April 2, 2005
We, the Cleveland Team (Nick and Linda , Jeff, and myself), arrived late last night and checked into the Hotel Marparaiso in Panama City. Our room is pretty nice ... AC ... private bathroom ... not bad for $27 for 4 people!
Today we met with Alberto at the Summit Zoo. Alberto works for the Houston Zoo and in collaboration with the Summit Zoo on several projects including the new Tapir exhibit here. Alberto gave my group a private tour of the facility and also of the SONY Harpy Eagle Exhibit. This was a great example of an educational conservation center, and it was simply amazing to see a Harpy. I hope that we can create an amphibian conservation center in Panama before the Chytrid takes all of the mountain dwelling amphibians.
Tonight we met Edgardo at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (PGF headquarters in Panama) to pick up maps of the area we will hopefully be collecting the Atelopus varius from. Eddie has been with the project since his undergraduate work with the University of Panama, and still today he volunteers his time and expertise to help the frogs. His dedication and heart is something that PGF could not do without. We will meet back up with Eddie on the 5th to start the export paperwork with ANAM (the fish and wildlife service of Panama), then we head into the field.