Friday, May 14, 2010

Nuts and Bolts - Part IV

Okay, two more chapters to go in the "work that was completed" posts. This is about the process of catching and counting mammals and reptiles. We also caught a lot of things that we weren't specifically looking to count like giant crickets, scorpions, centipedes, pill bugs and spiders. The point of the catching and the counting is to show what is in the forest - we were hoping to find skinks, tenrecs, frogs and lizards - to protect the forest from being depleted through the publishing of reports. We partook in a labor intensive process called "buckets in" where we dug holes in the forest big enough for a bucket every 10 meters (with holes drilled in the bottom to prevent drowning any critters if it rained) and put a 100 meters of plastic tarping over the buckets in three 100 meter lines and covered the lip of the plastic on the ground with leaf litter. The idea is that animals take the path of least resistance so if they found our lines they would walk along the plastic and fall into the buckets to be counted and released twice a day for eight days. The pictures make it much more clear than that all sounds, trust me. And we'll start off with a good old fashioned machete fight...