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By Paul Clenton
As I have mentioned previously, the special feature of our bear enclosures is that they are in primary rainforest. This is an incredibly important area in its own right and therefore we intend keep records of the impact our bears are having upon the different tree and vine species (anything with a diameter greater than 5cm was recorded). The way that this is usually done is by tying a labelled ribbon or metal tag to each tree. Unfortunately our little hairy friends would make light work out of removing these and so we must paint the ID numbers onto each tree and vine.
Todays work was like solving a puzzle; it’s the kind of thing contstants have to do on reality game shows. It would have been lots of fun too, were it not for the thick jungle, rain and leeches. for each tree we were given it’s ID number, approximate size and circumference at chest height, as well as it’s distance and compass bearing from another tree. This was all very useful, although it was sometimes difficult because the bearing and distance stated referred to another tree which had not yet been surveyed. As a result, we made our way through thr jungle, identifying and marking the trees in a “head bone connected to the neck bone” fashion. There a few photos below which were taken this morning.
We managed to get 40 trees done in our first session before the rain got too heavy. That’s roughly 10% of what needs doing, so there’s going to be plenty to keep us occupied over the followiing days.