I’m Helen the new volunteer co-ordinator at Para La Tierra. I wanted to add a few lines to this blog to introduce myself and tell you a bit about my first few days at Laguna Blanca.
I’m passionate about wildlife, conservation and in particular herps (reptiles and amphibians). I have recently finished my Masters in International Wildlife Trade and Conservation in the UK. My thesis was on the chameleon trade in Madagascar where I interviewed chameleon exporters in an effort to make the chameleon pet trade more sustainable. That was my second trip to Madagascar; the first time was a research expedition where I learned a number of survey techniques which will be very helpful in this new role with Para La Tierra. I have also undertaken field work in Indonesia and have volunteered in Mexico a Burundi. In addition I worked for 5 years with a charity called Concordia International Volunteers where I organised volunteer projects and co-ordinated volunteers.
I only arrived at Laguna Blanca a few days ago and the first thing that struck me was just how beautiful it is. The photos I have seen really do not do it justice! I am writing this sitting in a hammock, the lake is to my left and the water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming (which I do everyday). I’ve been out to the cerrado a couple of times on armadillo hunts and best of all (for me anyway) I have been out frogging and we think we may have found a new species of frog – watch this space for more info on this. Over the next few months I plan to get together a concise inventory of the amphibians here so I can begin looking at different species community structures and habitat preferences so there will be plenty of work for anyone interested in frogs and toads.
I really hope that some of you reading this blog will have the opportunity to come and visit us at Laguna Blanca so you can experience for yourselves this amazing place and its wildlife.
Hope to see you soon
Research Scientist and Volunteer Co-ordinator.