Thursday, 6 December 2012

Lynn explores the Interpretive Trail at the Golden Lion Tamarin Association.

After a loooong trip to get here, I finally arrived at Poço das Antas Biological Reserve yesterday afternoon. The reserve is the base for the Golden Lion Tamarin Association and is located 110 km north of Rio de Janeiro in the Mata Atlantica forest. I was warmly welcomed by the team of around 24 staff and given a few hours to settle in and acclimatise to the 30 degree heat (but hey, I’m not complaining!).

Although I’ll be spending most of my time with the Environmental Educators, I’ll also get to hang out in the field with the Researchers and Forest Restoration team (and hopefully get close to some GLTs, Sloths, Capivara, and Jacaré). Yesterday I explored the Interpretive Trail, which is used as an education tool for visitors; I met some Teiu, a large lizard, and got quickly acquainted with the local mosquito population!

Most of the team have very basic English, so my Portuguese language skills had to get amped up pretty quickly. When I returned to the lodge last night, my head was spinning from trying to take everything in, understand all the technical terms, and find the correct language to respond and ask questions that made sense!

Last weekend, the Association celebrated its 20th anniversary, which was a great opportunity for the team to reflect on their past achievements, current challenges and future goals. The clear theme that I am encountering is connections: Creating connections with people and creating connections within the forest, and my connection with the wonderful GLT team has just begun! Today I am going to learn more about how the Association connects with local communities and tomorrow I am heading into the field to see some research in action... Até mais!

Check out Lynn's other travel blogs here:
Part One - Golden Lion Tamarin Adventures
Part Three - Discovering the Mata Atlântica
Part Four - Brazilian Ecology 101
Part Five - Locals 'Rediscovering the Atlantic Forest'