8 Fundación Fauna de la Amazonía – November 2017 Update

There has been a deal of sunshine and some spectacular thunderstorms during November. During the storms which can appear overhead without warning, the thunder echoes throughout the mountains and valleys around the land and is sometimes focussed in the small valley in which we are located, and occasionally the lightning sizzles past, very close by! Of the two seasons available here in Pastaza (summer and winter), this is allegedly winter – however as the temperature can sometimes reach over 36C it is not like winters elsewhere. However, it can also be quite cool at times, and very wet, of course!

At last almost all the small trees in the tree nursery have been planted out – mostly on the sides, and close to, the new entrance from the main access road. As the nursery was well-past its use by date (the support posts were crumbling!), it has been dismantled and a new area will be set up for future seed culture and specimen growing.

General maintenance has continued – including the usual path clearing, removal of overcrowded plants, clearing the shower area of the ever-invading low-growing grasses, cleaning and tidying around the quarantine/clinic and clearing some of the ditches/gullies, etc. Keeping a presence on the land itself is important so that there is less chance of land invasion and tree robbery.

There were many fallen branches, partly due to the storms, and several have been re-placed on other trees where the orchids and bromeliads, etc can reattach themselves and hopefully survive.

While walking along the new path, an Olive Whipsnake (Chironius fuscus) was seen crossing and conveniently stopped to enable us take a few photographs. It was not particularly delighted by our presence however, and soon sped off into the undergrowth nearby.

We also found a very interesting and beautiful burrowing beetle which had several of what appeared to be ticks attached to it (check out the photos if you have time). These may or may not be parasitic, however we are not able to investigate further at the moment and so we released the beetle once the brief photo session was over.

We are awaiting the return of some of our long-term volunteers who are elsewhere at the moment, and we look forward to their arrival.