After being adopted, like a stray dog, by the University of Delaware I was invited to go with them to Indian River. A large river to the north of the island, historically used by the native Dominicans. There is also a bar at the end, which sells a rum punch called Dynamite, I think this might have been added after the native Dominicans... maybe. The river was also used to film some of the scenes from the 3rd Pirates of the Caribbean movie, not that I have seen it... Great story, no?
Well I made it my quest for 2016 to catch some of the elusive baby frogs from one of our main survey sites. And fortunately I managed to spot and catch one of the 2 this week. Very positive to find a frog of this age (6 months old) in another site which was hit by tropical storm erika. We now have confirmation of successful breeding in two sites across the island. We were also fortunate enough to be joined by University of Delaware students for the last two weeks, several of whom came on a number of night surveys and night feeding at the facility. It was a pleasure to have guests on the project and to thank them for their interest in the project we named one of the frogs YoUDee after the University of Delaware mascot, which happens to be a Chicken. Good week for the Mountain Chicken Project!
Carnival is a month long thing in Dominica, it starts off with various opening ceremonies across the island. So I went to see the opening festival in Roseau.
One of the places I really wanted to visit was Emerald Pool, so I did. Borrowed the frog mobile and off I went, I went early in the morning to avoid the gallivanting hoards of Cruise ship tourists. Meaning I had the entire place to myself for an entire hour! Definitely my favourite place so far. I really don't think I need to put more words, just enjoy the pictures.
One of the main goals of the project is to get the frogs in the captive population to breed, so we are trying everything to help this along. One of the methods used in Jersey and London is lining the breeding containers with clay. Rather than laying spawn like many frogs. Mountain Chicken Frogs create foam nests then lay eggs into the foam. Clay forms a perfect base for these foam nests so we are hoping that this year will be successful. Clay on Dominica however is hard to find, so we took a trip into the mountains were a number of Freshwater lakes cover the landscape. One of these lakes imaginatively named "Freshwater lake" is a great source of Clay so off we went. Taking a small trip to Boeri lake on the way back. Boeri lake is like something straight out of Jurassic park with ferns and mist everywhere.
I also discovered a great deal about the resourcefulness of Dominica, after the car tire got a nail in it and went flat. A short visit to the mechanic and £2 later I drove away with a fixed tire. Not replaced fixed! A small injection of resin patched the tire to a Dominica acceptable standard. Being as everyone drives around on tires so warn they could be classed as "slick" tires I small patch is perfectly fine with me!