Yanachaga Chimillén National Park (07.01.2012 to 09.30.2012)

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Year: 
2012
Quarter: 
July - September
Communications activities: 

Rodolfo Vásquez, administrator of the Yanachaga site, and Rocio Rojas, MBG researcher in Peru, attended the "National Training Workshop on Tools for Biodiversity Information Management and Environment in the Amazon Region" to describe MBG’s involvement in the TEAM program and explore ways in which MBG might contribute information to the National Platform for Biodiversity in the Amazon Region. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Environment of Peru and the General Secretariat of the Andean Community and took place in Lima.

Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

An event occurred that is part of the natural process, although a little extreme for this part of the Amazon. On September 30 last year, there was a hurricane that affected many trees at the center of the TEAM site, but we did not know how much it had affected our plots until this year when we went there to remeasure plot VG-YAN-02. We found that the hurricane had toppled 72 trees, or 11.8% of the trees in the plot.

New Species: 

No new species during this period

Protocol Activities: 

Vegetation Protocol:

Within this period, from July 4 to August 30, we remeasured the 6 permanent plots of the Yanachaga site. We began with the most remote plots, VG-YAN-05 and VG-YAN-06 and then moved on to plots VG-YAN -02 and VG-YAN-04 and finally to plots VG-YAN 01 and VG-YAN-03.

We finished collecting the 200 trees not collected previously in plot VG-YAN-06. Originally we had planned to make botanical collections from plot VG-YAN-04, but instead we decided to first complete collections from more distant plots or from those with difficult access. We therefore gave priority to VG-YAN-03, which is located on a small, isolated mountain with access by a very steep road that climbs from 450 m to 1000 m.

During September we dried the botanical specimens we had collected from plot VG-YAN-03, and we began working on the identification of the specimens, managing to identify 60% of the material and pinpointing among the identified material 150 species for this plot. The data from the remeasurement of all plots were uploaded to the TEAM portal during the second half of September.

Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol:

During the second half of July, we installed the camera traps in the first array at 30 points. None of the points had been disturbed, and in arming the camera traps we placed them on the same trees we had used previously. We carried out the work in two teams, each consisting of three scientists and one support staff.

During the second half of August we removed the cameras in the first array. We had some difficulties with the camera at point CT-YAN-1-09 that we will describe below. We devoted August 30 and 31 to recharging the batteries, and on September 1 we moved to a temporary camp called "boca del pescado" located ca. 2.5 hours by road from the Paujil station. From there it is easier to access the points in the second array. We again divided into two teams, and on September 2 we began to arm the cameras, finishing on September 10.

During the past year, we found the process of installing the cameras more comfortable than in the first year because we already knew the roads and because team members were more familiar with the work. In addition, the weather was more favorable, with very little rain occurring during the time we placed and removed the cameras.

We return to the field on September 16, and in trying to process the images from the cameras, we encountered some difficulties that we will describe below.

The new coordinates for three points of the camera traps, CT-YAN-2-16.1, CT-YAN-2-17.1, and CT-YAN-2-23.1, were successfully uploaded to the TEAM Portal. Cameras in the second array will be removed during the first half of October.

Climate Protocol:

We are scheduled to visit the meteorological station between the 14th and the 20th of each month. However, owing to the navigational conditions on the river, it is not always possible to reach the station on schedule. During this period we gathered the climate data when we were close to the station in the process of remeasuring the plots or installing cameras. At each visit, we cleaned the grass growing inside and outside the station. We have downloaded the climate data without problems and uploaded them to the TEAM portal as soon as was possible.

Protocol Problems: 

Vegetation Protocol:

There was no problem in the remeasurement of trees, but an event occurred that is part of the natural process, although a little extreme for this part of the Amazon. On September 30 last year, there was a hurricane that affected many trees at the center of the TEAM site, but we did not know how much it had affected our plots until this year when we went there to remeasure plot VG-YAN-02. We found that the hurricane had toppled 72 trees, or 11.8% of the trees in the plot.

Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol:

The camera at point CT-YAN-1-09 apparently broke down during transport after it was removed because upon arrival at camp we found that the screen was broken internally. We assume that in transit the batteries moved and touched the screen. For the second array we replaced this camera with another because the letters were not displayed and we could not change the setting to CT-YAN-2-09.

Three points in the array had to be changed because these were affected by the hurricane last year. The new points are CT-YAN-2-16.1, CT-YAN-2-17.1, and CT-YAN-2 -23.1. They are located approximately 20 to 40 meters from the original points.

During the second week of September we began to work on the processing of the images of the first array in DeskTEAM. We have had some difficulties, but with the help and guidance of the specialists of the technical team of DeskTEAM, we are solving the problems.

Climate Protocol:

No problems in this period

Schedule Problems: 

No problems in this period

Logistical Problems: 

None

Suggestions: 

None