From our conservation holiday volunteering with jaguars, pumas, ocelots, primates and other species in the Amazon rainforest in Peru, South America (

Another day of many, many sightings on Thursday. Titi, saki, squirrel and brown capuchin monkeys were spotted and recorded all over the place. David H. and Julian made their way to the Yarina lake together with Ramon and were rewarded by spotting owl monkeys in a tree hole and a black caiman at the lake. A giant river otter was also spotted today from the Ramon/David G/Anh canoe survey team only to mention the new sightings on our list.

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The ‘list’ is the summary sheet of target species being recorded. Divided into three groups (cats, primates and other terrestrial mammals) we so far count 10 out of 14 different monkey species that have ever been recorded in the Amazonian rainforest, evidence of 5 different species of cats (jaguar, puma, margay, jaguarundi, ocelot) and 15 other interesting terrestrial mammal species such as tapir, different species of deer and peccary, paca, agouti, tamandua, coati, tayra, the amazon red squirrel (that is about three times bigger than the well-known European species), sloth, etc.. Birds, reptiles and insects are not being taken into account.

On Friday, our last survey day, the teams retrieved eight camera traps set up from team 1 eleven days ago. Neil and I teamed up to go for the long walk to terra firme. Plenty of water in our rucksacks, bananas and a sandwich, we followed Alfredo first walking the trail grid to its end and then making our way through a massive palm swamp over to the other side, the non-flooded forest. The palm swamp stretches out for about 2 km, then all of a sudden the trail leads up a steep slope and the vegetation changes. Massive high trees stand close to each other, palm trees fill most of the open space underneath. We retrieved two cameras, had lunch at the campsite, explored another trail from there and arrived back at base in the afternoon.

David and Anh brought back two cameras from Yarina lake, David H collected two cameras from the trail grid and one more from the trail grid was brought back by Shelley, Andrew & the boys. Are you keen to hear what we found? NOT a jaguar – although a jaguar sighting was reported from one of the Tahuayo Lodge guides near Yarina lake and one of our teams heard the cat calling during a day survey over there. BUT one of the terra firme cameras captured a tayra, maybe the best series of pictures of this animal that has been taken so far as Alfredo commented. Other species captured in the camera traps are opossum, collared peccaries in different locations and another quite small mammal that couldn’t be identified yet. Pictures will be posted soon.

On our last evening at the ARC we received a delicious cake dessert from the kitchen to say goodbye to the Biosphere Expeditions team and most of us went out for this year’s very last night boat drive. More soon, including pictures, in my final diary entry in a few days.

From our conservation holiday volunteering with jaguars, pumas, ocelots, primates and other species in the Amazon rainforest in Peru, South America.

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