Yanachaga Chimillén National Park (10.01.2013 to 12.31.2013)
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October - December
Representing the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) and the various research activities conduced by MBG in Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park, Rodolfo Vásquez serves as a member of the technical team that is preparing the update of the Master Plan for the Park for the period 2014-2018. In this capacity, he participated actively during this period, and for the next six months will continue to participate actively, in regular working meetings of the technical team and in the participatory workshops held in different districts and communities of the buffer zone of the Park. The methodology for developing the new Master Plan requires that the Plan’s contents be formulated through a participatory process of the organized community in which residents agree to observe and monitor the activities indicated in the Plan. To help fulfill this aspect of the Plan, Rodolfo Vásquez is participating in at least two meetings each month, either as part of the technical team or in the workshops with the rural communities.
Unusual Events at the TEAM Site:
No unusual events during this period
During this period we completed entry of the field information for all vegetation plots and uploaded the data to the TEAM portal. In the second week of October we returned to the TEAM site to complete the collection of plot VG-YAN-02. However, it was not possible to collect some trees from this plot because they had no leaves at this time.
In the Oxapampa field station, we dried the specimens from plots VG-YAN-02 and VG-YAN-04, organized the collections, and began to identify the herbarium material. We expect to complete the identifications during the first quarter of next year.
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol:
For this protocol, we had some initial difficulties in loading the settings for 2013.1. However, we resolved the problem with the help of TEAM technical support. All of the images were processed and then copied onto two DVDs, which we sent to the appropriate address in the United States.
Most of the images processed corresponded to animal species already recorded in past periods, except for a small marsupial rarely seen in the area, Metachirus nudicaudatus, which appears in images 127 to 129 of sampling point CT-YAN-1-08.
An animal that is not included in the camera trap protocol appears in the images for sampling point CT-YAN-2-01, series 493 to 504: the common snake Lachesis muta, known in the region as "shushupe" and reputed to be the largest and most aggressive venomous snake of the Amazon.
In October we collected the meteorological data without problem and uploaded them to the portal at the scheduled time. However, during our visit to the station in November we found that the battery was not working, and for this reason we could not collect the information. As described below, we were not able to replace the battery until December 4. We returned to the station on December 15 to download the data, and in doing so we saw that the battery had stopped working on November 4. Therefore there are no meteorological data from November 4 to December 4.
In all of our visits, we cleared the weeds growing inside and outside the station, removed the debris of dead vegetation, removed any wasp nests and termite mounds, and checked the connections, the condition of the cables, the charge of the battery, and the operation of the solar panel. In our visit in December we encountered something unusual: the presence of 3 small boas, which were rolled into the fence.
None during this period
Terrestrial Vertebrate Protocol:
There was a problem with the camera for sampling point CT-YAN-2-20: apparently the camera card was damaged because the folder is empty. In addition, in reviewing the images for sampling point CT-YAN-2-10, we saw that a series of images — images 223 to 432 and 439 to 585 — is empty. We believe that in these cases the camera was activated by the movement of vegetation or perhaps by insects, such as the “izula” ant (Paraponera clavata) seen in images 352 to 354.
When trying to collect meteorological data for the month of November, we found that the battery was not working. We disconnected it and returned to Oxapampa to try to get a replacement but unfortunately we were unable to obtain one until early December. On December 4 we returned to the station and changed the battery.
As to be expected in the rainy season, the smaller streams, which have a width of only 4 m and a depth of 0.30 m in the dry season, can swell on the arrival of the rains and prevent the normal passage of vehicles. This year, in December we had to wait for two days at the side of the road for the flow of water to subside. Such situations can sometimes delay the collection of field data.