Sunday, November 22, 2009

That's why they call it the Rainforest!

Recent heavy rain at base has let our volunteers know why the rainforest is named the rain forest! With the rainfall peaking at 144mm in a 12 hour period, an eager eye was kept on canal depth for fear of flooding and evacuation. So far the rising canal has been taunting staff and ensuring they are kept on the alert - only to subside a few hours later.

This time last year the base was evacuated for 6 days, which put a stop to
data collection.

“Just thinking about 6 days in Tort with no surveys is horrific!” said Dave, a
10 week volunteer. “It would be fun for a day, but I think we would all want
to get back on track.”

On the up side, the rising water has brought a torrent of wildlife into camp.
A green heron (Butorides viriscens) was spotted fishing for our lost pond fish,frogs can be heard with increasing intensity (though the source is proving to be highly elusive for staff members Jess and Rich) and our COTERC base manager Mike found a caiman loitering on the board walk: “Crikey, he was a whopper!” said Mr Dundee (AKA Mike).

Meanwhile, GVI’s bird surveys continued with increasing uncertainty as volunteers battle against channeled water, and community work has become a rather treacherous affair.

“The path to San Francisco is no longer just muddy, the water is far beyond welly level.” said Anja after returning from a very damp community excursion.

The rain may try to stop us, but volunteers and staff agree that it will have to try harder to put a dampner on life at base!

(Water levels have now returned to normal)