Quarter in Review – Oct/Dec 2015

October
October’s activities began with a lecture by Danielle Morong entitled “Distribution of the invasive frog Eluthrodactylus johnstoneii in Trinidad”. Chances are you have been hearing this foreign amphibian in sub-urban environments, probably without knowing what it is!

October’s field trip took members to Fishing Pond for the annual geology trip where Mr. Philip Farfan pointed out the interesting characteristics of the area’s rock formations.

Members exploring the coast in October's Geology trip

Members exploring the coast in October’s Geology trip

For the fourth year, the T&T Field Naturalist’s Club has been a proud facilitator of the BioBlitz. Coordinated by Mike Rutherford of the UWI Zoology, this year’s BioBlitz was held in Charlotteville Tobago with the assistance of numerous groups, with particular thanks going to the team at ERIC.

The TTFNC birders with Carl Fitzjames and the bird-banding group at the 2015 BioBlitz.

The TTFNC birders with Carl Fitzjames and the bird-banding group at the 2015 BioBlitz (Photo courtesy T&T BioBlitz).

November

Our hearts were set a flutter in November when Imran Khan related his personal quest to understand and experiment with commercial butterfly rearing in his lecture “The business of butterflies”.

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The birders had a nice time out in the Aripo Livestock Station in November and also spent some time in nearby Mexico Road.

The birders at the Aripo Livestock Station

The birders at Aripo Livestock Station

The last field trip for the year 2015 ended with a bang as members had a thoroughly enjoyable trip to La Foret where we explored the rugged and scenic coastline.

Beautiful La Foret!

Beautiful La Foret!

The Club lent a hand to the El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation (ECWC) at their informative biodiversity display for schools in San Fernando at the Creative Arts Centre. As always the ECWC team put on an amazing educational presentation and the kids loved every moment of it.

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The TTFNC had an opportunity to put forward its views on wildlife management at November’s “Hunting Roundtable”, held at the Caroni Swamp Visitor Centre. The presentation is available here for viewing.

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December

December offers a chance for Club members to get together and celebrate the year gone by at our year-end lunch. This year, we headed for the hills to the Brasso Seco visitor centre where the Brasso Seco Tourism Action Committee prepared a feast for kings! Parang, cocoa pone and sorrel – what more could you want?

Roma and Dan hand out a few tokens of appreciation at the Christmas lunch.

Roma and Dan hand out a few tokens of appreciation at the Christmas lunch.

Always on the move, the able Dan Jaggernauth still wasn’t done yet for 2015 as the Tableland Pineapple Farmers Association and the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club attended the Laventille West constituency Christmas treat in December at the St Barb’s basketball court where they helped to spread the word on the importance of agriculture.

Tableland Pineapple Farmers Association and the TTFNC at the Laventille West constituency Christmas treat. (Photo from Trinidad Express)

Tableland Pineapple Farmers Association and the TTFNC at the Laventille West constituency Christmas treat. (Photo from Trinidad Express)

That brought to an end the TTFNC’s activities for 2015. We look forward to a productive 2016.

Quarter in Review – July/September

July
The bird group kicked off activities in July with a trip to the Caroni Rice Fields. Members were treated to the usual mix of marsh birds – spinetails, gallinules and herons. The highlight was a pair of white-faced whistling-ducks.

July marked the Club’s 124th birthday and, as tradition, it was celebrated by members evening where everyone had a chance to do a short presentation on a topic of their choice. Renoir Auguste presented a summary of his MSc project work on the amphibians of Aripo Savannas.

Aripo Savanna Amphibians

Dan Jaggernauth presented footage from the Club’s display at Atlantic’s World Environment Day celebration in Pt. Fortin and photos and video from his time helping Eliza Waldron with her capuchin monkey surveys in Chaguaramas. Amy Deacon presented a slide show to showcase some of the recent trips and artwork produced by the TTFNC Art Club. Jalaludin Khan used a slide show to draw the membership’s attention to the region’s volcanic activity, with a focus on the situation in Montserrat and Kris Sookdeo presented some recent photos from his camera traps in the Victoria-Mayaro forest, which included deer, tamandua, lappe and agouti.

The field trip that month was a short visit to a series of small pools near Rincon Waterfall. It was a very quiet and pleasing spot where members could enjoy the environment and look for things of interest.

Forest pools at Rincon

A freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium crenulatum)

August
Club member (and non-members) were able to participate in the Chaguaramas leg of the National Wildlife Survey, led by Darshan Narang during August. The surveys were completed in record time and were incident free. Continue reading