As the only biology intern, the first stint was a time for exploring. I got to hike up the Honeycreeper and see all the various plants and animals the Panamanian jungle has to offer, including many different trees, flowers, bugs and birds. I got to see the bat tree, a tree along the Honeycreeper which is believed to have been hollowed out by lightning and which is now home to plenty of bats throughout the day. I got to go frog hunting up the tributary, finding 16 frogs of 2 different species (lots of striped rocket frogs and one false dart frog) as well as some fresh water crabs (which I had no idea existed). But most of all, I got to observe and learn more about the immense biodiversity of the Tres Brazos valley, and contemplate what kind of projects I would like to accomplish with my time here.
While I have yet to decide exactly what I would like to do I have (with some help and suggestions from others) come up with some ideas, including (but not limited to):
– A possible butterfly project involving the identification of butterflies, as well as finding ways to attract butterflies to the area
– Starting a possible long-term river monitoring project to assess the depth and flow rate of the river and how it varies both through the seasons and over multiple years