Yanachaga Chimillén National Park (07.01.2014 to 09.30.2014)

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July - September
Communications activities: 

As part of the regular activities of the monitoring period, this year we also conducted training for field staff at the start of the activities. Six of our workers and two park guards of Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park participated in the training, which took place on July 4 over the entire day. The training consisted of two parts: a theoretical session on the importance of the quality of information that should be collected, and a practical session on the management of compasses and GPS receivers and the configuration, assembly, and disassembly of camera traps. Participants also gained practical experience in measuring tree diameters with a diameter tape and measuring distances with a measuring tape.  

During a training workshop entitled "Management and analysis of ecological data with Forestplots.net" that was organized by RAINFOR, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and San Antonio Abad National University in Cusco and held in Cusco from August 25–29, Biologist Maria Isabel Villalva, an MBG researcher at out biological station in Oxapampa, gave a brief presentation on the TEAM vegetation monitoring protocol that we are applying at the TEAM Yanachaga site.

Later, in the town of Iscozacín, within the framework of the decentralized workshops to update the Master Plan for Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park, Rodolfo Vásquez made a presentation on the monitoring of vegetation, climate, and terrestrial vertebrates that is being carried out at the TEAM Yanachaga site.


Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

No unusual events during this period

New Species: 

No new species during this period

Protocol Activities: 

Vegetation Protocol:

With some minor variations in the proposed dates, we finished the re-measurements of the six permanent plots and the botanical collections of the new recruits. The re-measurements began on July 16 and ended on September 3.

We have finished drying the collected material, and we are currently entering the data on the diameters of this period in a spreadsheet for insertion into the TEAM page in the shortest time possible.

Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol:

During this period we installed and removed the cameras of the 60 sampling points.

From July 5–15, we installed the camera traps at the 30 sampling points in Array 1.

From August 7–17, we picked up the camera traps at the 30 sampling points in Array 1.

From August 19–29, we installed the camera traps at the 30 sampling points in Array 2.

From September 20–30, we collected the cameras traps at the 30 sampling points in Array 2.

We are currently processing the images, which are mostly of animals that have already been recorded in past years. However, in some sampling points animals that are new to the site were recorded for which we previously had only verbal notice from the park guards: Speothos venaticus (Bush dog), which was recorded at two sampling points, and Atelocynus microtis (Short-eared dog), recorded at a single camera point. The photos of these two wild dogs are important because they are the first photographic records of these species for the Selva Central. This is also the first time since we began monitoring that we have recorded Lagothrix cana (Common woolly monkey) walking on the ground. Two more birds were also recorded that were not recorded in past periods: a member of the Falconidae family that we not yet have identified and
Neomorphus geoffroyi (Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo).



Climate Protocol:

After several months when the climate station was inactive because of problems with the equipment, we returned in the first week of July to put the station back into operation, and we collected information in the second half of August and in September. We have uploaded this information to the TEAM portal. As we have always done during our visits to the meteorological station, we cut the weeds around the perimeter fence and within the fence and we cleaned the tower and the gauge container. We remove wasps’ nests when they are present.

Protocol Problems: 

Vegetation Protocol:

None during this period

Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol:

We had to buy new batteries for the camera traps because the old batteries were discharging very quickly. We noticed this problem because we had recharged the batteries in Oxapampa five days after leaving the TEAM site. In Oxapampa all batteries were tested and had 1.2 volts (which is the optimum for rechargeable batteries); but when we were in the Paujil station in Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park, we put them in the cameras and they showed a charge of 30 to 60%.


Climate Protocol:

We have an underlying difficulty with the meteorological station in that every time we download the data, the connection between the computer and the datalogger is poor and often communication is cut. More than once, the laptop battery ran out and we had to return in a day or two later. We have tried to use the information in the SSD card, but apparently there are problems with this because every time we want to open the file, it shows a strange symbolism even when we use the data converter of the program.

Schedule Problems: 

None during this period

Logistical Problems: 


This comment is not directly about a logistical problem, but I think it's important to mention. During the latter part of the fieldwork of this period, i.e. the month of September, three of our field workers were sickened by a virus and had breathing problems with a high fever, and we had to evacuate them to the nearest hospital. Two of them have already recovered, but one is still hospitalized.