5 May 2023
Pupils, staff and a guide, lived on a boat moored in a channel off the main Rio Amazonas and carried out multiple biodiversity surveys between the hours of 6:00am and 11:00pm. Smaller auxiliary boats were used to study the populations of fish, birds, dolphins, fishing bats, frogs, and caiman with highlights including catching piranhas, spotting sloths, and paddling a canoe along the channel.
The land-based surveys meant the girls braved the ever-present mosquitoes and hiked in the forest as they monitored the populations of mammals and game birds, recording those seen on the trail as well as setting up camera traps. The final survey was to record the variety of lizards found in the forest. Pupils were left in wonder by the skill of the guides as they spotted the small animals, camouflaged on the trees.
Alongside this work, pupils attended lectures exploring the ecology of the Amazon and the development of community-based conservation in the area. They found it interesting how the research group had been investing in green energy to lower their impact on the environment. The group also had the privilege to visit three local villages to learn about their life and how they sustainably use the forest for food and other raw materials. These visits featured a football match and dancing with the children, followed by a craft market.