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Refugio Los Volcanes

18.12.2015, 17:02

22-24 November 2015

November the 20th, the second group of IMPact Vector PhD students together with Dr. Oliver Krone and Dr. Martin Jansen started their journey to Bolivia from Berlin and Frankfurt. Participants were: Seraina Bracamonte, Manuela Merling de Chapa, Jenny Munoz and Hanna Prüter.

After spending a night in Santa Cruz, we left the hotel early in the morning and went with a microvan (“trufi”) to the “Refugio Los Volcanes”. The journey was approximately 3.5 hours. We passed small villages, fruit and coal markets by the road’s side. Before reaching the entrance of the Refugio we drove for approximately 45 min on a steep bumpy road with an impressive mountainous ecosystem. When we finally reached the entrance of the Refugio, we got amazed by the beautiful view of the valley were the hotel is located and the majestic mountains surrounding the area.

One of the first things that we observed was our neighbors the crested oropendula (Psarocolius decumanus). Next to our hotel there was a tree full with oropendula’s nests which are very elaborated and with a shape like a water drop. The same day during the afternoon we did our first walk on the “Sendero Condor” and the highlight was to observe a Tucan (Ramphastos sp.). During the evening we were delighted by the amount of fireflies around the hotel and afterwards during our walk we found an Armadillo. Unfortunately, we couldn’t count the number of rings on the body for the identification.

Foto: (c) Manuela Merling de Chapa
Photo: (c) Manuela Merling de Chapa

On the second day, we walked the “Sendero Loros” where we found a waterfall with large numbers of colorful Mitred parakeets (Guarouba guarouba). Further up the trail in the stone formation we found the lizard Tropidurus melanopleurus which have a remarkable sexual dimorphism. For a person without previous experience or without an identification key it would appear that the females and males belong to two different species. This area was also characterized for the abundant presence of bromeliads. At the top of the trail in the “Mirador” we observed a white-bellied hummingbird (Amazilia chionogaster) and also Black-chested buzzard eagles (Geranoaetus melanoleucus). Another highlight of the day was to observe the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) a very representative bird of South America. During the afternoon we visited the beautiful waterfall near to our accommodation where we had a refreshing bath before going for the afternoon walk, where we found a Colubrid snake. Unfortunately, it was covered by vegetation which made it difficult to identify and when Martin tried to catch it the snake escaped. During the evening we went again for a walk and we recorded toads’ callings.

Foto: (c) Manuela Merling de Chapa
Photo: (c) Manuela Merling de Chapa

 

Foto: (c) Martin Jansen
Photo: (c) Martin Jansen

 

Foto: (c) Martin Jansen
Photo: (c) Martin Jansen











 

Foto: (c) Martin Jansen
Photo: (c) Martin Jansen

The next day we returned to Santa Cruz, we spent some hours organizing the transportation for the next day to Concepcion at the colorful and loud bus terminal “Bimodal”. But something more exciting was the visit to the “Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado” in the evening, where we had a very interesting guided tour through the amphibian and reptile collection by Ronald Sosa, who takes care of the herp collection. Here we learned about the work of specimens’ preservation for the collection and also about the diversity of Bolivian amphibians and reptiles.



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