Species Discoveries, Exciting Sightings And A Fortnight Of Fun - Read The Latest Update From The Bolivia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Species Discoveries, Exciting Sightings And A Fortnight Of Fun - Read The Latest Update From The Bolivia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on 8th Aug 2017

It’s been a little while since we heard from our friends at the Bolivia Wildlife Sanctuary, but media intern Bethan has been kind enough to sit and write down some of the top achievements and updates from the jungle! Check out this latest update from the team…

Highlights of the Fortnight

'Recently, we welcomed a new group of volunteers to the camp, who will be staying with us from 2 weeks up to 3 months. They’re an enthusiastic bunch, and have gotten stuck in with work as well as bonding well with each other!

They've been out in the field day and night, taking part in our tropical ecology research projects; helping our field researcher, Claudia, to find bats' roots as part of her independent research; visiting our community projects (here, they met the inspiring Reynaldo, who drives our sustainable initiatives!); they've been taking part in environmental debates; joining Spanish classes and Spanglish conversation sessions with our Peruvian staff; and they've been attending presentations – from learning about the social, economic and environmental history of Manu Biosphere Reserve, to the challenges facing conservation communications.

A couple of highlights from the new volunteers' experiences this fortnight include:

1. A visit to the Shintuya native community, to jump off the waterfall and have a dip in the hot springs!

2. Camping in the middle of the jungle with our field researcher, Diego, who's a bird expert. Some top moments from the trip were spotting a water opossum, an armadillo, and the terrifying-looking Tailless Whip Scorpion!

Our resident sloth was back to welcome the new volunteers and interns to camp, hanging from her favourite cecropia tree, giving the group daily sightings and great photo opportunities.

Last week, a team of volunteers built a new biogarden for a family in the community. We're planning to build 12 more biogardens by the end of the year, and the support of our volunteers will be essential in reaching this target.

We welcomed our former staff member, Jennifer Serrano Rojas, back to the project. She'll be with us for a month, using her expert field knowledge to assist a team of film-makers as they shoot wildlife footage for an upcoming documentary. The volunteers have been fascinated by learning about Jennifer's research work on the Poison Dart Frog (Ameerega shihuemoy), a species new to science that our team had discovered previously!

Our main wildlife highlights from the week were the regular sightings of Peruvian Spider Monkeys: this is very special, as they are an endangered species and we're really honoured to provide a safe-haven for them at the reserve. Our research team have recorded a new bird to our reserve species list: the Blackish Rail. This is a great find and it's amazing to think that, after 10 years of research, we're still recording species that we didn't know existed here!

It's also been a busy week for snake sightings: the new volunteers were delighted to find a Common Blunt-Headed Tree Snake during a night survey, and they learnt how to record data on the species. Reptiles are a really understudied group, so collecting data is really important to advance scientific knowledge. Additionally, we also caught some incredible footage on our camera traps: a beautiful small cat known as an ocelot, which regularly visits our biogarden at night.’

We can’t wait to hear more from the team at the wildlife sanctuary, and we’ll be sure to find out more about their exciting new discoveries – including the Poison Dart Frog that Bethan mentioned above! If you’d like to take part on this incredible rainforest adventure, head to our project page now to find out more.


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