August 2015

From the very hot, humid, although less rainier than usual, rainforest comes the latest update from the Fundación!

Firstly, a huge “Thank you” to Vegware ( http://www.vegware.com/ ) for awarding us a further grant of £100.00 per month for up to a year, to assist with our running costs. Fantastic news indeed – this really helps us to continue our activities of protection of the environment, other conservation work, and in the rescue of endangered animals (more of which later), here in the endangered rainforest of Ecuador.

Glen at work!

Thanks to Glen, and especially Pete the Welder (aka Peter Archer), the doors and windows are finally in place on the quarantine/clinic! This means that the Fundación finally has an insect-free base from which to undertake our activities from/sleeping/cooking area/on a temporary basis until we have our next constructions in place.

As there has been little rain of late, it also has been possible to undertake some repair work on the small dam that provides our water supply. Three underground tunnels were found which were draining the dam continually. Two of these have now been blocked and the third, the least substantial, is likely to silt up over time (well, at least that is the ‘plan’!).

Work continues on cleaning and clearing the ex-pasto land (ie previously pasture land) with a little help from Pete’s rescued horse “Cyclops” (so-named as it sadly has lost the use of one eye). Once it is cleared we will have a better idea of what it may be used for…… replanting with native species or for use as a growing area for food for volunteers and researchers.

The raised beds already in place have now been planted up with food crops for the future use of us all. Speaking of which, the first pineapple produced on the land has been eaten and was much-appreciated by all. However, the second such pineapple ready to eat was ‘stolen’ by one of our neighbours…………..a large Guanta ((Cuniculus paca) – a native rodent!) took it away (we think!). Hmmmm!

Each year we have been trying to keep an eye out for the flight of the Military Macaws (Ara militaris) as they fly over the Fundación’s land. The first time we saw them, we there were eight birds in the flock. The last time they were seen was two years ago, and there were 24 spotted. Last week, 37 flew over the land – an amazing sight, and also very good news in that they appear to be thriving.

Two different species of Equis (venomous snakes) were spotted this month and assisted to ‘move  on’ (ie were placed on land closer to the Llanagnates National Park). One was seen on its way into our ‘jungle shower’…….!

A recent highlight was the spotting of a new bird species (new to us, that is) on the land. The pair seen appear similar to hummingbirds, however have not yet been formally identified.

And finally, a ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua) was rescued recently. It had been tied up outside a house in one of the barrios of Puyo, and had managed to escape. It made its way into a neighbour’s house, and they, after having tried to care for it for a few days, finally made contact with ourselves. It was taken to the land and was encouraged to go on forest walks in order to see if would be able to survive. It was given additional grubs and insects caught by Glen and Pete, and gradually spent more and more time in the jungle. Finally, it did not return!

Until next time………………………