Thursday, 21 July 2016

20 July

It was our first time to check the pitfall traps today, but unfortunately there was nothing inside any of them. As it was a very sunny and warm morning again, Valerie and Louise went for another swim by the waterfall. We just did not expect to see so many people there! There was a group of 5 tourists and then a big group of about 10 kids came! Still no problem for us though, because they all thought the water was way too cold to go swimming, so we still had the whole river to ourselves. Alex went on another photography hike and brought the one frog to release with him. So it’s an easy day for the rest of us.
Today Frank and three others went up the mountain to check the trails and campsite where we will be staying to catch and ID frogs further up the mountain where no research has been done yet. It took them 7.5 hours to get up and back down, so quite the hike. When they came back they walked into the classroom with a massive barrel. Everyone was wondering what was going on. They said they caught a snake up the mountain and that it was in his backpack. Everyone looked really surprised and for a second we did not believe him, but there indeed was a big snake in his bag. We released it inside the barrel and put a rock on top so it won’t escape. It is a big black snake with some lighter patches around the head of about 1.5 meters long. It was later identified as a ‘Tiger rat snake’. Tomorrow Louise and a volunteer will hike up the mountain to release it again and also to have a look at the campsite where we will be staying. Frank also mentioned that they found 7 frogs on their way up, without even looking for them! So we are very excited and can’t wait to go up and explore this never before explored corner of the reserve.

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