Counting Rodents in the Rain Forest

An Ecological Adventure

On January 20, I leave for Belize where I'll be assisting with a research project titled:

Mammals of the Forest:

The Effect of Varying Resource Abundance on Small Mammal Population in Belize

We'll be surveying the small mammal population and assessing how it is influenced by and how it influences the forest structure. And when it really gets down to it, surveying the small mammal population means we'll be counting rodents.

The study will be taking place in the Bladen Nature Reserve in southern Belize. The nearest town is Punta Gorda and that's a couple of hours away. As near as I can tell, I'll be living in a thatched hut and wandering about in the rain forest. I've got my GPS receiver and I (sort of) know how to use it. I've got a funny hat with mosquito netting attached. I've got 100% DEET insect repellant. I'm packed and I'm ready. I've barely begun my research into the rodents down there, but I've heard of the gibnut, which is apparently sort of like a guinea pig that's the size of a beaver. I hear gibnut stew is tasty.

I'll report on the joys of counting rodents when I return.


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