From our conservation holiday volunteering with jaguars, pumas, ocelots, primates and other species in the Peru Amazon jungle (http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/amazonia)

 

Friday 07:30 in Iquitos: I am at the A&E Tours office waiting for the shops to open. I was told that today everything would be back to normal after two days of general strike. All shops & markets were closed, the streets left abandoned. Only the odd motocar passed by. It was around the Plaza des Armes where the crowd assembled demonstrating against a government decision. When the shops finally opened again, I had 90 minutes left before the boat left…

All other preparations have gone well so far. Fredrik Tegnér, a Swedish biologist who will be assisting Alfredo Dosantos, head scientist on this expedition, arrived in Iquitos on the same flight as I. Fredrik spent three months at the Amazon Research Centre last year studying the Peruvian poison frog. Now with his degree under his belt, he will join us to support Alfredo with data processing for the report. Together we have set up some of the research equipment: the GPSs now have updated maps and trails on them and the expedition computer is waiting for the team to feed it with data.

We will meet Alfredo later today at the ARC and will then start discussing the work plan, schedules, etc. – I’ll keep you updated.

Saturday: Fredrik & I arrived at the ARC yesterday in the late afternoon. Alfredo & I have worked out a work plan and I am looking forward to meeting team 1 tomorrow. If you have any problems with getting to the assembly point in time please contact the A&E Tours office in Iquitos, by either phone or e-mail. Safe travels and see you tomorrow.

Continue reading “From our conservation holiday volunteering with jaguars, pumas, ocelots, primates and other species in the Peru Amazon jungle (http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/amazonia)”

From our Sumatran tiger conservation volunteering holiday in Indonesia (http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/sumatra)

All good things come to an end, and today we to said goodbye to everyone who has made this expedition possible and draw a close on the Sumatran tiger expedition for 2015.

With 265-camera trap nights behind us, there have been some interesting results from the cameras we have collected. Clouded leopard, leopard cat, Malayan sun bear, binturong, yellow-throated marten, pig-tailed macaque, long-tailed macaque, barking deer, wild pig, and other animals. But sadly the extent of human impact within the wildlife sanctuary is unrelenting. We have caught on film people trying to kick our cameras off trees, in one case stealing the camera. Catching birds to sell in the villages. On the retrieval of one camera, the whole area leading up to it was cut down in the two weeks the camera had been in place. The loggers had not noticed the camera as they dragged timber past the traps we had set for the animals.

As a result no pictures of tigers were taken this year, but there is other, more circumstantial evidence, that they are still close to the villages. But we do now have a much greater understanding of what is going on the area. And we have made some really good contacts in villages further into the reserve for setting up sub-bases next year to access the harder-to-reach areas, away from humans, to which the tigers will have retracted too. And in several interviews in the last slot of this year’s expedition, as we have pushed deeper and deeper into the reserve, we have been hearing more about tigers in the nearby area in the form of tracks, roars and sightings in the last two months.

Thank you to everybody involved this year from the WWF, Batu Dinding and to all the participants who have taken time off to help with this cause. There are too many of you to mention by name, but you know who you are. None of this could have happened without you. Year 1 was always going to be the trailblazing year. Thank you for being trailblazers and preparing the ground for others to come after you in the years to come.

We battled leeches, spiders and things that bite, extreme rain, no rain, drought, the frustrations of not getting close enough to our quarry, pushed boats over rocks, worn wet shoes everyday, had fantastic blisters to show for our efforts and counted every last pig track in a 136 square km area. We were welcomed by the community, worked with them, passed on our enthusiasm  about the enchanting rainforest just over the fence to countless school children, had our photos taken, made friends and were part of something amazing.

Very best wishes

Anthony & the Biosphere Expeditions team

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From our Sumatran tiger conservation volunteering holiday with tigers in Sumatra, Indonesia

From our Sumatran tiger conservation volunteering holiday in Indonesia (http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/sumatra)

For the last couple of days, the sun has bearly made it through the smoke caused by all the slash and burn forest fires. Our expeditioners have been out in the haze collecting the cameras that slots 4 and 5 put in place.

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We’ve caught sun bears, binturong, pig-tailed macaque and leopard cat to name but a few, but no tigers. We’ve also caught teenage boys catching birds in cages, a man kicking one of our cameras out of place (although we then got a troop of macaque we would have missed otherwise). Sadly, when we got to one trap area we found our camera had been stolen, along with the post it was chained to!

We’re off to a local high school now. So far we’ve had good success with the visits to the elementary schools, so are keen to speak to the older students.


From our Sumatran tiger conservation volunteering holiday with tigers in Sumatra, Indonesia