Saturday, January 26, 2013

No more monkeying around

Sampling for arthropods near the outer wall of the ancient city of Gede

After a successful monkey-free sampling round in the forest on the far side of the Gede ruins, we decided to take a more practical approach at re-sampling the site where our traps were under siege a few days ago. After much discussion, our field assistant Simon volunteered to hang out at the site all day yesterday in order to deter any monkey mischief. Our primate friends were in full evidence as we arrived at the site in the morning to put up traps; we also saw a few duikers (who apparently have a strong affinity for soapy water - hence posing a continuing threat to our pan and pitfall traps) running about. We set up our traps to the sounds of Hadada Ibis and the near constant (and seemingly mocking) call of the  Trumpeter Hornbill (check out its mournful if somewhat annoying call here), and then Simon settled in for the day - with provisions for food & water, of course!

Simon preparing to hunker down for the day on monkey patrol!
At the end of the day, our scheme paid off - Simon did indeed have to chase off monkey troupes a few times - but our traps held fast and we got some great data this morning! We travelled to a nearby shamba (farmstead) and set up traps there - the first of three days of farm sampling to round out our comparisons (diversity in the regenerated forest vs. established forest vs. farmland). Back on track, we're busy sorting insects this afternoon - and hoping to take in some Saturday night rugby on tv at a local bar this evening!

Jake hoisting malaise with Stanley at the shamba

Meg helping with set-up at the shamba

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