Yasuni (10.01.2011 to 12.31.2011)

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Year: 
2011
Quarter: 
October - December
Communications activities: 

The results of the 2011 camera-trap survey have been published in a master thesis monograph by Yawannah Tjon-A-Ten during the last months of 2011, an internal document of Wageningen University. A collaborative scientific manuscript between researchers from Catholica and Wageningen universities, based on the first survey data, is expected to be submitted to a scholarly journal by summer 2012.

We have created a YouTube Channel, "ScienceStatationYasuni", where we have uploaded a musical photogram of the secret live in the forest. This photogram will be available on the last week of January 2012.

Unusual Events at the TEAM Site: 

There were no unusual events.

New Species: 

Since this is our first survey, all species are newly registered.

 

A few interesting sightings are relevant to mention; especially since these species tend to be secretive and because of their low abundance or sensible biology are thought to be endangered. The Giant Armadillo (Priodontes maximus), Short-eared Bush Dog (Atelocynus microtis), Giant Ant-eater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) and the melanic form of the Jaguar (Panthera onca) are among some of the interesting records for mammals. Samples were identified by Yawannah Tjon-A-Ten and Julia Salvador (julysalvador@hotmail.com).

Protocol Activities: 

A total of 60 camera traps where deployed for the full two-month sampling period, during the first survey sampling. Data has been quantified and analyzed in a master thesis by Yawannah Tjon-A-Ten. Based on this preliminary work, we are currently working on a first scientific manuscript which will expand and strengthen the ideas exposed in the former thesis.

 

Six botany plots where established during 2011, but measurements started early this year (2012) to coincide with the dry season.

Protocol Problems: 

During the first stages of the camera trap survey, we did not expect the reaction of one of the elder members of the indigenous community. This person tried to extort our research team by asking for payment in exchange of allowing us to work in the forest. Our position against this request was firm and thanks to the support of the majority of members from the community, field work could continue without any major complication.

Schedule Problems: 

The process of placing camera traps in the forest should have started earlier, ideally during January 2011. However, there was a delay in the shipment of equipment to Yasuni.

 

The weather station finally arrived in late November 2011. The station is now assembled and ready to be installed at the sampling site. This will be finished no later than late January 2012.

Logistical Problems: 

Our major concern is currently the effect of weather and humidity on the electronic circuits of the cameras. We have noticed that the LCD (screen) in the interior of the cameras is the most affected component after a few months of use in the field. The screen fails to light all of the liquid crystals, giving broken characters which difficult reading. This problem happened in a few cameras. Installation of vents supplied by the manufacturer should resolve this problem.

 

Also very important are the delays in the transfer of funding to our institution. We have covered some expenses in the past because lack of timely funds. We would like to receive these funds in an opportune manner.

Suggestions: 

The digital recording and database system implemented in www.teamnetwork.org is incompatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer. This may be an important hinder, since this last is one of the most commonly used explorers. I recommend making the necessary adjustments.