Wednesday, August 5, 2015

It Rains a LOT in the Rainforest

 Today we spent a lot of time walking around in the rain today.  There was morning time for class work.  We had planned a canopy walk, but the weather was not agreeable, so we spent some more time working on our project instead.
This was Sara and I learning the TEAM protocol for placing camera traps.
Then we took some time to go out and start checking on our camera traps.  On the first card we downloaded, there were pictures of a puma!  They said they hadn't seen one here for almost three months, but there it was, at 8:30 near our first trap.  We found another picture on a nearby trap, we are guessing it is the same cat.  
 Then after lunch we went out for three hours with a naturalist.  He showed us so many things we never would have spotted on our own.  This was an iguana high up in a tree.
 I helped spot a millipede on the front of a tree, but then the guide said that copulating couples were very common and found this pair hiding on the back of a tree.  Apparently the male stays on the back of the female for days after the deed has been done.
 We added lots of birds to our list.  This was a parrot of some sort (Red Lore maybe?).  Sara and Ryan are both working hard at keeping up the identification.
 Check out this sloth!  He was pretty high up, but the guide had a scope to help spot his hiding place.
With all the rain, these Wine Cap Mushrooms must have been very happy.
As we were headed back to the dining hall after checking on our last camera trap of the evening, Sara thought she saw something black and scary.  No one else saw it, but she wanted Ryan to walk in front, just in case.  Then, as we rounded the next bend in the trail, we saw a cat like creature right in front of us. We thought at first that it might be a jaguar, it seemed cat like.  So we followed at a safe distance, trying to get a clear photo.  He quickly disappeared down a slope to the river while we rushed back to the classroom to try to identify what we had seen.  As it turns out, it wasn't a cat after all, but a Tayra.  The Tayra is a member of the weasel family found in Central and South America.  Though they live on the ground, they are also excellent climbers.
After dinner there was time for biodiversity Bingo, and then sorting through the photos from today.  We have an early morning bird watching session, so I had better call it a night.  

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