April 2015

Hello again, from close to one of the last remaining rainforest areas on the planet!

It has been a very wet month, as well as very hot when the sun is through! The sunlight is extremely intense here, being close to the Equator (Ecuador = equator in Spanish) and it is very easy to be burnt………….

Hence, a very ‘small’ rescue took place on the land recently…………….

Ecuador has the highest number of different species of frogs in the world, and regularly new species are identified here. For example: this recent discovery………….

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/skin-morphing-frog-discovered-ecuador

Due to the rains, a large number of small puddles arise, and then as soon as the sun comes out, they dry up. Frogs take advantage of whatever water they can find to lay their eggs, and so a short-lived puddle was found to contain hundreds of tiny tadpoles. Before the sun could boil and fry them, they were scooped up and placed in a reasonable sized bucket and taken into the shade to survive another day (well, hopefully)!

tree frogs

The quarantine/clinic is being readied for ‘temporary’ sleeping accommodation although we yet have to have the doors and windows put in. Mosquito nets will have to do for just now! The bodega that we have been using for sleeping and eating still serves well; however, a few more leaks have sprung and it continues to attract other living companions – there are some large cicadas that have taken it up as living space, the fruit bats come to eat at night, several mice have moved into one of the beds (when it’s not otherwise occupied!), and the forest is moving ever closer……………..

Very happy to report that one of our very long-term active supporters and volunteers, Glen, has returned from a lengthy sojourn in the UK. Welcome back Glen! He is back on the land keeping an eye on what’s happening there and helping plan future developments.

white hawkThe two white hawks have been regularly spending time around the land again, an otter was spotted just along the road, although this may be because it was disturbed by recent work undertaken on the roadside by a large digging machine being used to maintain the roadside watercourse. Many other bird species, as ever, have been spotted: because some of the land is open, and also for a relatively small area there is quite varied habitat, a large number of species are attracted. There is an estimated  total of 1663 species of birds in Ecuador, of which 44 are endemic, 2 have been  introduced by humans, and 19 are rare or accidental. Among the birds of Ecuador, 77 species are globally threatened. At least 120 species have been noted on and around the land, some of which are locally rare. Some fascinating insects have been seen around as well, some too fast for the camera. Speaking of camera, the one which has been used for the last several years has finally, after many episodes of humidity intrusion, finally given up and all photos now appear white! Many thanks, Pete, for the loan of a replacement for just now.

This month, as well, some amazing orchids have been flowering; you just never know what you are going to see next around here…………………..!