Hello, and Happy New Days to all our Friends and Supporters from over here in wet and (mainly) warm Pastaza, Ecuador from all of us at the Fundación Fauna de la Amazonía!
Over the past two to three weeks, there has been some pretty intense rainfall (some of it for 24 hours and more!); there have been trees a-falling on and around the land and the road in has been blocked by heavy landslides and fallen trees at least twice now in the last week. This has meant no traffic in, or out, until the local municipio (council) has managed to clear the damage. The first high bridge on the road in, over the Río Tigre, was also threatened by the high flood waters in the river and had to be reinforced rapidly as soon as the water level had receded somewhat. A little concerning……………
Just before year end, work on the new entrance was completed after one (machinery) breakdown, many truck/lorry loads of stone and sand were delivered, and more than one re-alignment, as the incline proved too much for the lorries! An excellent piece of work…………..and then the rains came………… to show that Pachamama (Mother Nature) is really in charge! As the road hadn’t had a chance to settle, there has been some damage and we have a few small landslides of our own to deal with. However, 4.5 steps forward; and a wee hop back. It’ll be sorted………..
We have already begun to replant around the forest edge at the side of the entrance – with trees that will provide food for wildlife, and that are relatively fast-growing, so the recovery has started. We have also placed branches and trunks of fallen trees around the edge to help prevent further erosion of the remaining soil which is a constant issue around here with so much rain and very little topsoil.
This month, we have had a visit from a group of student scientists from the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA for a few days. In the three days that they were on, and near, the Fundación’s land, they found:
- 40 frog specimens (fewer species. however);
- 4 snake species – including a Blunt-headed Tree Snake and an unidentified species of Forest Racer;
- Several lizards
- 62 identified bird species.
Many thanks to Pete, for looking after them, and guiding them around his own land, Glen’s land and the Fundación’s land. We hope to be provided with internet links to their research in the future.
Also seen around the land over the last month or so:
- An otter;
- A tayra;
- A guanta;
- A flock of Yellow-headed Vultures eating an armadillo killed by some other larger animal;
- More varieties of orchids.
So our current priorities are working on repairing the entrance road, replanting around this area, constructing the pathway and river-crossing from there to the quarantine/clinic, and general maintenance work.