After my week in Guatemala I arrived in Honduras to begin my 5 week season in the Cusuco National Park in Honduras, working as a Herpetologist for Operation Wallacea. Much of my work was focused on Vipers and Frogs, which up till now I have very little experience with. This was one of the reasons I took the position. Well that and I get another 5 weeks sleeping in my hammock in the forest! After spending a week in base camp getting trained up on all the procedures and getting to know my fellow scientists I was sent off to my 1st satellite camp (Guanales). The next day after arriving at Guanales, I was called over to remove a Mexican Jumping Viper from behind the camp managers tent. This was my 1st ever experience handling a venomous snake, well I say handling. I used a very long and strong snake hook to pick the snake up and move him 50 or so meters... all the while being observed by a dozen school children. My 1st snake removal.... SUCCESS!
After numerous removals from Guanales camp and numerous transects up the mountains of north western Honduras, I returned to base camp for the night to catch up with friends and enjoy the local food and beverages at Buenos Aires which is the local village where all the guides live.
The next camp I was sent too was Cantilles, which was the highest camp in the park, over the mountain to the west of the park. In Cantilles I was reunited with a good friend of mine, Achyuthan (Ash) we then spent the week collecting Wilsons Vipers to collect physical data from. Including one very large female found under the guides hammock!
After a week in Cantilles a 7 hour hike across the mountains brought us to El Danto Camp, where I was to be stationed for 2 weeks. El Danto gave me great experience with frogs, including tree frogs the size of my hand! There were even tadpoles in the bathing area! I also got to see and work with some of the brilliantly green palm vipers which are becoming exceptionally rare in the park. After a great two weeks in El Danto, it was time to end my season in Cusuco National park. A day long trek to Santo Tomas, a secondary village to the north of the park, resulted in me seeing Howler monkeys! I had heard these guys most morning but had never seen any until the final trek.
My 4th yeah in Honduras was as good as always and I would still recommend anyone to visit this beautiful, but underestimated, country!