Today we were able to complete an entire research project in the span of a morning. We were trying to see whether plant diversity was higher in disturbed or undisturbed areas of the forest, and this, in turn, helped us to understand how hurricanes can potentially lead to diversity changes. After lunch, we began work on another project but we haven’t quite finished yet.
While we were out in the jungle, we were able to see four Scarlet Macaws perched on the same tree! They were close enough to where we could see their brightly colored feathers. Also, Kaela and Cassia told me that they saw a bird (probably a kite by their description) fly over the canopy holding a rodent almost as large as the bird itself. I really wish I would’ve been able to see that because it sounds pretty wild.
In the late afternoon, we hiked an increasingly steep trail up to a place called the Bird Tower. It’s a tower on a large hill which overlooks the jungle and although it does the views we saw from the top were absolutely incredible. There were no signs of civilization and the forest seemed to go on forever. I could’ve sat up there all day. Unfortunately, all things come to an end and we had to walk back to the station, but on our way, we saw a jumping pit viper, one of the venomous snakes in the region!
Tomorrow our main goal is to retrieve all of the camera traps we placed during our first full day at Las Cuevas. Hopefully, we were able to get pictures of some cool animals! We aren’t really supposed to get our hopes up too high, but I for one hope to see a Jaguar! It’s crazy to think that we only have one more full day at Las Cuevas, but I’m looking forward to heading to Glover’s Reef!