazon volunteer</i></span></div>


Community Time in the Amazon
<i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Hi all, GVI Amazon BioBlitz news and updates will be online shortly -- we've been delayed due to internet connection problems at base camp, but in the meantime wanted to share with you all some great blogs from recent volunteers and interns about life at GVI Amazon -- enjoy! &nbsp;-- GVI Amazon</span></i><br /><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">If I had to choose one overall theme for this week at GVI Amazon, it would have to be community partners. &nbsp;On Wednesday morning, I had my first opportunity to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) at a local elementary school. &nbsp;That night, a group of local families and friend came over for dinner and a tour of the science museum volunteers and staff have created at GVI base camp. On Thursday, seven kids and three adults came from the nearby Agua Santa elementary school and spent the day at camp.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eDNunWFYjBI/UCGhAEbFA2I/AAAAAAAAARk/rvIUC-QWoLc/s1600/laura+other+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eDNunWFYjBI/UCGhAEbFA2I/AAAAAAAAARk/rvIUC-QWoLc/s320/laura+other+pic.jpg" width="180" /></a><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">I was a bit nervous for my first TEFL lesson, but the kids made it easy. They were so eager to learn and incredibly well behaved. Charlie and I taught the kids how to describe themselves and their friends with words like hair, eyes, mustache, fat, thin, and colours. After the lesson we had a two hour walk back to base through the jungle. Staff member Sateesh and GVI volunteer Mahalia went to teach at another nearby school, Rio Bueno, that same morning.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">Wednesday night we were able to have a group of locals -- interested in learning about GVI and the work we are doing in the rainforest -- over to camp for dinner and a tour of the on-site museum. It was really exciting to have so many new faces at dinner. Most of the volunteers enjoyed the opportunity to practise their Spanish skills. Everyone is already looking forward to seeing them again at our Sunday football game.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">On Thursday long-term conservation intern Vicky ran her Leadership project. She invited students and parents from the Agua Santa school to base for a day. We showed the kids a Blue Crowned Manakin (gorgeous bird) that Lana caught in a mist net; had them identify butterflies from our traps; and look at mammal pictures from an SD card from one of our motion-sensor camera traps placed in the forest. In the museum the kids got to make animal prints in the sand, learn about potential dangers in the rainforest, and look at butterfly wings under a microscope. Finally, lunch. Again we enjoyed the fresh faces at meal time.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-12U7TKN7YkM/UCGhBZTBnwI/AAAAAAAAARs/3lGu2Yb9Rbg/s1600/laura+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="180" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-12U7TKN7YkM/UCGhBZTBnwI/AAAAAAAAARs/3lGu2Yb9Rbg/s320/laura+pic.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">It was great to spend so much time with our community partners this week. Their interest in GVI’s work makes it seem even more worthwhile.<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;"><br /></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Georgia, Times New Roman, serif;">GVI Amazon Leadership Intern Laura Hartman</span><br /><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><i>Laura recently completed her own Leadership project with an incredibly successful presentation on snakes for the local community. &nbsp;After thoroughly researching the topic, she worked with the doctors at the local clinic (who recently arrived to the Amazon from Quito), helping them learn more about the effects of poisonous snakes found in the area, and different types of treatment. &nbsp; Laura then presented to a packed classroom, in Spanish, about poisonous vs. non-poisonous snakes, effects of different types of venom on the body, first aid for different types of snakebites, and what to expect when arriving for further care at a clinic or hospital. &nbsp;The community members were highly interested and full of questions, and extremely grateful to Laura for providing them the opportunity to learn -- way to go Laura!</i></span></div>


BioBlitz!
<br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;">Our last big CT hurrah! &nbsp;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 &amp; surveying like never before! &nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;">Thus, we present to you...</div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Byington; font-size: 17pt; line-height: 34px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">GVI BioBlitz&nbsp;Charitable Trust Challenge in the Amazon</span></strong><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 28px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><br style="margin-bottom: 0px;" /></span></strong><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">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!</span></strong><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 14pt; line-height: 28px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; color: red; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">July 19-25, 2012*</span></span></strong></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="color: #222222; font-family: Cambria;"><span style="font-size: 17px; line-height: 25px;"><b>Want to help? &nbsp;Donations for the community reforestation program can be made at&nbsp;</b></span></span><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 17px; line-height: 25px;"><span style="color: #222222; font-family: Cambria;"><b><a href="http://www.justgiving.com/GVI-Amazon-BioBlitz-2012">http://www.justgiving.com/GVI-Amazon-BioBlitz-2012</a></b></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: white; font-size: 17px; line-height: 25px;"><span style="color: #222222; font-family: Cambria;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NLvz6lKw4s4/T_dzswByj-I/AAAAAAAAAQM/QlUfQyifxFo/s1600/Cruziohyla.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NLvz6lKw4s4/T_dzswByj-I/AAAAAAAAAQM/QlUfQyifxFo/s320/Cruziohyla.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">What is a BioBlitz&nbsp;Challenge?</span></strong></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: left; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">5 days</span></strong><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&nbsp;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.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: left; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Hundreds</span></strong><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&nbsp;of species of birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, butterflies, and mammals to be added to the list, some of them potentially previously unknown to science.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: left; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">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?</span></strong></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Where will the money go?</span></strong><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&nbsp;GVI volunteers raise money in our Challenges by seeking sponsorship from friends, family, coworkers, your football buddies… anyone and everyone!&nbsp; 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.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Why add species to the Yachana Reserve species list?&nbsp;</span></strong><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">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. &nbsp;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.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Who will be a part of the challenge?&nbsp;</span></strong><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">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.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">*</span><em style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; line-height: 19px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">exact dates may change slightly depending on availability of Ecuadorian scientists/experts</span></em><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">This is an&nbsp;<em style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">extreme</em>&nbsp;challenge for an&nbsp;<em style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">extremely important</em>&nbsp;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.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">Tax-free donations can be made at&nbsp;</span></strong><b style="background-color: white; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 17px; line-height: 25px;"><a href="http://www.justgiving.com/GVI-Amazon-BioBlitz-2012">http://www.justgiving.com/GVI-Amazon-BioBlitz-2012</a></b><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; line-height: 1.3; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&nbsp;</span></strong></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">And yes, there will be a prize for the top fund-raiser&nbsp;</span></strong><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Wingdings; font-size: 16pt; line-height: 31px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">J</span></strong></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">(if you're donating for a specific volunteer, make sure to mention their name!)</span></strong></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="background-color: transparent; border: 0px; font-family: Cambria; font-size: 13pt; line-height: 25px; margin: 0px; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></span></strong></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WJdH2dI-m7M/T_dz9jLAJqI/AAAAAAAAAQU/vjAW1aDSKVk/s1600/CC_ocelot+front+shot.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="232" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WJdH2dI-m7M/T_dz9jLAJqI/AAAAAAAAAQU/vjAW1aDSKVk/s320/CC_ocelot+front+shot.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="border: 0px; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.3; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-align: center; vertical-align: baseline;"><br /></div>


Life in the Amazon
<br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">I call them magic moments. Those extraordinary instances when time stands still and one finds oneself completely and utterly transfixed by the wonder that is nature.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">As an onsite naturalist at a mangrove wetland in Barbados for 5 years I witnessed many such moments. By travelling across North America and visiting some of its more renowned national parks i was treated to tremendous natural spectacles. However never has the ratio of magic moments to hours spent in the field been quite so high as during my first week in the Amazon working for GVI.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_NP1XG9JgZI/T_dtVVCdMiI/AAAAAAAAAQA/Xjh4m8LfCus/s1600/ryan's+pics.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_NP1XG9JgZI/T_dtVVCdMiI/AAAAAAAAAQA/Xjh4m8LfCus/s400/ryan's+pics.jpg" width="225" /></a><span lang="EN-GB">The signs of the grandeur of this occasion became evident to me from almost the very moment of my arrival. Indeed I was awoken from a fitful sleep on my first night at base to the cries of “Boa!! Boa!!” Armed with little but my trusty head torch I cautiously descended my dormitory stairs to the sight of staff members carefully examining a recently captured 7.5 foot Red Tailed Boa. The beauty of this powerful, yet docile forest giant was overwhelming as red, orange and yellow iridescence reflecting from its scales seemed to dance in the glow of candles and torches. Not one to rest on my laurels, I found myself the very next night, traversing a forest stream at 10pm. I was struck by the stark realization that without a head torch I would be utterly helpless in such surroundings. The dense canopy prevents all but the brightest of moon/starlight from filtering through to the forest floor and as available light wanes we humans can be but mere visitors to this world. Eyes being useless, it becomes necessary to rely on other senses. Despite not being able to see my hand in front of my face, I soon realized that life was indeed abounding all around me – my every step was greeted by a chorus of grunts, chirps, whistles, thumps and tweets emanating from the throat pouches of several hundred overly amorous amphibians. This is to say nothing of the crescendo of insect calls: entomologists of the world – this is your playground!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">While I have found it difficult to sift through my myriad weekly experiences and finally settle on “the best of the best”, another that certainly must be mentioned is my first butterfly transect survey. These delicate beauties can be found throughout the forest, and are regularly enticed towards our traps which are filled with the somewhat curious concoction of bananas and rotting fish.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UR28dBXokas/T_dtUPYtbKI/AAAAAAAAAP4/Jwy45wToilw/s1600/ryan's+other+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UR28dBXokas/T_dtUPYtbKI/AAAAAAAAAP4/Jwy45wToilw/s400/ryan's+other+pic.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">Entering the first butterfly transect was an experience akin to stepping into another world. Enormous ferns, palms and other floral varieties seemed to swallow our search party in seconds. Dappled sunlight filtered through the dense overhead canopy as we advanced towards our first trap. To our unequivocal delight a giant Morpho had succumbed to the bait, and was awaiting inspection. For those of you who have not been fortunate enough to see one of these organisms before, allow your imagination to envisage an insect more comparable in size to a mid-sized bird than a moth, and picture the absolute bluest of blues adorning its wings. This is the Morpho in all its wondrous splendour. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">I now find myself in a position which provides me with the opportunity to bare witness to such spectacles of nature on a regular basis - deep in the heart of the amazon.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">This year – LIFE is going to be good!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><i>Ryan Chenery, GVI Amazon Field Staff</i></span></div>


INTERN CORNER: Woolly Monkeys
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mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">As a GVI Amazon long-term Conservation Intern, the last 12 weeks of the program are spent on a work placement, using the knowledge learned at GVI Amazon base camp to assist Amazon communities in conservation-focused research and education programs.&nbsp; I</span>’<span lang="EN-GB">ve been working for five weeks now at Sumak Allpa, known to all of GVI-ers as “Hector’s Island”, as the project is run by Amazon conservationist Hector Vargas, a long-time GVI partner and friend, who lives on the island with his family.&nbsp; Sumak Allpa is a non-profit foundation “working to preserve and support endangered indigenous peoples and their culture, language, and traditional way of life in the Ecuadorian Amazon region”; and is also “dedicated to restoring the environmental health of the seriously degraded jungle ecosystem and the wildlife that depend on it.” The work that I am doing is an exciting study on the behaviours of rescued and rehabilitating monkeys that have been released onto the island. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The aim of the study is to compare the behaviours of the rescued monkeys to known behaviours of wild monkeys to assess whether the protected island is a suitable location for such rehabilitations and then eventually whether the monkeys are ready to be released into the wild.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">I have thus been getting up early each morning to find the troop and note what they are doing, eating and other behavioural details. This research is being carried out simultaneously with a plant mapping project that looks at the type of forest the monkeys seem to prefer, and why. All this is being done with a view to publishing a paper on the subject sometime in the near future, to be presented by Sumak Allpa at the annual Ecuadorian National Biology Conference, contributing to the body of knowledge of primate rehabilitation and behaviour in the Amazon. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DzeEak0sA5s/T-N0wsSTypI/AAAAAAAAAPc/fudJQ-BIgt4/s1600/IMG_1868.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DzeEak0sA5s/T-N0wsSTypI/AAAAAAAAAPc/fudJQ-BIgt4/s400/IMG_1868.JPG" width="400" /></a><span style="background-color: white;">The troop is composed of seven monkeys (one male and six females) living in the wild within the confines of the island. They were each individually brought here as infants approximately five /six years ago. The dominant female was the first to be brought to the island sanctuary as a gift from the Waorani tribe with whom Hector lived for over a year. The dominant male was rescued by Hector when he was confiscated by the military at an airport! </span><span style="background-color: white;">&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: white;">They are only just reaching sexual maturity so any babies born now will be the first of a new generation to be born here on the island. It is therefore exciting to confirm that the dominant female is pregnant! This is an exciting and obviously promising natural behaviour.</span><span style="background-color: white;">&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">They didn’t have the best start in life but thanks to the work being done here these two lovely monkeys have a second chance at living freely and hopefully having lots more babies.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><i>Reena Bhavsar, GVI Amazon Conservation Intern, Jan - June 2012</i></span></div><!--EndFragment-->


Troubles of a Biologist in the Amazon
<br /><div class="MsoNormal">Here at GVI Amazon, in the rainforest of Ecuador, you’d think it would be the thought of coming face-to-face with a viper while scrambling up a steep ravine in the jungle… Or getting stung (again) by a bullet ant… Or facing another week of food without meat. But you’d be wrong. Do you know what keeps me up at night?</div><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>Unidentified frogs.<o:p></o:p></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">I would love to see another viper, getting stung by bullet ants always leave you with a good story, and I, carnivore, actually really enjoy our bean-based meals on base (we live with no electricity, so meat refrigeration isn’t possible).<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">However, some of the frogs we have been seeing lately have been troublesome, to say the least. It all revolves around one genus of frogs, <i>Pristimantis</i>, or the Rain Frogs. This is the largest genus of frogs in the world and is only found in the neotropics (tropical Americas) containing over 500 species. We currently have found 14 species in the Yachana Reserve, including <i>Pristimantis kichwarum, P. malkini, P. lanthanites, </i>and <i>P. altamazonicus</i> as our all-stars.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_1j0OtvqxPI/T9uQmwll5gI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/AZ8EbqbCDz4/s1600/Phil+T+blog+pic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="298" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_1j0OtvqxPI/T9uQmwll5gI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/AZ8EbqbCDz4/s400/Phil+T+blog+pic.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><div align="center" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">One of many unidentified <i>Pristimantis</i>. The orange/red groin suggests <i>Pristimantis condor,&nbsp;</i></span></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">currently only recorded in Peru.</span></div></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"></div><div class="MsoNormal">Throughout the Amazon, new species of <i>Pristimantis </i>are being found every year. We’ve recently found a species that has only been recorded in Yasuni National Park in Ecuador, <i>Pristimantis luscombei</i>, and our specimen may actually be a new species. In fact, many of the odd frogs we’re seeing are likely either new records for the region or new species to science entirely. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">The trouble begins here: resources. Coming from a background in entomology (the study of insects), lack of resources for merely identifying specimens is a well experienced situation. While groups like birds or butterflies, with nice colors and a (relatively) low number of species, tend to have guide books galore, groups of animals with more drab or less ‘exciting’ looks tend to be, well, overlooked. This leaves us to hitting articles and checking museum specimens which can be difficult to do in the middle of the rainforest with limited power.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3lw2UDNVLGM/T9uQmTgs_HI/AAAAAAAAAPI/UbjzwQfKt7U/s1600/Phil+T+blog+pic+1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="298" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3lw2UDNVLGM/T9uQmTgs_HI/AAAAAAAAAPI/UbjzwQfKt7U/s400/Phil+T+blog+pic+1.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><div align="center" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">Another unidentified <i>Pristimantis</i>.&nbsp;</span></div><div align="center" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt;">We’ve seen a couple with this ‘T’ stripe pattern on them and they remain a mystery.</span></div></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"></div><div class="MsoNormal">While frustrating, this in fact makes groups like <i>Pristimantis</i> an often more exciting group to work with. The fact that we may be discovering new species, or new records, makes every day in the forest one with unlimited potential. We’re working with our partners at the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales and other researchers at the Universidad Catolica in Quito to get to the bottom of our froggy situation. So don’t worry, we’ll sleep easy soon enough.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Phil Torres, GVI Amazon Base Manager</i></div><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><br />


Streamwalk Spotting
<br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">Four days after arriving at GVI base camp in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, I got to go out on my first nighttime stream walk. &nbsp;I thought it would be the most amazing thing cause I would easily see so many cool things. Well as the stream walked progressed I became very worried that my eyes were not the greatest at night, as animals weren't popping up left and right as I had expected. But all was not lost, as, about 3/4 of the way though, I suddenly spotted a nice bright pair of orange eyes peeping at me out of the water!!! &nbsp;</span><span lang="EN-GB">To my surprise it was an amazing Smooth Fronted Caiman (</span><span class="st1"><span lang="EN-GB" style="color: #222222;">Paleosuchus trigonatus), such a beautiful animal, this was defiantly a highlight of my stay at GVI Amazon!&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span class="st1"><span lang="EN-GB" style="color: #222222;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jp981qEiioY/T9EakUzOiII/AAAAAAAAAO8/QkUycyNo5Bw/s1600/Stream+photo.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jp981qEiioY/T9EakUzOiII/AAAAAAAAAO8/QkUycyNo5Bw/s400/Stream+photo.JPG" width="400" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span class="st1"><span lang="EN-GB" style="color: #222222;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span class="st1"><span lang="EN-GB" style="color: #222222;">After my first Visual Encounter Survey (VES) it became a lot easier because I became aware of what to look for. Night surveys and VES’s became my favourite type of surveys at the GVI program, no doubt they are the most fun and you get to see so many amazing amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. So what was the perfect way to end my expedition here? Going out on my second, and last, stream walk and spotting a caiman again! &nbsp;So amazing, and tops off my bittersweet departure from GVI Amazon, the most amazing experience of my life so far.</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #222222;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #222222;"><i>Samantha Jalabois, GVI Amazon volunteer, May 2012</i></span></div>


GVI Amazon -- what's the big deal?!
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UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">GVI Amazon has been more than a memorable experience. The Amazon faces challenges every day but thanks to places like GVI Amazon base camp, volunteers are able to contribute to valuable scientific research. The research conducted by us as volunteers acts as a catalyst ensuring conservation is at the forefront of everybody’s minds as we move into the new year. Being here has allowed me to experience first-hand, the issues that face the rainforest. It takes on a whole new significance that you do not feel when simply reading about it in a magazine or viewing the scenery through a documentary. It is more than just our contribution to research. The leaders here are knowledgeable and passionate and not afraid to have fun which makes for an inspirational and enjoyable atmosphere. The activities cater for many appetites. A personal favourite is the Night Walk. I won’t give too much away but I will say that you get to see the Amazon at its most active – adrenaline rush ensured! <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-k72RFhq54pU/T9EYjmYYYDI/AAAAAAAAAO0/eoPf3KmuaIk/s1600/Renee+Flack+-+Blog.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-k72RFhq54pU/T9EYjmYYYDI/AAAAAAAAAO0/eoPf3KmuaIk/s400/Renee+Flack+-+Blog.jpg" width="300" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">Day to day life on base can be made up of anything from handling birds in the mornings, identifying butterflies, setting up mammal camera traps out in the field and teaching the local school children during the course of the day, and then surveying the amphibians and reptiles of the night. There is also time to relax, read a book and listen to music in a hammock or take a walk to the waterfall and treat yourself to an Amazonian mud mask!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><i>Renee Flack, GVI Amazon volunteer, Jan-Feb 2012</i></span></div><!--EndFragment-->


Back to the Grind -- Grid cutting day
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mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">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.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">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.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DBJTE7DMqS0/T8pw42jsUVI/AAAAAAAAAOc/ZnFF58VXZXQ/s1600/Phil+primary+forest.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DBJTE7DMqS0/T8pw42jsUVI/AAAAAAAAAOc/ZnFF58VXZXQ/s320/Phil+primary+forest.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">gorgeous primary forest in the northwest part of the reserve</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">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.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gTABnMx0AVs/T8pw34YWBHI/AAAAAAAAAOU/ixUPE-P2Dl8/s1600/Phil+bird+nest.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gTABnMx0AVs/T8pw34YWBHI/AAAAAAAAAOU/ixUPE-P2Dl8/s320/Phil+bird+nest.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">bird nest</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">When we got back to the Laguna view point we found a dead Ornate Coral Snake (<i>Micrurus ornatissimus</i>) 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)!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">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!&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><i>Phil Brown, GVI Amazon Assistant Base Manager</i></span></div><!--EndFragment-->


The Babies and the Beast
<br /><div class="MsoNormal">It was the first night survey for the new group of volunteers and the conditions were prime. A rare six days of no rain followed by a couple days of heavy rain followed by a clear moonless night seems a perfect equation for encountering the beasts of the forest. The survey was an amphibian and reptile search in which we push 500m into the dense reserve off trail; this is part of a novel study measuring the effects of road disturbance in tropical rainforests. Any frog, snake, or lizard we see we identify, capture (if safe),&nbsp; weigh, measure, and of course release.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">What we ended up seeing most were, oddly enough, babies. From the start, we came across a juvenile <i>Enyalioides laticeps</i> Amazon Forest Dragon and a juvenile <i>Drymoluber dichrous</i>Common Glossy Racer. Both no more than a couple weeks old, both certified Amazon adorable.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--iZt-uxmncw/T8ptcFqft-I/AAAAAAAAAN4/ljoDkXeOjP0/s1600/Enyalioides+laticeps_juvenile.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--iZt-uxmncw/T8ptcFqft-I/AAAAAAAAAN4/ljoDkXeOjP0/s1600/Enyalioides+laticeps_juvenile.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><i><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%;">Enyalioides laticeps</span></i><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%;"> juvenile</span> </td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ySmtLbkuO5U/T8ptb3MU4bI/AAAAAAAAANw/jj-2HYfd9dE/s1600/Drymoluber+dichrous_juvenile.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ySmtLbkuO5U/T8ptb3MU4bI/AAAAAAAAANw/jj-2HYfd9dE/s1600/Drymoluber+dichrous_juvenile.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><i><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%;">Drymoluber dichrous</span></i><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%;"> juvenile</span></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal">The night of little guys didn’t stop there. Just as we hit our final 500m mark we saw something that was, according to volunteers present, “the cutest thing” they’ve ever seen. I could hardly disagree. While <i>Imatodes cenchoa cenchoa</i>, the Blunt Headed Tree Snake, is fairly common on the reserve, one this small stands out for sure. Likely only several days old; I think in the end we took over a hundred photos and named him Blunty.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NLGA3YbSrNc/T8ptc5Wy4WI/AAAAAAAAAOA/18F6C5nMsyE/s1600/Lil+Blunty.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NLGA3YbSrNc/T8ptc5Wy4WI/AAAAAAAAAOA/18F6C5nMsyE/s320/Lil+Blunty.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 17px;">Li'l Blunty</span></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;">With the survey was over, we tromped through a stream to get to the nearest trail to head back to base. Still excited about the finds of the night (the above plus about a dozen frogs), our Yachana Colegio student Henry yelled out “Caiman!”<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;">The group froze, waiting to see orange glow of the cat-like eyes of the caiman staring back at them. Seeing it submerge, I got in closer, removed a log, and stood over the almost perfectly blended caiman resting inches below in the water. Patiently, I scooped it up. All of our eyes widened as we saw the 1.2m size of the beast, further dwarfing the juvies from the night’s survey. <o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9tZmH62L3ZA/T8ptfl21TWI/AAAAAAAAAOI/lQ7SCBbYWqg/s1600/smooth+fronted+caiman.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9tZmH62L3ZA/T8ptfl21TWI/AAAAAAAAAOI/lQ7SCBbYWqg/s1600/smooth+fronted+caiman.jpg" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><i><span style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 17px;">Smooth fronted caiman: <br />not so smooth fronted, very caiman.</span></i></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal">With grins all around, we couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the night had been. To top it off, just as we hit the trail on the way home, we saw one more: a baby 9-Banded Armadillo. Pink, clumsy, and awkward.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Overall, an incredible night. Despite the fact that we didn’t make it back to base until midnight and some of us had to be up by 5am to do a bird survey, the volunteers and staff out in the night had such a good time we’d gladly sacrifice the hours’ sleep to do it again.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b>A little science info about the weather conditions:</b> When possible, many animals will coordinate activity based upon abiotic (weather, non-living factors) like rain, sun, and moonphase. This was seen throughout the Yachana Reserve these last few days, from termites and ants swarming in mating frenzies to a lot more calling bird activity around base. This trend is seen much stronger and much more often in temperate areas of the world, many species will coordinate all coming out from winter after the first day over a certain temperature or all go in for a winter’s hibernation after a certain shortened daylight period. It makes sense from an adaptation standpoint, there’s no sense in activating in the spring for an animal if there’s no other fellow creatures around to interact or reproduce with; some species only live for a few days so they could miss out all together if poorly timed. Here in the Amazon and near the equator we don’t get a ton of seasonal variation so any sudden change, like a few dry days into a wet day, can be used by animals as a ‘signal’ to all come out. Thankfully, we got to experience the best of it.<o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i>Phil Torres, GVI Amazon Base Manager</i></div>


New Mammal Species
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QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Sorry for the spoiler in the title but I am really excited!&nbsp; I recently took charge of the mammal project and so not only have the GVI camera traps become <i>my </i>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”. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">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.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xWwWBO_vwdk/T59KovdNIkI/AAAAAAAAANk/Sok4Qu8o8Qo/s1600/CC+Blog+2+raccoon.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xWwWBO_vwdk/T59KovdNIkI/AAAAAAAAANk/Sok4Qu8o8Qo/s320/CC+Blog+2+raccoon.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Only... it wasn’t actually a Cacomistle.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">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!&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">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!</span><o:p></o:p></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><i>Charlotte Coupland, GVI Amazon Field Staff</i></span></div><!--EndFragment-->


It's Chonta time!
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mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Over the last month or so there has been a lot of animal activity around base due to the presence of a Chonta palm (<i>Bactris gasipaes</i>) in the middle of our base camp. The palm tree produces grape like bunches of tennis-ball sized red fruit around this time every year. The ripening of these fruits has attracted the attention of mixed parrot flocks including Blue Headed Parrots (<i>Pionus menstruus</i>) and Dusky Headed Parakeets (<i>Aratinga weddellii</i>) in addition to the more commonly seen Oropendolas (<i>Psarocolius sp.</i>) and Caciques (<i>Cacicus sp.</i>). Volunteers and staff alike have been quick to grab their binoculars when there is bird activity around the tree, and parrot spotting has become somewhat of a competition!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Once these fruits find their way to the forest floor they are quickly devoured by Black Agoutis (<i>Dasyprocta fuliginosa</i>) commonly seen around camp and the less commonly seen Green Acouchis (<i>Myoprocta pratti</i>) and Nine Banded Armadillos (<i>Dasypus novemcinctus</i>). We placed one of our camera traps at the bottom of the tree and have recorded a high level of activity throughout the day and night.<o:p></o:p></span></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7Mn7l8vUGU0/T59IyV02-ZI/AAAAAAAAANc/ujHYsbuAhRk/s1600/Green+Acouchi.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7Mn7l8vUGU0/T59IyV02-ZI/AAAAAAAAANc/ujHYsbuAhRk/s320/Green+Acouchi.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Green Acouchi</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-p1IYRkzjBGc/T59IwicOgtI/AAAAAAAAANM/i9Hz2azRAFg/s1600/Chonta+Path+Repair.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-p1IYRkzjBGc/T59IwicOgtI/AAAAAAAAANM/i9Hz2azRAFg/s320/Chonta+Path+Repair.jpg" width="240" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Our extremely hard-working ranger, Don Abdon</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Chonta fruit isn’t only good for animals, it is a commonly eaten food by people here in Ecuador’s rural communities. The fruits are boiled like potatoes with a pinch of salt and often mashed. We have eaten Chonta here on base too when we have the expert culinary skills of local students completing work experience with us from the Yachana Colegio. Chonta can also be drunk and is fermented to make Chicha in Huaorani and Kichwa cultures. It is chewed and fermented to make this mildly alcoholic drink, strength can be adjusted depending upon the occasion – something to keep you going on a walk in the forest – or a party drink for the wedding of a family member!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The wood of the Chonta is also used to make small pathways around peoples land and up to their houses. Another Chonta tree recently felled and processed was used by our super hard-working reserve ranger, Abdon to repair our stretches of Chonta walkway. So this tree not only attracts wildlife right to our door step, it can feed us, make us merry and ensure that we don’t get muddy feet! An amazing tree, I hope you agree!<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-huFtMPAjsMo/T59IxDzhXaI/AAAAAAAAANU/vcvivH2qu4Q/s1600/Chonta+Path.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-huFtMPAjsMo/T59IxDzhXaI/AAAAAAAAANU/vcvivH2qu4Q/s320/Chonta+Path.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Philip Brown – Assistant Base Manager,&nbsp;GVI Amazon 2010 to Present</span></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></div><!--EndFragment-->


Nighttime in the Amazon
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font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Last night we went on our first VES (Visual Encounter Survey) at GVI Amazon in the Yachana Reserve. Most of the reptiles and amphibians that we see are nocturnal, so a VES always takes place after dark. We left just after 19:30 and walked to the start point. The surveys involve walking along transects perpendicular to the road and recording the measurements of the animals we see and their distance from the road. The research will be used to analyse the impact on species diversity of building a road through a tropical rainforest.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zUL1MQoL6LM/T59F3q9MNGI/AAAAAAAAAM0/V6DoJ-wtzoc/s1600/Poison+Dart+Frog.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="319" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zUL1MQoL6LM/T59F3q9MNGI/AAAAAAAAAM0/V6DoJ-wtzoc/s320/Poison+Dart+Frog.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">During the survey we saw two <i>Ameerega bilinguis</i>(Poison Dart Frog), <i>Enyalioides laticeps </i>(Amazon Forest Dragon) and an <i>Imantodes cenchoa</i>(Blunt Headed Tree Snake). While we were in the rainforest it began to rain very heavily and we had to turn back for our own safety, as tree falls are common in storms. Making our way up the muddy slopes in the rain was challenging and involved a lot of slipping and sliding, but we all made it back to the road safely!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FMCNIHXDED4/T59F2zUHeQI/AAAAAAAAAMs/xcm-sz45Lms/s1600/Green+Forest+Dragon.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FMCNIHXDED4/T59F2zUHeQI/AAAAAAAAAMs/xcm-sz45Lms/s320/Green+Forest+Dragon.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The walk along the road was amazing as flashes of lightening illuminated the sky as we walked. The weather in the Amazon is defiantly unpredictable but it makes the experiences so much more unique!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>JA</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/> 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mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> </div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Charlotte Stewart-Jones, GVI Amazon volunteer, April 2012</span><o:p></o:p></span></i></div><!--EndFragment--><br /> <!--EndFragment-->


Brand New Mammal Data
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QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">As the newest member of staff (at time of writing, not so anymore!) and fresh out of my Masters Degree course in Conservation, I arrived eager to sink my teeth into some science out in the field and leaving the computer behind. I was not disappointed as I was immediately set to the task of learning frog names while perched precariously upon subsiding muddy banks, mist netting techniques at dawn and bird calls with a bag on my back and the sun on my face – goodbye computer rooms, goodbye endless pots of tea, goodbye apologizing to the cleaners for leaving three days of fast food detritus over my desk.</span><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">&nbsp;When I was offered leadership of the mammal project, I was excited to get out there with our camera traps and bring in some good data but also keen to expand the project as we are unable to use the mammal data for the monitoring grid that has been put in place. The answer to my problem was a double edged sword – the road. One day a couple of us chanced upon a man with a laser measurer and discovered that they were bringing us a brand spanking new asphalt surface to the road (there will no doubt be a blog dedicated solely to the road in the near future). “Hurray!” I heard the communities cry as they dreamed of a mere three hour journey to the nearest town. Unfortunately for us this vision was a nightmare of chemical run-off, tree clearance, increased traffic, light pollution and more.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MVnh8Li5Aj8/T59BTZ8ZF_I/AAAAAAAAAMI/2eaSkkNHu5s/s1600/CC+Blog+1+armadillo.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MVnh8Li5Aj8/T59BTZ8ZF_I/AAAAAAAAAMI/2eaSkkNHu5s/s320/CC+Blog+1+armadillo.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">It also meant that we needed some data. We cannot stop the asphalt but we can measure the before and after effects in the hope that environmental impact mitigation will be taken seriously in the future. SO. Out went my traps (yes they are now mine.) To date we have only done one transect but that one transect has yielded some great results. Probably due to a combination of fantastic leadership and wonderful volunteers who were willing to act out an array of different animals so as to double and triple check that the camera angle was perfect, every trap yielded goodies. There was a greater abundance of photos the further from the road we went – lots of agouti - but as we got closer we began to see pacas, armadillos and at 0m from the road – a bloomin' ocelot! This bodes well for the future. Watch this space.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ad2yVr6Kn9g/T59BXHMiivI/AAAAAAAAAMQ/cEZs3pPse4U/s1600/CC+Blog+1+ocelot.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ad2yVr6Kn9g/T59BXHMiivI/AAAAAAAAAMQ/cEZs3pPse4U/s320/CC+Blog+1+ocelot.JPG" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Charlotte Coupland, GVI Amazon Field Staff</span></i></div><!--EndFragment-->


The GVI Amazon museo is now open!
<table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3SMVeR7-cWc/T59HG59BZ8I/AAAAAAAAANE/QsaDn3mhsVE/s1600/IMG_6951.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3SMVeR7-cWc/T59HG59BZ8I/AAAAAAAAANE/QsaDn3mhsVE/s400/IMG_6951.JPG" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">GVI Museo sign -- thanks to all the volunteers who contributed their artistic talent!</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">On Sunday we opened the <i>museo</i>(museum) for it’s first round of visitors – the students from Yachana Colegio. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">We’ve been working on the museo for the past few months, collecting specimens and preparing signs, ready to turn the classroom into a major focal point for the camp (although the kitchen will always be the most important!)<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">We often get students, tourists or local community members and schools coming to visit us, so the museo will play a huge role in telling them what GVI Amazon does here and about the biodiversity of the Yachana Reserve. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">We’ve got many specimens on show, including:<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"></div><ul><li><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">A 2-toed sloth skull and partial skeleton</span></span></li><li><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">Wax moulds of puma paw prints</span></span></li><li><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">A carcass of a Lined forest falcon</span></span></li><li><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">A juvenile coral snake</span></span></li><li><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;"><span style="font-size: 7pt;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></span><span style="text-indent: -0.25in;">A grasshopper mimicking a wasp</span></span></li></ul><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><div class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoListParagraphCxSpLast" style="mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -.25in;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">We also have a live specimen – Ronny the Rhino beetle!<o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jpmq93iOFgA/T59HF50JhdI/AAAAAAAAAM8/OGlJGxGq8ho/s1600/IMG_6730.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="300" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jpmq93iOFgA/T59HF50JhdI/AAAAAAAAAM8/OGlJGxGq8ho/s400/IMG_6730.JPG" width="400" /></a></div></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">We’re planning to use the posters and specimens as a mobile museum, taking them to our local schools for their science lessons. It’s really important for the communities to see the range of animals that live within the reserve, how vulnerable they are to change, and how they all interconnect with each other. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The rainforest is changing very quickly at the moment as outside pressures make their way to the area. The museo will help us give local people, students and visitors all the facts about the delicate habitats and animals on the reserve, and will hopefully encourage them to help protect it. <o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Liz Smith, GVI Amazon Short-Term Leadership Intern, January – March 2012</span><o:p></o:p></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><br /></i></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">*Country Director note:&nbsp; A huge thank you to all the GVI Amazon friends, family &amp; fans, and volunteers past and present who have donated to our various Charitable Trust campaigns and challenges.&nbsp; Donations to the GVI Amazon Charitable Trust through <a href="http://www.justgiving.com/project/1876296">JustGiving</a> (tax-deductible in the UK!) and <a href="http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/education-for-rural-amazon-communities/">Global Giving</a> (tax-deductible in the US) are used for rural education in the Ecuadorian Amazon.&nbsp; Charitable Trust donations allow us to purchase materials for environmental education in the local schools where GVI volunteers teach, and also allow us to support larger initiatives through our Amazon partner communities, such as the youth reforestation project at Sumak Allpa (Hector’s Island for those of you who have been with us before) and the camera trap research project between the Nongi Todogo high school and Huaorani Lodge in Huaorani (Waodani) community of Kewediono.</span><o:p></o:p></div>


Changeover week & a new mystery species!
<br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">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 (<i>Bothrops atrox</i>) and a Tiger Rat Snake (<i>Spilotes pullatus pullatus</i>). Both snakes caused a lot of excitement for most and disappointment for one – “I thought you yelled CAKE” said one sugar deprived volunteer.<o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Some of the weeks other highlights have seen the addition of a few species to the species list. A Cocta Whiptail Lizard (<i>Kentropyx altamazonica</i>), Luscumbe’s Rainfrog (<i>Pristimantis luscombei</i>) 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.</span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-A6g-idRaMy4/T583l0Vm3lI/AAAAAAAAAL8/u6uOtH2rU8Y/s1600/Bianca+unidentified+frog.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-A6g-idRaMy4/T583l0Vm3lI/AAAAAAAAAL8/u6uOtH2rU8Y/s320/Bianca+unidentified+frog.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">new unidentified species -- what's your guess?</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">The swamp is a very interesting habitat here as it holds several frog species that are found nowhere else on the reserve including <i>Dendropsophus bifurcus</i>. 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&nbsp;emphasizing&nbsp;the importance of this area. Let’s hope it continues!</span><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JW5uhqdgqaA/T583k7a5zKI/AAAAAAAAAL0/16xiAJcJLHo/s1600/Bianca+Dendropsophus+bifircus.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JW5uhqdgqaA/T583k7a5zKI/AAAAAAAAAL0/16xiAJcJLHo/s320/Bianca+Dendropsophus+bifircus.JPG" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Dendrosopsophus bifurcus</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><i>Bianca Op den Brouw, GVI Amazon Long-Term Intern, January - June 2012</i></span></div>


First Night Adventure
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mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-ansi-language:EN-GB;} </style><![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">Yesterday was my first day at GVI Amazon base camp after a two day journey from Quito (the capital of Ecuador) on local buses and a canoe. I had heard that the showers were cold here and I was dreading it. Around 9:30pm, I decided to it was time to take the plunge and go for a shower, as I wanted to go to bed soon.&nbsp;</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">Going down the stairs to the showers, the only light brightening up my path was my head torch. I was being careful, looking around to make sure nothing dangerous was in my path. As soon as I got to the showers. I saw a snake on my right hidden from above by a dip in the ground. &nbsp;It was curled up and not moving about two meters away from me!</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_-9gUABQB04/T578RpCDOPI/AAAAAAAAALg/2LhG0TyjUKc/s1600/Chrystine+Bothrops+atrox.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_-9gUABQB04/T578RpCDOPI/AAAAAAAAALg/2LhG0TyjUKc/s320/Chrystine+Bothrops+atrox.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NHjc8JM22vI/T578SK29fuI/AAAAAAAAALo/AmvEeuWdZS4/s1600/Chrystine+Snake+Catching.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><br /></a>I decided to postpone my shower and tell the staff team, as earlier that evening we had received a presentation entitled The Dangers of the Amazon, which included information about snakes. As soon as I told them about it, they quickly came down to assess the situation.&nbsp;</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NHjc8JM22vI/T578SK29fuI/AAAAAAAAALo/AmvEeuWdZS4/s1600/Chrystine+Snake+Catching.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="240" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-NHjc8JM22vI/T578SK29fuI/AAAAAAAAALo/AmvEeuWdZS4/s320/Chrystine+Snake+Catching.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">It turns out the snake was the biggest Fer-De-Lance (<i>Bothrops atrox</i>) that had been seen on the reserve in recent years. This was indeed one of the deadly poisonous snakes that we had talked about in our presentation, so the staff went about catching it with tongs, putting it in a secure plastic bin and removing it from camp. I feel lucky I had the chance to see it, and on my first night at camp. I wonder what other adventures are in store….</div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><i>Chrystine Cadieux, GVI Amazon volunteer, February-March 2012</i></span></div><!--EndFragment-->


Jungle Chocolate!
<br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><b>This week I made chocolate. Real 100% dark Ecuadorian chocolate! Everyone was really excited because apparently I’m the first person to finish the while process. This therefore, is a step-by-step guide to the chocolate making process which may come in handy if you decide to join us out here at GVI Amazon base camp.</b><o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Step 1: Pick the right cacao pod!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Our base camp is located within secondary forest so cacao trees are scattered all over but finding a ripe cacao is not that easy. Luckily I had Abdon – the coolest park ranger ever, who works with GVI Amazon in the Yachana Reserve – to help me find some ready to be picked. They turn from green to red to yellow to green so when they are yellow/green they are ready to pick. <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Step 2: Fermentation.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Cut the pods in half and take out all the beans. Place them in a sealable box and leave them in a cool dry place for three days. I left them in the bodega (our food storage area; <i>bodega</i> means storeroom or warehouse in Spanish).<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Step 3: Drying.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Rinse the fermented seeds and place them on a flat tray covered in tin foil (shiny side up). Leave outside to dry for three days preferably under cover in case it rains – it rains a lot here!&nbsp; We have a drying area for clothes which lets the light and heat in but not the rain, so I left it there.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6PJSzZetDeo/T5YHu1-AtoI/AAAAAAAAALY/rVTmkWQ-kgU/s1600/Reena+Pic.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="400" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6PJSzZetDeo/T5YHu1-AtoI/AAAAAAAAALY/rVTmkWQ-kgU/s400/Reena+Pic.jpg" width="298" /></a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Step 4: Roasting.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Pick out the good beans after they’ve dried and and dry roast them in a frying pan until crispy. The skin should crumble off when you squeeze the bean. Henry, an Ecuadorian student from the Yachana school, was helping me because he said that his Mum makes him chocolate like this. He said that the beans should be really hard, then they are ready.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Step 5: Crushing.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Peel all the skin off the beans and then grind them. We don’t have a grinder here so we had to improvise. Naren, another GVI Amazon volunteer, discovered a way. We used rocks to smash the beans into smaller pieces and then a rolling pin against the hard tiled surface i the kitchen to crush them some more and finally into powder. It smelled amazing! It was 100% chocolate!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Step 6: EAT IT!<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">I couldn’t decide what to do with it for a couple of days. I was really excited at all the possibilities! Cakes. Brownies, biscuits, hot chocolate, the list is endless. In the end I kept it simple with a chocolate sauce with fruit and biscuits. Delicious! <o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">The next batch is fermenting in the bodega as you read this. I wonder what to make with it...<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><i><span style="font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Reena Bhavsar, GVI Amazon Long Term Conservation Intern, Jan-June 2012</span></i></span></div>


CALL TO ACTION: DISASTER RECOVERY FOR 11,000 PEOPLE IN FIJI
<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px;">GVI Charitable Trust is collecting donations for disaster recovery in Fiji. &nbsp;Please donate today at&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #666666;"><span style="line-height: 20px;"><a href="http://www.gvi.org/disaster-recovery-fiji">http://www.gvi.org/disaster-recovery-fiji</a>&nbsp; &nbsp;S</span></span></span><span style="color: #666666; font-family: arial;">ince the appeal was launched last week, d</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #666666;"><span style="line-height: 20px;">onations have been steadily trickling in</span></span></span><span style="color: #666666;"><span style="font-family: arial;">&nbsp;to help our friends in Fiji; please help us keep it coming as they are desperately in need of some assistance. The GVI Fiji field team is busy diverting volunteers from their normal duties to disaster recovery work, and need additional funds food and water, for shovels, gloves, and equipment to clear up the mud and debris, wood for house repairs, and school repairs. </span></span><span style="font-family: arial; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #666666; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 20px;">Read on for more info on the flooding and the recovery projects you will be supporting with your donations. &nbsp;Please tweet, post to facebook, email your friends -- help us spread the word.</span><br /><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><span style="color: #666666;"><span style="line-height: 20px;"><br /></span></span></span><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-q5icNo4c1cs/T4h4tHdocoI/AAAAAAAAALQ/gOG1byQ26go/s1600/nadi-from-the-air_Fiji+flooding+april+2012.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="265" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-q5icNo4c1cs/T4h4tHdocoI/AAAAAAAAALQ/gOG1byQ26go/s400/nadi-from-the-air_Fiji+flooding+april+2012.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">The flooding in Nadi as seen from the air</td></tr></tbody></table><span style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">On Friday the 30th of March 2012, the Western Division of Fiji&nbsp;experienced&nbsp;some of the worse flooding in recent history. Today over 11,000 people are living in basic evacuation centres, their homes destroyed by flood waters. Thousands are without electricity and running water. Many people lost their&nbsp;livelihoods&nbsp;and homes in a matter of hours without warning. Supply chains have been disrupted, buildings destroyed and infrastructure damaged, and there are fears that water born diseases will result in a health crisis.</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Thousands of Fijians have been affected by the floods; many have been forced from their homes or have lost their livelihoods and the education of tens of thousands of children is under threat. When the waters finally recede, people will return to their homes and communities, where they will face a long, slow rebuilding process. The number of people at evacuation centres continues to increase, and health authorities in the Western Division have expressed concern that overcrowding and unsanitary practices could lead to an outbreak of disease.</span></span><br /><span style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></span><br /><br /><div style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Working with local groups and organizations, GVI Charitable Trust aims to provide support for recovery projects throughout the affected areas which will help to rebuild devastated communities, helping people to get back on their feet and on with their lives. Some of the key areas that the funds will aid are:</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Health initiatives to help reduce the opportunities for the development of water born diseases</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">-&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Support the Evacuation Centre&nbsp;support&nbsp;in distribution of food and logistics</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">- &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Support of both young and elderly community memebers</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">- &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Village clean up crews</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">- &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Rebuilding of schools and community centers</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">- &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Business recovery support</span></div><div style="background-color: white; color: #666666; line-height: 20px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><br /></span></div><div style="background-color: white; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="color: #666666; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; line-height: 20px;">Tax-free donations can be made at&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: transparent; line-height: 20px;"><span style="color: #666666; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><a href="http://www.gvi.org/disaster-recovery-fiji">http://www.gvi.org/disaster-recovery-fiji</a></span></span></div><div style="background-color: white; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="line-height: 20px;"><span style="color: #666666; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">Please donate today.</span></span></div><div style="background-color: white; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 5px;"><span style="line-height: 20px;"><br /></span></div>


INTERN CORNER: Sumak Allpa/Hector's Island
<i><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">INTERN CORNER is a special space in our blog dedicated to the work of GVI 6-month Conservation Interns while on their work placements here in Ecuador. &nbsp;Our Conservation Interns spend 10-12 weeks on base, receiving training in our fieldwork methodologies and species identification, as well as receiving EFR first aid &amp; CPR training; GVI certification in Biological Survey Techniques and Leadership; weekly meetings and 1-on-1 time with a GVI staff mentor; 40 hours of individual Spanish lessons in the highland town of Otavalo while living for 2 weeks with a local family; and a 10-12 week work placement within the GVI staff team or with our partner communities and organizations within remote areas of the Amazon! &nbsp;If you're interested, check out the Conservation Internship and apply today:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/conservation-internship-ecuador">http://www.gvi.co.uk/programs/conservation-internship-ecuador</a></span></i><br /><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span><br /><h3 style="text-align: center;"><b><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Sumak Allpa: Monkey Rehabilitation in the Amazon</span></b></h3><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8lNWN3wV3X8/T4N-qCB-OdI/AAAAAAAAAK8/ngb16ZXr0iM/s1600/bbymonkey1-ml.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="213" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8lNWN3wV3X8/T4N-qCB-OdI/AAAAAAAAAK8/ngb16ZXr0iM/s320/bbymonkey1-ml.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><i>Photo credit: Robert Christian, GVI Intern</i></td></tr></tbody></table><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"></span><br /><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"></span></div><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: right; margin-left: 1em; text-align: right;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-z3kt_lGVkwo/T4N-nozq0VI/AAAAAAAAAK0/Pqb0kBzSwyU/s1600/bbymonkey3-ml.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-z3kt_lGVkwo/T4N-nozq0VI/AAAAAAAAAK0/Pqb0kBzSwyU/s320/bbymonkey3-ml.jpg" width="213" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><i>Photo credit: Robert Christian, GVI Intern</i></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">One sunny afternoon on Hector’s Island, Hector sailed into port with a mystery box. He brought it to shore, opened it up, and out shot two little brown balls of fluff , heading straight for the nearest tree. The newest, and cutest, residents of Hector’s Island are a pair of six-month-old woolly monkeys. These boys, just two of the many victims of the illegal pet trade, were found at Coca market, for sale at a mere $20 each. One visit to the vet’s, a good clean up, and a dose of anti-parasitics later, and they were given the all clear to start their new lives on Hector’s Island.<o:p></o:p></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">Our two boys have been given a second chance to live normal woolly lives, but many others are not so lucky. The illegal pet trade, excessive bushmeat hunting, and habitat loss and degredation, combined with a low rate of reproduction, have resulted in woolly monkeys becoming critically endangered, and locally extinct in increasingly large areas of the Amazon.</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L-ORM6euErg/T4N-tJ84ZbI/AAAAAAAAALE/i29WMUX3i9c/s1600/wooly+male-sml.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="212" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L-ORM6euErg/T4N-tJ84ZbI/AAAAAAAAALE/i29WMUX3i9c/s320/wooly+male-sml.jpg" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><i>Photo Credit: Robert Christian, GVI Intern</i></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;">On Hector’s Island, or Sumak Allpa, as it is officially named, rescued monkeys live freely, without cages or fences, until the time comes when the population is able to support itself, at which point the monkeys will be released back into Yasuni National Park. But for now, our little woollies are thriving on a natural woolly diet, and acting like kings of the jungle. We’re looking forward to the day that they’re brave enough to venture into the forest to meet the rest of the woollies, though they’ll quickly be put in their place by the big boss of the group!</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><i><br /></i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><i>Claire Armstrong (text) and Robert Christian (photos), GVI Conservation Interns, Sept 2011-Mar 2012</i></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><span style="font-family: Times, 'Times New Roman', serif;"><br /></span></span></div>



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