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viernes, 26 de agosto de 2011

Funding, fossorial rodents, and future assistants

A few days ago Greg Goodfellow left Laguna Blanca after finishing an excellent intern project on white-rumped tanager duet, territorial, and mate defence behaviours. He will now begin to analyse his data and write his report. This will act as good preparation for when Greg attempts to publish some of his findings.

Georgina Snelling continues to do well in her field investigations into the contributing factors in the distribution and diversity of fern species within the reserve. Recently she has started to assess the moisture levels of the different soils in each habitat type with the aid of a soil moisture probe. She has also recently found yet another new species of fern for the reserve.

There have also been some exciting recent developments at Para la Tierra in terms of what the organisation will be offering in the near future. We intend to add a new option to run along side the volunteer and intern routes visitors can take. Shortly we will be launching a ‘scientific assistantship’ option which will appeal to those who wish to contribute and help with ongoing and long term research at Laguna Blanca. By offering this additional placement Para la Tierra will be able to continue expanding on current projects and have the opportunity to publish more complex and advanced studies while at the same offering assistants the opportunity to gain valuable experience in working within a field research team. At present the options we will offer to scientific assistants are within the projects that are focused on the Plush-crested jays (Cyanocorax chrysops), the Broad-headed spiny rat (Clyomys laticeps), the White-rumped tanager (Cypsnagra hirundinacea), and the Tufted capuchins ((Cebus libidinosus paraguayanus).

Research continues to progress on my Clyomys project. I am currently in the middle of excavating their burrow systems, which has never been revealed or explored before. It has already thrown up some surprises so look out for further results on this in the near future.
We are also currently working with an ex-intern, Joseph, to try and secure a grant that will allow him to return to Laguna Blanca to continue working with this species over a 10 month period. Having Joseph back will further increase the scope and complexity of what we can study for these poorly understood animals.

We have also begun the primary stages of the capuchin project at Laguna Blanca. PLT will be collaborating with outsider scientists to gain major funding for a long term study on these primates. Currently we are in the process of applying to National Geographic and a number of other funding institutions. If successful we will be able to establish a fully operational primate project which will hold great potential not only for scientific study and publishing but also for students to develop their scientific skills in a practical manner.

Until next time ill say goodbye.

Best Wishes,


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