Saturday, July 13, 2013

sad news.

Well, if you haven't realized it by reading this blog, I will tell you; our research is going painfully slow. We keep running into obstacles; mostly rain and lack of rangers for playbacks, and of course the uncooperative gibbons! If only we could tell them where to go and how to behave so that we could do our experiments in a timely fashion. I can say though, if there is one thing I will take away from this field experience, is that you cannot EVER predict ANYTHING; not the weather, not the gibbons' behavior, and certainly not the ranger's "busy" schedule.

So, what I am trying to say, is that Julie, after 8 months stuck here (5 without an assistant because of delays in my arrival) with minimal success, is fed up, and understandably so. She decided, considering the rain is just going to become more frequent in August, that it is best to just pack it in, have a serious talk with her advisor about the projects logistics, and to try again next year. This means we will only be at the park until the end of the month! So I only have about two weeks left with the gibbons. This realization hit me hard, especially today while we followed the M group, whom we had not yet done an experiment with and I had only seen for a few minutes once before. I realized this group would probably have become my favorite (W claims that title now, probably because of the many HOURS spent following them). The M group uses a lot of low trees in their territory, and their territory is relatively clear and easy to hike in. So you can see the gibbons easily and don't have to hack through spiny palm plants every few minutes! Not to mention the juveniles are awesome! The older one comes down really low and is very curious. The young one is just now spending all its time off mom, so he/she is very active and playful, but still tiny and cute. Anyway, it is sad to know I won't be able to get to know them much better.

This also means I will be starting my vacation 2 weeks early. Though I decided I will spend some of this time cooped up in a hotel room with free wifi working on grad school and GRE stuff. This is sort of a bummer because it means I'll have to spend more money that I had hoped. On the bright side I will get to explore Thailand even more, and maybe work on getting a tan finally!

Here are some photos from this week!

 elephant footprint!
 N female (Hima) with her black infant peeking at us
part of N group: Nithat (main male) grooms Hima with infant
 A tree growing on a rock!
After some research we figured out we've seen three types of hornbill in the park. This is the oriental pied hornbill (the one we've seen most often), we saw great hornbills this day, and this day we saw plain-pouched hornbills.

a male deer visited my window this time!
found a porcupine den in the forest!
there were two of them sleeping in this hole under a tree
I think I see a different AWESOME kind of fungi every day
W baby following Sari (mom)
W infant again
Sari and infant both looking surprised.
I love this infant!

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