Friday, April 15, 2011

Let Surveys Begin – 10/04/11

It’s been a long, hard training week culminating in testing of all the volunteers looking to take part in GVI Costa Rica’s surveys. However, 9 days after arriving we have reached our first surveys and our 16 long term volunteers are raring to go. Below is a photo of the Jalova team for the first weeks of the phase:

Dave W, 6 month intern on placement as a staff member on base, had the honour of leading the first bird survey, on Caño California. He was joined by fellow staff member Sonja and volunteers Tim, Connie, Trent and Ian. It was a great survey to settle the new birders into the flow of identification. Many species were seen that we had already spotted on our initial foray into the canals during training week.
Also, a team of nest checkers went out to see the status of our 2 previously marked marine turtle nests. The team were excited when they spotted the flagging tapes of a nest marked the previous night by the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s (whom we do the work for) Research Assistants. Fortunately our other marked nests were still natural. Fingers crossed, our first poaching activity of phase will not be for many nights.
The Biodiversity Assessment carried on as well, with a team of intrepid identifiers working their way down the North Trail to mile 15. Luck was not with them as a fallen tree halted progress shortly after mile 16, but fortunately all was not lost as we can use this data from the first section of the transect. This shorter survey length didn’t stop the team spotting a Tayra (Eira barbara), a species that we only spotted once during all of phase the last phase.
It was certainly a great first morning to our surveys and it whets the appetite for more to come. Night walks begin tonight and we hope that the group see a leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) as João leads them down to mile 14 (the most active area of the whole 22 miles of beach).