Hi, there! It’s time again for the latest from Ecuador!
Well, the ‘rainy season’ has continued…..the road in and out was blocked again by landslides, and to leave we had to walk past the Rio Anzu (about seven or eight kilometres) before it was possible to be picked up for the rest of the way to Mera. Sadly, many people have lost their homes, and at least part of their land, not far from us, and a house collapsed on a family near the roadway to Puyo due to floodwaters – killing two of the children inside – very sad indeed.
This month, we have been delighted to welcome Matthew and Alice who have come to visit and help on the land. They arrived mid-month and have already assisted magnificently with a number of tasks, including cleaning out the dike (dam) and one of the big water tanks; cutting and clearing grass near the boundary of the land and around newly planted trees; planting some trees in the forest; and helping with Pete and Glen and others on the first stage of the new pathway into the land from the new entrance. This latter work involves lifting and moving lots of rocks and sand and setting these out on the path – carried out with great humour and energy – Good One, Guys!
Dave and Glen have also been hard at work building some new shelving units in order to better organise our basic kitchen equipment, tidying the entrance to the quarantine/clinic greatly. We also now have, thanks to them, a new washing up area (the last one collapsed from lots of use and much dampness!).
However, one of the biggest sightings this month was not the animal itself, rather its paw prints! From investigating the shape and size of the prints we are of the opinion that an Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) has been on the Fundación’s land, and one of the prints has been photographed. There had been some overheard strange sounds amongst the trees a day or two before the prints were found, and we are aware of reports from some of the neighbours about seeing Ocelots on their land in the past. This is the first time that we have been aware of a fairly large wildcat being on the land, so we are really pleased that one has been, or is, around.
Another recent, new, sighting was a White-Eyed Parakeet (Aratinga leucophthalmus) amongst, as usual, lots of different insects, frogs, and plants.
In the back of one of the camionetas (taxis) bringing in materials a few weeks ago, were found some live freshwater Mussels (apparently the camioneta had been delivering fish before picking us up, and the mussels had ‘escaped’). These three shellfish have now been ‘rescued’ ( ie they are being kept, for now, in a glass tank on-site with a relatively regular supply of running water and silt to filter) while we investigate from where this particular species originate. If they are endemic to Ecuador, and this area, we may be able to release them nearby.
Thanks, as ever, to all our supporters and volunteers, and in particular, to Vegware for continuing to support us financially. Gracias a todos! (Thank you, all!)