Nature Reserve & Biological Station

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What happened in the past months....

For three months (March-May), we had two volunteers from South Africa at the station, Sally and Dale, who really helped us with a lot of different work at the station. I will blog on some of their work afterwards. Their last work included the construction of a roof for our garden. Now we (or better our vegetables) won’t have anymore problems with the heavy rainfalls during the rainy season…

After our lucky mammal sightings in February, we added another fantastic sighting on our list. Dale spotted a sloth behind our house. Again it was getting dark and unfotunately we couldn’t take pictures of it. But with the binoculars it was possible to identify it as a Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni). First we thought we probably must see it again in the same tree the next day, but then we found out that this species is nocturnal and the next day we couldn’t find it anymore….Probably it had changed its food tree in that night, but who knows, maybe it was still there, sitting on the same tree, perfectly camouflaged and smiling down at us……

Between February and April we also had some interns at the station. One student worked on the identification of some plant species found in the reserve. Furthermore she studied caterpillars. We collected them and observed their metamorphosis into adult butterflies which are easier to identify. Some more bird monitoring and mist netting work was done by/with another intern, as well as a study on the effect of different sugar concentrations in hummingbird feeders on visitation rates.

A student who wanted to conduct the field studies for his bachelor thesis at the station, unfortunately had to find out that the Ecuadorian montane rainforest is not Barro Colorado Island and that four weeks are far too short for an experimental field work…….but nevertheless he had a good time at the station!

In June, there were no interns at the station. So Wilo and I had some time to relax and work on things we normally never find enough time for to do…In July, I guided again for the National Geographic Student Expeditions in Mindo. This year there were three different groups, that’s why I spent a lot of time in July in Mindo. While Matt, an English intern stayed at the station studying nectar production.

Recently a German intern left who did an inventory on the Phasmid species in the reserve.

At the moment the station is quite busy again. There are five interns and one student, who will do her master thesis investigating the avian mixed species flocks in the reserve.

This blog post was written by Nicole

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