Saturday, April 20, 2013
A few stumbles but a great start
This past week we deployed the guys to the field to begin locating nest sites and begin the monitoring and protection season. After adequate training, the crew is ready to climb trees this year. After an early start we arrived at the reservoir and began the journey upstream and keeping a close lookout for active nests.
It wasn't long before we began to locate new nest sites. Time to chop our way over to it.
After arriving at the nest it's time to pull the line over and then the rope. It was quite a steep shot so it took a few attempts before we got the finishing line over. Once that was accomplished everything else happened pretty quickly. The female observed us from a nearby tree.
Charles climbed the first nest to kick off the 2013 monitoring season. There were 4 eggs! (Photos coming soon).
Coming back down is always a little bit of a relief.
We continued upstream until we reached a pair of nests that were under intense pressure last year. We started almost a month earlier this year so we're hoping these nests will be able to avoid the poaching they experienced last year. They did successfully re-nest last year but it'll be great if they can finish up earlier this year. The female patiently watched and waited for us to finish up.
Evidence of poaching from prior years.
Rudi and Luis getting the rope prepped to haul over while Rufino get's his climbing hear ready.
Here is Rufino climbing his first wild Scarlet Macaw nest!
He took some photos in the nest and observed three eggs. Unfortunately, there were small bees nearby that didn't like his presence one bit.
The female flew off and came back later on with her mate to observe us.
The guys stayed up there for a week searching for new nests. Six nests were observed and one more climbed which had 3 eggs. One of the eggs was predated, we believe by a lizard. The boat suffered a puncture but was repaired at the end of the week. The jeep also is experiencing clutch problems, but will get repaired soon. Conservation is not without its complications that's for sure.
The crew headed back out yesterday and next week will be a nice advancement in the program. Drs. LoraKim Joyner and Isabelle Paquet-Durand will be heading out with us to provide guidance and training with monitoring the health of chicks for this season. Little by little we are advancing the Scarlet Macaw conservation program in Belize.