Monday, June 27, 2011

Incidentals Project - Phase 112

Phase 112 has been another successful phase for the Incidentals project. This phase we have had 2636 records, with 158 species recorded. I think that we will all agree that is a huge numbers of records from expedition members, when not even on survey!

The top species by class were as follows;

Amphibians – Marine Toad

Birds – Great Kiskadee

Mammals – Mantled Howler Monkey

Reptiles – Four-lined Whiptail

(Top amphibian - the marine toad)

Top species per zone were;

Base – Great Kiskadee

Beach – Striped Basilisk

Coconut Plantation – Montezuma Oropendola

Dense Forest – Mantled Howler

Estuary – Little Blue Heron

Flyover - Brown Pelican.

(The beaches top sighting - a striped basilisk)

The Mantled Howlers are a top species due to their vocalization, they have an extremely loud which can be heard over a great distance. The Montezuma Oropendolas nest in a colony, all building their nests in one tree. They have built such a colony just outside of base meaning they are seen frequently. It will be interesting to see if they disappear overnight in a similar fashion to last year.

Phase 112 has been amazing for sightings of Jaguars. They are notoriously illusive but we have had a total of 10 sightings, and seen 12 Jags. Obviously we have encountered the same Jags multiple times as we do not have 12 individuals in the area. Last phase we saw 0 Jags and while based at Caño Palma, for 5 years, there were 10 Jags seen. The question remains whether this trend will continue or we have just been lucky.

We have also had several new species which have not been recorded on the Incidentals project before this Phase. These are; Baird’s Tapir, White Tailed Deer, Long-billed Starthroat, Yellow-bellied Elaenia and Melodious Blackbird.

Big thanks to all the volunteers, this project depends on keen volunteers with a permanent eye on the wildlife.