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New Cruiser: Expeditions

The travels of an all aluminum Land Cruiser and its owners…

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Las Cuevas Research Station, Belize

Written by Raenelle on Saturday, November 15, 2003
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Las Cuevas Biological Research Station is in the southwestern region of Belize and is accessible by a two hour long drive along unpaved roads which require a 4 wheel drive vehicle. The research station is not open for visitors, but we managed to see the place because we got hold of a masters student who was doing reRobin in junglesearch on ocelots at the station. Ocelots are little cats – about the size of a house cat – that live in the jungles in alot of Central America. Adam has been setting traps to catch the cats and radio-tag them so that he can track their movements using radio-telemetry. He’s trying to get estimates of the density and home-range of ocelots in the region near the biological station. He was setting up cameras at night to get some mugshots of the cats that were roaming around at night, and although the information he gained from this technique was very informative, he couldn’t keep using the cameras because they were being stolen by Guatemalans coming across the border at night. Guatemala is only a few kilometers from the research station.

Robin and I spent the day with Adam and his field researchers – we hiked through the junglRaenelle in junglee to the top of a big hill (the field researchers were cutting a path through the jungle with their machetes). From the top of the hill, we took telemetry readings of the three ocelots that have been tagged so far. In the afternoon, we hiked up a different hill with Adam where he took us up a big lookout tower where we could see out over the canopy of the jungle – it was amazing. We saw spider monkeys in a nearby tree and watched the vultures circling us before Robin and I had to leave. We said goodbye to Adam and his researchers who do alot of hard work in the jungle (hats off to them all) and headed north.

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