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 Post subject: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 4:12 pm 
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Joined: November 25th, 2010, 2:00 pm
Posts: 405
Location: Long Beach, CA
Here's the follow up post and conclusion my first post from our trip to Peru and Manu National Park April 16-29.
http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11606

We stayed in the "Reserved Zone" of the park for 2 nights. This area is basically the most protected area of Manu National Park, while the outlying areas they still allow hunting and logging by the native people for subsitence, the reserved zone is fully off-limits to any of that activity.
I also mentioned that it rained like crazy on our boat ride into there. We arrived at a lake to do some paddling aboard their platform catamaran, but it looked like this...
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It was pretty tricky trying to figure out how to bail it out. No shoreline to tip it, plus it probably weighed 2000lbs+ all waterlogged like that. Obviously bailing doesn't work when the entire canoe portion is under water. What did work though was it was attached to a chain. When we pushed it out as far as it would go, then pulled the chain hard towards the dock it pushed a good portion of water over and out of the canoes. Repeating this about 4-5 times we were able to get enough water out to stand on it and actually start bailing. Ingenuity at its finest.

If we hadn't bailed the water, we would not have seen these, mammal hightlight of the trip for me by far...
Giant River Otters Pteronura brasiliensis
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some video of the Giant River Otters
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rothdigga/7153631715/in/photostream


That was an amazing sight. Every time they dove down, they caught a fish and ate it. It was insane.
Other hightlights of the paddle included
Amazon Dusky Titi Monkey
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White Capuchin Monkey
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many, many Black Caimans
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We went on a different hike across the river from the lake to look for 2 different monkey species and found them.
Saddleback Tamarin Monkey
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and the very impressive Woolly Monkey
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Of course followed by another round of night hikes. It's easy to get lost when the trail looks like this. I'm the one in the back with the hook, foreground is a 19-year old Swiss student who came along the trip solo. Dude was down for any/all adventures so he hung with us the whole time.
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Largest Tree Frog we found, Map Treefrog?
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Amazon Milk Tree Frog
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And numerous of these un-ID's guys
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These Three-striped Poison Frogs were still awesome. Wish I could've got a belly shot, it looks impressive.
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Here's a quick example of some of the camo you're dealing with in the wet ground. Sometimes you're strictly looking for movement.
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closer shot reveals a frog
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Most people living on the river reside like this...
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Like I said, lots and lots of frogs on the night hikes. Leptodactylus bolivianus?
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Small toad found outside of our cabin
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Different toad found about 10 feet away from the first one
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It's awesome when you go to take a leak in the bathroom and there's this dude staring back at you in the corner.
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Pale-striped Amazon Poison Frog Epipedobates hahneli
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I didn't stay with this one too long, but my wife scored another Blunt-headed Tree Snake. She found 5 of them in about 2-3 nights.
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This bat hanging and eating what I think was a caterpillar.
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Cool yellow pads on this frog
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Allobates Conspicuus
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phyllomedusa Palliata
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The last day in the reserved zone, we went to a Parrot/Macaw Clay lick, which is basically an open area of cliffside with exposed clay. Birds need to eat clay to help them battle toxins in the seeds and plants that they eat and support their minerals they lack in their diets.
Ringed Kingfisher scoping out the scene
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Red and Green Macaws partying down before licking some clay (sounds like a derogatory lesbian comment)
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One guy tests out the waters...
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Then it's a party. There's 1 Scarlet Macaw along with the rest of the Red and Green Macaws here
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Macaw video
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rothdigga/7007540832/in/photostream

We surprisingly didn't see a ton of lizards on this trip. Part of the trouble with travelling with a group I guess through. 1 large iguana was scared away before I got a photo. Our boat captain did find a Golden Tegu for me, had it cornered in a soccer net but it snuck under and bolted. I was crushed, would've been so stoked to see one.
Olive Tree Runner tropidurus umbra
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Masked Crimson Tanager
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Top of the canopy up on a platform, we saw some cool stuff.
Find the bird in this photo. Jeez.
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a closer look at that branch reveals a Great Potoo.
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Habitat shot, we were scanning for jaguars which our guide said he's seen a lot of from up there, stalking Capybaras. No success.
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Amazon Bark Anole anolis ortonii
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Amazon Green Anole anolis punctatus
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Largest Tarantula of the trip, on the roof of the eating cabin. Pink-toed Tarantula
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Big, chunky Turnip Tailed Gecko before our last night hike, Thecadactylus rapicauda
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We watched this little dude for a good long time. He looked like he was trying to catch insects with his hand at times, weird.
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Spider web attached to his nose
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This big sucker was as big as your hand. Some pretty gnarly creatures out there.
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Eleuthrodactylus ockdeni?
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One of my favorite frogs of the trip, phyllomedusa palliata
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I think Dwarf Jungle Frog Leptodactylus wagneri
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Common Polka Dot Tree Frog Hyla Punctata Punctata
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Tarantula that pleased everyone by nabbing a giant roach
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I can't find anything that looks like this dude. ID?
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Cool pose for a Map Tree Frog
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This was our steed to get us back over the Andes from a different point. We went from a little over sea level (maybe 300m) to a pass in the Andes that was 5000+meters high (16,500ft). It was pretty sickening feeling going that high that quick, but some awesome views.
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If you could drive up to Mt. Whitney in California, you would still be about 2000ft short of this road. Ugh.
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We ended the trip with 2 days up at Machu Picchu, staying at a place called Rupa Wasi. If you're going there, I recommend that place very much. Views are spectacular and their restaurant had the best meals in Peru that we had.
View from our bed.
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Blue-necked Tanager out our window
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Some shots from up at Machu Picchu. We hiked to the top of Wayna Picchu as well, not as daunting as it looks, it's the large mountain in the background of most Machu Picchu pics people take. Only about a 40 minute hike up.
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I found a lizard up there
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Me and the wife at the top of Wayna Picchu
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Thanks for checking it all out if you did. Feel free to PM me anytime with questions about going to Peru or visiting Manu, I'll fill you in on my thoughts and experiences.
It was a superb trip. Now I don't have anywhere else big planned yet for the rest of this year or next...hmmmmmmmmmmm.


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 4:42 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:37 pm
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Location: Ft. Smith, Arkansas
Another awesome post, man. Great shots as usual. Was the blunt headed the only snake seen in this portion of the trip?


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 4:46 pm 
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Joined: November 25th, 2010, 2:00 pm
Posts: 405
Location: Long Beach, CA
mikemike wrote:
Another awesome post, man. Great shots as usual. Was the blunt headed the only snake seen in this portion of the trip?


Mike,
Yeah, and I didn't really shoot it much because I knew I had better shots of the other ones. Plus, it was pretty deep into the bushes and hard to get to.
Unfortunately, we didn't see any boas, no Fer-de Lances, Bushmasters or anything else I hoped for. Not complaining in the least, but I can't say I wasn't hoping for a nice Rainbow Boa to find.


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 4:58 pm 

Joined: July 1st, 2010, 7:07 pm
Posts: 122
Great post! That first otter shot is fantastic!!


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 5:54 pm 
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Joined: July 15th, 2010, 4:48 am
Posts: 93
Great report, thanks for sharing :)

Rothdigga wrote:
Big, chunky Tropical House Gecko before our last night hike, hemidactylus mabouia
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Did you consider Thecadactylus rapicauda? A much chunkier gecko, it looks fitting presuming they occur in Peru.
Cheers, Jordan


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 7th, 2012, 6:25 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2012, 2:11 pm
Posts: 74
Location: Lee County, Florida
Great Post, I see tons of frogs, maybe next time you might find a bushmaster (one I would love to find, next to the inland taipan, and black mamba) So amazing, kinda wished we could have seen the golden tegu.


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 8th, 2012, 8:30 am 
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Joined: November 25th, 2010, 2:00 pm
Posts: 405
Location: Long Beach, CA
Jordo- I guess I should have thought about a Turnip Tailed Gecko. I was looking on color and spot pattern on the back instead of size but yours makes more sense. Thanks!

Denmeade- I sure wish I could've got a better look at the Tegu, for a photo. I saw it fleetingly, as it bolted into the thick of the forest, during an all out sprint with my camera. Next time indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 8th, 2012, 10:44 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:17 am
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You are one lucky SOB. It's a toss up between the Otter and the Scarlets on the cliff. If you were to enter a photo contest... those are the ones.

The rest... what makes this forum great.


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 8th, 2012, 11:58 am 
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Joined: November 25th, 2010, 2:00 pm
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Location: Long Beach, CA
EJ,
The otters were a highlight of mine. They seem like a pretty hard animal to find, anywhere. I believe it says they have 500 in the park and it's the highest concentration in the world, which is pretty crazy. Only 1 family lives at a lake because they're super territorial.
Glad you liked the photos. We had a blast. Of course I wish we found more snakes, but it wasn't from a lack of looking/trying. We did put in about 10-12 hour days hiking on the days we could.


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 8th, 2012, 7:01 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Absolutely stunning post. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 8th, 2012, 7:14 pm 
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Joined: October 13th, 2010, 8:42 am
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Location: So. California
Wow, awesome post! I think I like the shots of the sunken canoes best, that about sums up most trips for me. Seriously, watching those river otters must have been sick, and that photo of the Pink-toed Tarantula was my favorite. Oh yea, I still hate you!


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 Post subject: Re: Peru- Madre De Dios/Manu National Park ROUND 2
PostPosted: May 8th, 2012, 7:30 pm 
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Fantastic post, really enjoyed it!

Gerry


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