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Back to the Blog: Field Season 2 Begins!

April 2, 2011

Gabby Feeding Captive Spectacled Bear

Gabby After Feeding Bear

Some of my favorite questions received by email over the last few weeks:

“Are you lost in the jungle?”

“Did an anaconda finally eat you?”

“Where are you? I hope your lack of blog posts doesn’t mean something horrible has befallen you.”

As I have been getting a few emails like this lately . . . I decided that it is time to tell everyone that I am healthy and safe. In fact, I’m currently eating alfajores (delicious Peruvian cookies filled with dulce de leche) in a comfy hotel room in Lima. To give a more interesting answer, I spent two weeks in Ecuador on a vacation at a cloud forest lodge and have been in and out of Lima working on research and preparations for our four month field season.

Rick and I were supposed to head out to Puerto Maldonado a few days ago to begin our work in Tambopata National Reserve, but we delayed our plans till April 9th because of some social and political unrest in the area. This unrest is related to illegal gold mining in the Madre de Dios Department. After years of pressure from environmentalists, the government has finally cracked down on the gold mining. With a very strong fist, they sent 1000 military personnel into the area in mid-February to blow up the largest illegal gold mining rigs (many are worth around $250,000). This has understandably upset the owners of the rigs and the people who work on them. The miners have been staging strikes over the last few weeks – one lasted 12 days and shut down all river transportation on the Madre de Dios River. Rick and I decided to lay low and wait till the trouble passed. Thankfully, it seems the government has reached an agreement with the miners and all should be back to normal (whatever normal means in the jungle) by the time we arrive on April 9th.

Our schedule for the next four months is as follows:

Tambopata National Reserve – 3 weeks

Interoceanica SUR Tambopata Initiatives – 1 week

Los Amigos Conservation Concession – 2 weeks

High Elevation Manu National Park – 1 week

Cloud Forest Reserve – 1 week

Mid-Elevation Manu National Park – 3 weeks

Lowlands Manu National Park – 2 weeks

Along the way, I will have a visit my aunt and her high school roommate and from two friends from South Africa. It should be a blast!

In any case, my Lightroom library has now reached an astounding 17,400 images, so it is time I shared some with you all.

Enjoy my notes from our time in Tambopata from January and a glimpse into rainforest life. I’ll also post a few images from my recent trip to Northern Peru with Rick and his mom – we had a fabulous eight days.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. steve permalink
    April 2, 2011 3:49 pm

    Good to know all is well. We were wondering how things were going! Take care,

  2. Lorraine Marshall permalink
    April 4, 2011 4:01 am

    Great to read your blog again! I am jealous about the Condors too. One question: was that spectacled bear as scary as the kittens at my house?

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