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GVI Amazon Monthly Achievement Report - April 2012

GVI Amazon Monthly Achievement Report - April 2012

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Published by: GVI_Amazon on Sep 27, 2012
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11/20/2013

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MonthlyAchievementReport30
th
April2012Ecuador-AmazonHubCasestudy:CameraTrappingSuccessIn2011,theGVIAmazonteamofstaffandvolunteerslaboriouslyundertookasand-paddingprojecttobetterknowwhatmammalstheYachanaReserveheld.Overaperiodofmonthstheyluggedsandoverchallengingterrain,laiditout,sheltereditasbesttheycouldfromthevastquantitiesofrainexperiencedintherainforestandnotedthefootprintsleftbytheforest’smostelusiveanimals.Thismethodprovedtobetrickyandinefficientinsuchaclimate,anditwasclearthatinordertoproperlymonitortheReserve,cameratrapswereneeded.Oncearrived,GVIAmazon’sfirstsetofcameratrapswereputoutwithbaitsuchascologneatpointsofinterestwithintheReserve,withvaryingsuccess.Itwaswiththestartofthenewyear,however,thatthingsturnedaround.Newsreachedthestaffthatthegovernmentwasplanningtotarmactherocky,dirtroadthroughtheReserve.Thiscausedmuchconcernastheaffectsoftheassociateddestruction,chemicalrun-offandincreasednoiseandlightpollutioncouldbehuge.Itwasthusdecidedthatiftheresurfacingoftheroadcouldnotbestoppedthendatafora‘beforeandafter’comparisonshouldbegatheredasevidencetodeterthedevelopmentofsimilarprojectsinthefuture.Suchdatahadpreviouslybeencollectedforamulti-taxastudyonedgeeffectsthatiscurrentlybeingeditedforpublication.However,duetothefactthatthecameratrapswereanewsurveytechniqueforGVIAmazon,therewasnodataformammals.Volunteersandstaffalikeenjoyeddevisingthemethodologyandlearninghowtousethetraps.Previousstudiesshowthatmammalsfrequentlyuseman-madepathsandthatcamera-trapstudiessuchasoursweremostsuccessfulwhenthecameraswereplacedalongthesepaths.Assuch,fivetrapsatatimeweresetupatdifferentdistancesfromtheroadalongthepreviouslyestablishedaccesstrails.Theresultssincethenhavebeenverypleasing;fivetransects-approximately4200cameratraphours–havebeencompleted;twotrapshavecaughtocelots(
Leoparduspardalis
)onfilm;thedatabasenowhassomegood-qualitypicturesofnine-bandedarmadillos(
Dasypusnovemcinctus
),BlackAgouti(
Dasyproctafuliginosa
)andpacas(
Cuniculuspaca
);andaspeciesnewtotheYachanaReserveSpeciesList–theCrab-eatingRaccoon(
Procyoncancrivorus
)–hasbeencapturedoncamerathreetimes.Nevertheless,despitesuchresults,therehavebeenhitchesalongtheway.Thecameras,thoughwaterproof,donotseemtobesurvivingtheharshhumiditytowhichmanyofourelectronicshavesuccumbed.Datacollectioniscurrentlypausedaswetrytofixafewofthemandinthemeantimewearemovinginanewdirection.Currently,fortheremainingcameras,canopycamerabaittrapsarebeingconstructedandallinvolvedareexcitedaboutthepotentialresults.

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