The camera trap team set off towards Madidi National Park travelling up the Madidi River from Puerto Serima on the first day of a three-day journey. An overnight camp is made on a sandy beach. At the same time the majority of the #IDMadidi team travel overnight by road from La Paz towards Ixiamas.
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A day spent repairing two boats and peque peque motors in preparation for travel on the Madidi River. A frustrating but necessary delay.
The team travels four hours north from Ixiamas on a road to Puerto Serima on the Madidi River. Here a community, Gran Dapapuri, is busy growing cacao and coffee, and the team will travel with amp equipment, camera traps and food to Alto Madidi.
The team meets up with the equipment and supplies lorry in Ixiamas, driving the San Buenaventura to Ixiamas road and final food and supply purchases are made for an expedition team that will at times be more than thirty people. Meanwhile, thanks to the Madidi park guards a boat with gasoline for the entire campaign leaves San Buenaventura to travel two days down the Beni River to the mouth of the Madidi River and then five days up the Madidi River to Alto Madidi.
An advance #IDMadidi logistical and camera trap team departs La Paz by road for San Buenaventura and Rurrenabaque, neighboring towns found in La Paz and Beni Departments respectively, and separated by the Beni River.
The first day of the most logistically challenging leg of Identidad Madidi so far – a trip to the remote Alto Madidi site in the upper waters of the Madidi River. The #IDMadidi team loads up the contracted lorry with equipment and food and it departs for a two day drive to Ixiamas in the Iturralde Province in northern La Paz Department.
At three AM in the morning the team rises and packs our second vehicle and some hired jeeps before setting off for Pelechuco where a truck awaits to receive our equipment and continue on to La Paz.
At midday our first vehicle leaves Puina and travels back to La Paz. Meanwhile the last of the camera traps are collected and equipment packed away in preparation for a very early start on the morrow.
Armonia ornithologist Rodrigo Soria is celebrating as 104 bird species are registered for the Puina valley with an impressive sixteen new records for the park. Most ornithologists have focused on the more tropical portions of Madidi and so the proportion of new records is high at this site because these mountainous areas have been largely ignored. Now the majority of the camera traps are back revealing more cat encounters, the dwarf brocket deer (Mazama chunyi) in the treeline elfin forests, and another Pampas cat on the mountainside. More mechanics arrive to mend Rita the broken car.