Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hot Tropics

Our volunteers jumped straight into training this week. They attended presentations on turtle conservation and biology, night and morning protocol for turtle walks, camera trapping, jaguar walks, mammal track identification and emergency care, not to mention learning to identify the thirty study species for our canal bird survey. When reminded of her first day at the station 5-weeker Alex said “That was at least a year ago”. Not every hour was spent studying however. Everyone got the chance to go out in the boat to see some of the study species in action. Spotted on the canals were Limpkin, Tri-Colored Herons and the ever-present Northern Jacana. “It was brilliant” said Abi “I like being able to get out and do things”. Also breaking up time spent learning in the kitchen was a walk on the station’s boundary trail looking for mammal tracks. Not only were Red Brocket Deer and Ocelot tracks observed, a heard of at least twenty White Lipped Peccary charged across the path. “I’ll sit training in the heat every day if I get to see more of that,” said Shelbi “It gave me goose bumps.” Andres summed up the week saying “Everything turned out to be fantastic when Josh turned to me and said ‘Hey man, this is way cooler than I thought it would be’. We have eager volunteers with a passion that reminds me what it was like to study Biology”