ML 137904

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Blue-and-yellow Macaw -- Ara ararauna 2:30 - 6:00 Play 2:30 - More
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Time of Day: 1445  

Environmental Recording 14:00 - 15:48 Play 14:00 - More
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Rainforest ambi  

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Interview 15:53 - 1:33:40 Play 15:53 - More
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Louise Emmons  

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Environmental Recording 16:11 - 16:33 Play 16:11 - More
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Cicada wingbeats  

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Sound Effects 21:45 - 22:36 Play 21:45 - More
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Walking, evening  

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Environmental Recording 22:36 - 23:48 Play 22:36 - More
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NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
5 Nov 1991 at 14:45

    Geography
  • Bolivia
    Santa Cruz
    Locality
  • Noel Kempff Mercado National Park; El Encanto camp
    Latitude/Longitude
  • -14.625   -60.69306
    Habitats
  • Rainforest
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1

LNS # 137904
Bolivia
DAT #4 Tuesday

Driving back to Los Fierros after morning trip to EI. Encanto ****** A long bed of Good quiet General Ambi. + a few buzzing bugs

FX: *****location ambiance at higher gain, with active high-pitch cicadas.... distant camp voices in background Louise at first mist net.

LE: managed to catch a cicada in the net (FX -cicada fluttering). I open these mist nets when it's dark enough for bats to start flying, and after birds have stopped flying.

AC: extremely fine black net that you're lowering down a black pole.

LE:*** These nets --Japanese mist nets --made by Japanese out of women's hair -used to catch small birds.

FX: Louise still at work with nets

LE: The thread is so fine so bats can't detect it with their sonar (Link to earlier cut re. Japanese nets)

AC: Borneo

LE: Borneo for 13 months....

AC: Difficult ? LE: somewhat difficult when go from place to place.....worked for many years in tropics. I normally study the ecology of species. spent a long time doing radio tracking.

AC: interest in tree shrews

LE: no one has ever done much field work with them...unusual reproductive system.... every other day she comes to feed them every other day FX: walking to next mist net. ******** at stream ¬
good -butterfly in the net

AC: how get involved in RAP

LE: involved with CI for long time -on the Board of Directors for 4 years. when RAP started -became the mammalogist...... (good to use some of chatter by the stream) This is the first time I've set nets...can't walk trails AND do mist nets on same night. stay til 11 or 12. . ¿¿¿¿ talk about pureness of water. no people anywhere near it.....straight off the mountaintop.

FX: STREAM -good. (14) -(change from split track to MS encoded stereo)
(16) good closer water sound with cicada
(No) Back to camp with Louise -never seen so many bees, swallowed a lot of moth wing dust.

AC: you've set nets out to catch bats. LE: more kinds of bats here than any other kind of mammal in the new world tropics. more bats here than any other kind of mammal. Bats are very important part of the fauna. Here wouldn't expect so many because far away from rainforest. Mosquitoes coming out. I get used to it....mosquitoes. Rather live here than in Washington. I'm really interested in this work all the time.... never tired of it. Always something to see.... firefly, owl hooting in the tree.

AC: controversy re. nature of the RAP program

LE: I think a lot of those criticisms come from a misunderstanding of what we are trying to do.....we're not trying to do a complete inventory of the flora and fauna¿¿¿ that would be impossible. Because all of us have a lot of field experience, we can get a pretty good idea whether a place is interesting or unusual, whether it's been trashed by logging or grazing, what kind of flora and fauna it has. Ted usually can get about 80% of the bird species.....not trivial.... most people would take months. He just happens to have a particular talent which nobody else in the world has. We have a lot of field experience -each of us 20-25 years. What we are doing is largely comparative.... can evaluate a place because have seen a lot of others.

AC: ever revisit an area and discover that development has taken place.

LE: not really.....though certainly saw a massive decline in Africa....due to hunters.... very rapid in 60s and 70s .... seems to have happened worldwide.....Right here not many people, not many signs of hunting.... spider monkeys.... all over Amazon Basin.... wiped out by hunting.... they're large, make a lot of noise.... reproduce slowly....jaguar.... if legal hunting is allowed¿...hunting. CITES convention has done a lot of good.

FX: go check nets ******* good walking through brush.... walking and brush.... cicadas.... come to stream wait here.

AC: what is it?

FX: LE: wading through the stream.... she describes what she's found --a heron --

FX: long good stream ambience ( just good general stream and night ambi in the forest.... stream not as loud or gurgly as earlier -but this would be good for under AC copy)

AC: keep the birds (she caught a nighthawk) LE: no, they're very common here. I describe the birds to Ted and he tells me what they are.

AC: Did you know all these people.... it's a very small world tropical biologists.... (explains re. other RAP members and where known them.....

AC: why such small field

LE: armchair envy. Many people not be able to take it. it's very disruptive to personal life. Won't get rich or famous doing field work....it's too hard to do unless you really love it. Very few do it for long.... I've done it by being independent. Smithsonian.... unsalaried research associate there.... same for Robin and Ted. Money isn't important to any of us. Just interested in getting out there and being able to work. Some undiscovered species here. Certainly in South America is not here. One of the reasons Bolivia is such an exciting place to work is that many areas are still totally unexplored. It's going to be quite a few years before we know what in Bolivia.... bats and rodents. just found this giant peccary in 1975 in Paraguay. If an animal that big can escape everyone's notice, you can imagine how little work has been done. Just takes a lot of work. Each place is a whole project by itself ..will be many years before have an idea what's in them.... we just flew over a vast forest....

AC: If a young person listening to this, how to proceed if interested.... Have to go through the academic route.....go to a place where tropical biologists.... but in order to get credibility do university studies. how to become a field scientist.....bet determined that that's what want to do, go for it.....have to find funding for own research work even as a graduate student.....takes just really wanting
(to do it.... can't be sitting here wishing you were
{eating at MacDonald's or watching TV or worry about being bitten by mosquitoes.... you're often by yourself. lonely as a lifestyle.... too hard and too disruptive to do unless
,extremely determined and really love it.

AC: last night off by yourself -on a 10 km walk...

LE: I was out looking for animals, a lot of animals can see at night -armadillos, or night monkeys or kinkajous, deer, possums, see them by reflection of eye shine.... see them better at night using a powerful headlight and binoculars -equally useful to use by night.
Nocturnal animals are extremely sensitive to noise, have to be very quiet. if had to go off the road would be very noisy.... walk on trails at night so can walk quietly. I started doing it years ago in Africa. Can go out there and see small mammals at night.... part of what I do for RAP is get out there and see what can see. Saw monkeys today, lot of tracks on the road. Normally I would see monkeys, squirrels, deer, cats, peccary (day). At night see (same as above).... tapir. .... sometimes run into a jaguar. Try to make them run away and they do. I often carry a machete. In almost any environment, see animals at night -are nocturnal. Tired, stretch out days, work every minute. We drive ourselves. No boss, we know we have a limited time. hardly ever see each other in camp.... off on different schedules/(she describes)
Have a boat down on the Potomac.... You may have heard there are more insects than anything else....

AC: so many things here that are so bothersome.... I don't even notice those things.... best place on earth to be.

FX: walking. Find a common bat that eats fruit.
Good stretch of ambient sound at the net.

AC: doctorate in neurobiology. I consider myself more of an ecologist.... I mainly study the interaction of animals in their environment, what they eat, what they do for a living.
FX: wading across stream.
LE: got two other little bats (a little off mike at beginning. This is a fruit eating bat that specializes on figs. Big, white stripes on its face .... big teeth.... wouldn't want those fastened around your finger
(note: AC to describe). When bats are really big, I wear a glove. get others out.

*****Louise returns, wet shoes squeaking as walk back to camp.

Camp talk -re. food (Note: would be good to mix a short camp scene montage ¬re. insects, food, cooking etc.)

FX: Opening a pack of dried apples. "GOOD IDEA!" Can of corn. Had real carrots last time. Anything in forest that would eat. Some times in the year would be ¬hearts of palm -but would have to sacrifice a whole tree.

(35) Long Camp Ambi

More talk with Robin re. food he's cooking. Age of group --in 40s. Couldn't get health insurance cuz traveled too much.... high risk.

FX: (37) ***** GOOD dinner prep sounds (AC narrates some) (use under AC description) canned goods, have to use planes etc. to bring stuff in.

RF: for good analysis, need 3 components: satellite photos, plane over flights and ground examination. usually people who are trying to analysis satellite images, don't have a clue re. what it's like on the ground......seems to be a reluctance for people to go into the field.... don't get a chance to find out what's below the canopy.

FX: camp ambi with insects, cooking gear, and occasional chatter two Robin and Louise....

AC: what do you talk about over dinner?
RF: (No -a bit off mike) You, other RAP members who aren't here.... future plans.... why there aren't more mammals here. Robin says Ted wants more diversity of birds to be mirrored by diversity of plants, mammals etc. Places where have lots of plants, won't have birds, same re. mammals/birds correlation.

FX: eating sounds

FX: GOOD TRAIL AMBIENCE, faint voices from camp

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