Can you set your watch after a bird? by Bente & Uffe

Footsteps in the forest. From a distance, it looked like there was a door in the middle of the trail. It wasn’t a door but a screen to separate us from the show we were hoping to see. With careful steps, we snuck up to ”the door”. It was completely quiet in the forest – only the sound of silence. Very little sunlight penetrated the forest canopy. When we reached the screen we looked carefully through some small openings – but there was nothing to see on the other side. Walter, the ranger at Copalinga Ecolodge, went around to the …

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A close encounter | by Tyla Autumn Barnfield

It was an early, crisp April morning in South Africa. By this time of year, Autumn had well and truly arrived. With it, came a bitter chill that crept in during the evening and hung around until late morning, until the sun had graced the day and warmed the atmosphere. On this particular day, I had been up before the crack of dawn and was zipping through the bush on the back of a game vehicle with my fellow volunteers. Our mission: to track down the reserve’s female cheetah. Being out in the bush for sunrise is one of the …

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Have we lost the Podocarpus harlequin frog for good? by Berglind Karlsdottir

I’m standing at 3000 meters above sea level in gale force winds and rain, and my mood is the lowest it’s been for the whole expedition. That says a lot since we’ve already overcome many challenges to get here in the first place. We got delayed by a day or so because we were waiting for the collection permits to get signed off. We had poor weather the whole time – windy and dry. Not great for finding frogs as they like things nice and humid. Then, our local field partner, Freddy, got hypothermia after searching the windy mountaintop of …

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Welcome to the Jungle | by Jordan Flagel

It was dark, the only light coming from the waning headlights of the overloaded van that wasn’t built for these roads. We were driving along the right side of the road, which would be normal in many places in the world. But this was Guyana. Traffic flowed down the left side under normal circumstances. This road was different. The only interior high way of the country stretches from Georgetown, the coastal capital, to Lethem on the Brazilian border. It is paved from the coast down to the town of Linden, about an hour south of Georgetown. After that, it becomes a …

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The original point | by Aymen El Gharadi

One day, a professors gave me a paper with a single point and told me: Get out of this point and draw me a shape. The point is really beautiful, if you follow the paths you drew, you will reach the original, the point was the origin and drawing is the tree. It was a strange world, and if the two lines want to communicate between them, they must return to the point of origin because it is the common denominator among them, and each line we remove reduces our chances of finding the original point. Life is the common …

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The Awakening of Guyana’s Rainforest | by Molly Crookshank

“…watching and hearing the rainforest awaken made it all worthwhile and an experience I will never forget.” Guyana holds one of the most intact forests on earth, situated in the North-East of South America. Whilst carrying out scientific research in Iwokrama and Surama, I was lucky enough to experience the wonder of the rainforest waking to a new day in one of the most diverse places on this planet. The day we would watch the sunrise from Turtle Mountain was the day all the research assistants were waiting for. A few months on and I can still picture the whole …

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Crowned Ruler of the Skies | by Nyawira Gitaka Esther

She was perched on a dead tree branch about three meters in front of me. Oh was she a sight to behold. She posed like she owned the world as if in wait for the trees to take a bow in honor of her magnificence, oozing of strength, power and blood from traces of her last meal. It was her eyes that got me. She stared at me with intent and intensity. Her eyes seemed pierced to the depths of my soul, her intense stare wouldn’t release me- it took me hostage. My brain could only try and scramble for …

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Tom Slough

Encountering the Queen of the South African Coast | by Hannah Rudd

Few past experiences could have prepared me for what I was on the verge of facing. Looking out across the calm harbour, with the gentle white horses hugging the rocky Gansbaai shoreline, I could observe ocean for as far as my eyes could see. The auburn sun was gradually rising across the horizon and the sky was soon filled with a mesmerising array of autumnal tones. All around me people were hectically running around, preparing both the cage-diving boats and the tourists for the trip ahead, yet an overwhelming feeling of tranquillity consumed me. Breathing in the crisp ocean air …

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A journey into the rainforest, was it a cat-astrophe? by Mark Thomas

It is 19:30 pm, the camp has just eaten dinner. Most people are scuttling off to the project room, or to find bananagrams. We are located in the buffer zone of Manu National Park, Peru, at a research station. Projects run day and night researching the regenerating rainforest. A forest cut down for agriculture purposes, a forest abused of its natural resources. An image we still see so much today. However, in the last 50 years the trees have grown back and it is now teeming with life. A beauty that is hidden from the rest of the world, but …

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Vanishing peccaries | by Dr Nataly Hidalgo Aranzamendi

In 2006, I started a job following breeding macaws in the rainforest of SE Peru. I was delighted to follow the daily routines of dedicated parents feeding their babies. The charm of the rainforest lies in the fact that everyone hides, as most animals are secretive and quiet. A wildlife biologist then has to assume a green camouflage and transform herself into a detective to find them inside this green universe. Some animals can break the silence of the forest, in particular, white-lipped peccaries. My encounters with them were mostly peaceful, hearing their proximity by the click-clack of their teeth …

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