2012 Scarlet Macaw Protection Documentary

Monday, May 31, 2010

Trip up the reservoir

Well the rain has persisted but I think it is beginning to slack off a bit...hope it continues to slacken.

In the meantime, I'm almost a week into my treatments for leishmaniasis. I have the cutaneous form. Left the photos at the house...hope some of you aren't bummed about missing out on those. Only two more days of injections left and then Brad and I can head back upstream.

While making my way through these treatments, Roni Martinez - conservation officer for Blancaneaux Lodge, allowed me to go along with three guests on a 'day with a ranger' tour lead by FCD. These are trips designed to show the lodge guests what it's like to patrol the Chalillo dam reservoir on a motorboat and gives them a chance to see scarlet macaws, tapirs, crocs, and other wildlife. More importantly, it provides the only other monitoring activities out there besides the two gringos kayaking in the Chiquibul. This trip was much easier than kayaking...

Historic nest location that is now active along the Raspaculo.

It ended up being a very productive trip; three new nests were observed, two completely new nest locations and one historic nest that is now active...very cool!

Small, secretive cavity at a new nest location.

We were also able to visit several other nests and most are still active. One we know failed due to one of the parents being shot and the carcass left near the nest...disturbing and sad. This was discovered the week before by FCD staff. The tree was also partially chopped. It was still standing a couple of days ago...very strange.

Dead adult that was shot and the nest tree with chopped buttresses...very sad
(photo courtesy of Lenney Gentle).

We were also able to see that the next nearest tree had two machete chop marks and climbing spike marks, but only about 15 feet above the ground before they stop. The climber must have abandoned the attempt. Can't say I blame him as the tree is dead and leaning over. However, I'm not sure if the nest is still active. If it is then the parents were both away from the nest foraging.

Machete chop marks from a poaching attempt.

After confirming that the rest of the nests were active we headed back to the take out. Overall, it was a good trip and can't wait to get back out there and climb these nest trees.

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