Here is the latest news from our conservation site located in the fast-disappearing jungle of Ecuador…………. although it is believed that the Ecuadorian Government, through its Department of the Environment, is extending some of the boundaries of the Llanganates National Park. If this is true, it is to be commended, and hopefully the resources will be made available to control some of the activities (both legal and illegal) that are continuing to affect the long-term future of the area. The delicate sound of chainsaws from not far away continues to be heard on the land!
Phase two of the building work on the quarantine/clinic started this month. It’s great to have Miguel el Maestro and Abelino (the Don), back on site continuing with the work they started over a year ago now. They are moving ahead with sealing the building’s walls. There should be enough financial resources to put in some form of doors and windows, although perhaps not enough to tile the rooms as is necessary, and complete the plumbing work, etc.
Another 1300 litre water tank has been purchased and taken to the land to provide a reserve supply for the quarantine/clinic. It is yet to be connected to the river supply system. The previously bought tank is now connected and assisting in the smooth supply to the shower and the dish-washing area.
There have been some new bird ‘first sightings’ on and near the land – a Green and Black Fruiteater has been spotted, as has the rarely seen Napo Sabrewing Hummingbird and an Ecuadorian Pied Tail Hummingbird (which is described as ‘rare and local’).
Several regular migratory species have also been seen, including the spectacularly beautiful Summer Tanager (bright, bright red) and the Cock of the Rock (also very bright red with a lot of black). The pair of White Hawks has been seen on the land again too, which is great as, for some time, only one of the two was around.
Other visitors this month have included our friend and ‘close’ neighbour, Henry Sanchez, from Sumak Kawsay in Situ and his colleague, Julia Rogers, who is studying comparative ecology and conservation and is in Pastaza undertaking research for her thesis on “Deforestation for fruit boxes”. They helped out on the land for the day and were able to have a brief tour of the site. Henry’s environmental education project can be visited at…………………
Another short path to the river has been cleared close to the quarantine/clinic. At the river’s edge, huge coils of liana were found – having fallen off a tall tree next to the river. Several seldom occurring plants were seen along the way, also.
Some of the meals recently have been augmented by edible mushrooms found on the land – not particularly attractive-looking, but tasty!
It is very still here most of the time – on the land and also around and about. Sometimes the only breeze is that created by bats as they pass by faces when they are hunting insects or fruit in the night! It can be very humid, at times very hot – and then there are the sudden downpours and thunderstorms!
One of the outcomes of planting bromeliads, orchids, heliconia and other roadside finds on the land is the creation of an environment hospitable to many different species. This has produced mini-niches for a wide range of organisms. As a result, almost every visit different insects, frogs, other animals and plants are found. Amazing!