Fellow Geoversity co-founder, Ben Goulet, and his research partner Sofia Prado-Irwin, were back in January to lead their second visit to the Mamoní Valley. Benjamin’s and Sofia’s visits have started a very important project for us called the MVP Natural History Project.

 

Each year the researchers document all aspects of the biome.  Each year they’ve added a specialist to the team to help them focus on a more specific ecological theme. This year’s team: researchers from Harvard and the U. of Texas.  This year’s focus: Butterflies!

 

 

Even though January is our dry season, during their stay the weather went mad and we had the largest rainfall measured to date; a total of 317mm or more than 1 foot of precipitation in a single morning!

 

Tree’s were down, creeks became class 5 rapids, and the path going to Casa Aguila was completely washed out from a landslide. The researchers didn’t hesitate to grab  shovels to dive into the mud, clearing the trail to their lodge. What looked to be a hard day’s grind, ended up being a celebration, since the slide made possible for them to find a very rare specimen of a caecilian (Oscaecilia ochrocephala) and a legless lizard (Amphisbaena varia) spotted for the first time around our Mamoni campus.

The grad students put together a beautiful compilation of their findings, which includes over 45 butterfly species encountered. Click >>here<< to see more.

Softcover of the compilation can be acquired with a minimum offering of $100 >>here<<. Proceeds will cover print costs and remainder will directly support the 2019 expedition of the MVP Natural History Project.

Ben and the team are very excited about bringing in new researchers and expanding the phylogenetic scope of the project. They are currently working on a plan to preserve permanent and scientifically valuable records of the valley’s incredible biodiversity in research museums in Panama and the U.S.

Interested in joining their next field study?

Inquire for more details  >>here<<