Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Worst Work Environment on the Planet

lizard storage
We've been continuing the research that I've explained in my other posts. We are working on the clay model experiment at Cap de Barbaria and the male intruder technique at Trucadores. We have also set up pit-fall traps at Cap de Barbaria. We built rock piles around empty soda bottles with the tops cut off and then baited them with fruit. We go back every once in a while and check to see if there are lizards are present and take their measurements. We have the traps in both open and vegetated areas and are testing to see if more juveniles are pushed out into open, marginal habitats by the larger males.
Cap de Barbaria lighthouse

A huge perk of working in the Cap de Barbaria area around lunch time is getting to go to the cave to eat lunch. There is a hole in the ground that you drop down into and walk through a cave out onto a ledge looking over the ocean. There are sometimes a lot of tourists there, but the view is still amazing and we get to eat lunch and enjoy the sun.
Where we eat lunch

Collecting clay models at Trucadores
We have collected a total of 6 transects of clay models at Cap de Barbaria so far and we have gotten pretty good data. We have to analyze the clay to see what kind of animal has left the marks and I'm getting pretty good at it.

Rat bites- visible teeth marks

Lizard bites- mark left by the grinding plate

Avian attack!

Another avian bite
It is a beautiful area to lay out transects because by the end of the transect you end up in a very different scenic area compared to where you began. Last time the end of my transect ended on the cliff so I had to end it 3 points early, but got an amazing view.

Beautiful, clear water
It still hasn't warmed up here and today was cloudy, windy, and cold so we couldn't do field work. The lizards aren't active unless it's sunny, so it's pointless to go out on bad weather days. Nate usually wakes us up in the morning by knocking on our doors, but no knock came this morning leading us all to sleep in. I was the first one up at 11:30- I guess we were tired!

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