At the end of July, seventeen students and three staff spent a week in the rainforest of Ecuador followed by a week on the island of Floreana in the Galapagos with Operation Wallacea.
During the first week the group were camping in Sani reserve, 40 thousand hectares of pristine rainforest on the Napo river feeding the majestic Amazon. Students accompanied scientists from the camp on their data collection twice a day. This included using mist nets to catch birds, identifying the species and condition before release, recording mammal tracks of tapir and jaguar before looking at the camera trap images and carrying out surveys. This was the first year that OpWall has worked at this site, so the species identification data will be used to support the conservation status of the reserve and allow more specific projects to run in future years.
The second week of the trip was spent on the beautiful island of Floreana, one of the smallest of the Galápagos Islands with a population of 120. During the week the group observed giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, penguins, sea-lions, marine iguanas, finches, hammerhead sharks and many more interesting and endangered species. Much of the week was in the marine environment, either snorkelling or diving in the cool waters.