April 5, 2005
This morning Edgardo and I headed over to the ANAM office to get the export paperwork started (we brought donuts as an offering to the government in hopes for less headaches), and then we picked up the team and headed out towards Marta in the Rana Dorada mobile (our PGF field vehicle is painted just like a golden frog). On our way westward we stopped at my favorite site....Sora. The mountain falls one minute so tranquil and serene can change into a raging force as if the gods of the mountain have been angered....and the frogs...females vibrant orange....what an amazing site to be seen. No wonder the golden frogs are symbols of good luck. The area has been under the gun of development for several years, but I can now see the effects. All of the silt from the erosion has left the tadpoles without food, their diet of diatoms has been smothered......and the frogs were few and far between, though we could still find the relatively plentiful Colostethus and a few glass frogs as well. The times are changing fast. It would be so easy to give up the fight....but I will not. No white flags here.
From Sora we headed out to El Cope, the National Park. It was getting too late to hike into the forest so we stayed at a house where students lived...Checco and Chad. Checco is studying the effects of the chytrid on insect populations (they are on the rise), and Chad, the effects of Chytrid on the frog/egg eating snake populations (they are disappearing with the frogs).
Before retiring for the night, I gave Checco some coloring books for the kids of the neighborhood. I wanted to explain what PGF was doing here to the children, and with some help from staff at the zoo back in Cleveland, the coloring book turned out rather nice, and I hope that the kids will like it.