The week after the joint Kickoff I was kindly invited to see a study area, where some of our partners have established long-term study plots. The area is located at the Fazenda Tamandua (http://www.fazendatamandua.com.br/), about 14 km westwards from Patos, a midsize city in the state Paraíba.
The visit was of particular interest for the biodiversity-group, since close to the Itaparica-reservoir it was difficult to get an impression of pristine caatinga-vegetation. The plots at the fazenda were partly fenced, so that natural regeneration was taking place. To see the dense cover of green saplings seemed to me like a miracle, because the overall-presence of goats at the other places we’ve seen made this image kind of impossible (there wasn’t even litter at some places, due to the greedy life-stock!).
I spend two days with Claudio, installing the Malaise-traps to collect insects in the field. The picture shows the upper part of such a trap. The bottom is a similar cloth-funnel, looking downwards.
The infrastructure at the fazenda was great, as Claudio had described before. There was an extra house for hosting field-researchers (with kitchen, fridge and a washing basin outdoors), and the possibility to get lunch at the house of a resident. Even though the plots were more or less close together, a car is indispensable to get the work done in reasonable time.
The first day in the field (Wednesday), it was raining, and so the frogs did show up! I managed my way back to Recife and Germany, while Claudio finished his fieldwork with the help of a local (daily wage: about 32 R$).