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jueves, 14 de marzo de 2013

Lights, Camera, Action!

It’s been all go at PLT in the last couple of weeks. The whole reserve received a big spring (or autumn as it is here) clean, the house was gutted, the Atlantic Forest trails were cleared and the area around the house was given what was probably its biggest ever clean!! Everything looked shiny and brand new. The reason: the arrival of a camera crew from Rolex to make a short film about Karina and the work of Para la Tierra. Sara (the director) and Mike (the cameraman) arrived on Sunday night and work began first thing Monday morning. We had spent the previous week collecting small mammals, reptiles and insects in pitfall and Sherman traps and all of these had their moment in the limelight as they were filmed being released and scurrying back into the forest. As the sun fell it was the turn of our flagship species – the white-winged nightjar – to smile for the camera. The next day my first monkey volunteer, Vicki, arrived in the midst of all the filming madness. At night Mark gave an interesting presentation about his time as a PLT volunteer, particularly about his work on beginning a butterfly inventory. After his presentation there was a flurry of activity as Helen and Karina went frogging, Joe, Kevin and Jorge fought with the bat mist net and Vicki and I worked the moth light. On Wednesday the staff and volunteers headed out on mass to be filmed checking the pitfall traps in the Transitional Forest. We found a selection of scorpions, centipedes, spiders and lizards. When we returned it was time to say goodbye to Mark as his 6 weeks came to a close and he headed back to England. Thursday morning found the film crew, Karina, Joe, myself, Sean, Vicki and the Forest Guards in the Atlantic Forest being filmed walking up and down Trail 1 for a couple of hours. The monkeys had been seen that morning in the North Forest but they decided to be divas and not show up for filming in the South!! On Thursday night we all got a special treat! We had a delicious asado and three local men came to play traditional Paraguayan songs for us. It was a fantastic experience and everyone thoroughly the entire night. At 6am Friday morning Mike decided to come on a monkey hunt with Vicki and me. Just for good measure Mike brought his camera. Our thoughts were “now that the camera is here, the monkeys won’t be!” but we couldn’t have been more wrong. As we crept through the forest I looked up…and there they were; all 8 monkeys crossing the path right above our heads. In true capuchin form they shot by so fast that Mike wasn’t able to get film. We decided to call it a day as Mike was leaving and then luck really was on our side. As we walked out towards the edge of the forest a rustle in the bushes beside me alerted me to the spy. Mike whipped out his camera and got a great bit of footage of two of the monkeys rushing through the trees!! Look out for the video on the Rolex Awards website early in June, but if you can't wait to see what we are up to, check out the current video at !! Until next time! Becca