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Excerpt diary and voice recorder Daniel Saenz on turtles.

April 14th, 2020

A cry for help written by Daniel on October 2009. “Is there still time?”

 

Cobachon, 23/10/2009 Page 1 on turtles

page 2 on turtles

Page 4 on turtles

page 3 on turtles

 

 

 

 

 

Cobachon 23/10/2009

With a pen in hand I start to write some words that I believe are good for the future because the problems are very strong when I write this.
I am referring to the turtles that today are being exploited at 100% this is very dangerous because when there are no young the population is going to disappear this is because of the eating of the turtle eggs it is commercialized in the town of Cambutal through massive illegal trade and no cooperation with nature organizations in the case of the turtles.

When we arrived in Cobachon in 1977 this resource was not exploited. When one travels from Cambutal to Cobachon one could see a great number or turtle nests in the Horcona beach. We are talking about 90 -120 turtles in the night. These nests were very good . They had up till a 100 % in some cases this percentage could go down but even though the lowest percentage from the Horconas beach were not lower than 80 % and only in that year it was used as a consumption for the people themselves and only for that reason and not for the commerce.

This was only in the Horconas beach without mentioning the Punta Blanca beach and the Playa Verde. In these beaches (playa Blanca and playa Verde) a number of turtles hatched just like in the Horcona beach in Punta Blanca in one night there were around 20 – 30 turtles and they were the same of the Horcona beach. These turtles were on the beaches on good days up to a 100% and in some days … could go lower to 85% In playa Verde there were between 22 – 20 turtles in this beach. Always up to a 100% and some cases could lower up to 80%. Already in this beach families lived and they picked up eggs for household consumption not for commerce.

Today when I write about the turtles on the three beaches I mentioned all are under commercial trade and they are being exploited up till a 100%.

Here I mention that the beaches of Horconas, Punta Blanca and Playa Verde without mentioning Porto Bello that turtles hatched in the years 1977 until 1987 and the population was good but after these years the turtles started declining a lot so that there will be in this year only in total 25% ; that is very bad because over the declination of this percentage that remains is under the focus of trade. Meanwhile the authorities of ARAP do not do anything.

We still have time but the guilty ones disappear under the authorities of today.

 

The fishline is clearly visible.

 

Jaime removes the fishook from the turtle (Olive ridley)while it is laying its eggs

It was surprising that in spite of all the people, not only watching Jaime when he removed the hook  but also watching the proces of laying eggs, there were almost 100 eggs.

Daniel explained that in order to save some of the eggs from poachers he takes them to the beach near his house where they can develop in peace. The removal has to be done within 13 hours. When the eggs are removed it is important to mark (with a soft pencil)  the top of the eggs and to place the eggs in exactly the same position as one did find them.Because  of the lag of time (the laying occured in the evening) Daniel decided to leave the eggs in nest and hope for the best. When I took a swim the next morning I saw a lot of dogs from the village on the beach that I had never seen there before. Maybe not only poachers but also dogs find the eggs. Which is not so surprising because most of the dogs I saw were hardly fed.

This gives you a good idea of the hook size

 

Audio Tortugas marinas
Las tortugas comienzan a llegar entre julio y agosto, ya para septiembre, octubre y noviembre vienen grupos más grandes y se dan las arribadas. Sin embargo pueden verse aun en diciembre, enero, febrero, marzo y abril pero solo una o dos al mes porque no es su temporada.
Chelonia mydas agassizii anida más en los meses de verano, llega solo a Playa Verde, no ha Cobachón. Playa verde se encuentra aproximadamente a 1 kilómetro.
La última baula (Dermochelys coriacea) que vi fue hace 15 años en Playa Verde, no se si será porque ya no vienen o se están extinguiendo.
La única especie de tortuga marina que llega a Cobachón es la tortuga olivácea (Lepidochelys olivácea).
Se da la depredación de los huevos de tortuga por parte de las personas y animales domésticos. Las personas cogen los huevos para venderlos, además los perros también sacan los nidos para comerlos.

Audio – translated:
The turtles begin to arrive between July and August, and by September, October and November larger groups arrive. However they can be seen even in December, January, February, March and April but only one or two a month because it is not their season.
Chelonia mydas agassizii nests more in the summer months, only reaches Playa Verde, not to Cobachón. Pllaya vede is approximately 1 kilometer away from Cobachon.
The last leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) that I saw was 15 years ago in Playa Verde, I don’t know if it is because they are no longer coming or that they are becoming extinct.
The only species of sea turtle that reaches Cobachón is the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivácea).
Predation of turtle eggs occurs by people and domestic animals. People take the eggs to sell them, in addition the dogs also take out the nests to eat them.

Excerpt diary and voicerecording Daniel Saenz on Ateles geoffroyi.

April 14th, 2020

Ateles geoffroyi

May 2012

 

I could see the spider monkeys in the bush in Sander’s finca ( Granazul). There were 4 adults and 1 juvenile. This was in the mornin . These spider monkeys were eating fruits from the Mamon de montana ( Melicoccus bijugatus)

When I went to clean the area I could see spider monkeys where I saw them last on May 9th eating from the fruits of the tree. There were 4 spider monkeys of which 2 were adults, 1 juvenile and 1 infant on the back of the mother. This was around 8 in the morning. After seeing me they left.

Saturday,2 August, 2012

 

When I passed the riverside of senor Armando I could see,outside the small forest that is in the direction of the teak trees,the spider monkeys of GranAzul. These I counted and there were 13 spider monkeys and there were 2 with infants on their back and also 1 juvenile that went around. These were outside the meadow of senor Armando and they arrived at the finca of Sander. This was around 9 in the morning. Also Emanuel (son) and Blanco (cousin) saw them. In total there were only 13 spider monkeys.

 

Friday, 13 July,2012

When I went upstream the Cobachon river I could see from Armando’s corral outside the small forest that is on the edge of the riverbed 11 spider monkeys that were going for the top of this Ginko tree: 8 spider monkeys and 1 juvenile that went around alone and 2 spider monkeys with infants on their back. There were only 11 monkeys. This was in the morning.

 

Wednesday,27 May, 2013

Spider monkeys in Cobachon. When I went to the riverside meadow of my father I could see the spider monkeys going tot he meadow of Sander. This was around 5.30 in the afternoon. I could see only 2 spider monkeys and they were eating fruits of the Cecragnia tree,

Wednesday , 03 July, 20 13

When I went the Cobachon river I could see the spider monkeys at Sander and Anja’s finca. These ones I counted and there were 13 spider monkeys, 2 had infants. They came from the Gobachon river toward the meadow of senor Armando. I could see one eating Nance seeds.( Brysonima crassitulia)  This was late in the morning.

Sunday, 11 January, 2015

I could see a group of spider monkeys at Sander’s finca in the creek that exits the corral of Emilio. This group had 8 spider monkeys and 2 babies.

Friday,08/05/2016

I could see 4 spider monkeys at Sander’s finca but none of hese had babies.They ate mangoes and the left to the river. It was around 9.30 in the morning.

Friday,08/19/2017

When I went to Sander’s finca I couls see the spider monkeys. There were 5 monkeys and 2 had infants. They were outsisde the corral of Mando Oliva. This was late in the morning. There was also 1 juvenile spider monkey.

Wednesday , 23 August, 2017

When I went to Sander’s finca I couls see a group of 14 spider monkeys. This was late morning. They were outside the meadow of Mando. There were 3 adults with 2 infants. 2 more juveniles and 6 adults.

 

 

Summary of Daniel Saenz’s observations of Ateles geoffroyi

Date Adults Juveniles Infants Trees
09-May-12  2 1 1 Mamon de montana
13-07-2012  8 1 2
02-08-2012  10 1 2
27-03-2013  2 0 0 Crecropia
03-07-2013  11 0 2 Nance seed
11-01-2015  8 0 2
02-08- 2015  4 0 4
05-08-2016  4 0 0 Mango
19-08-2017  5 1 2
23-08-2017  9 2 3
12-02-2017  2 0 1

 

 

Audio  “Monos Araña”

El 9 de mayo de 2012. Pude ver 4 Monos araña, dos adultos, uno joven y uno pequeño en la espalda de la mona. Esto fue por la mañana, siempre los he visto por la mañana, todos mis apuntes son antes del mediodía.
El 16 de mayo de 2012. Pude ver 3 adultos y uno pequeñito comiendo de un mamon de montaña. (Melicoccus bijugatus)
El3 de juli 1o de 2012. Vi 8 monos adultos, uno pequeño (juvenil) que andaba solo, y una hembra con dos crías en la espalda, en total fueron 11. Antes de las 11 de la mañana. Estaban comiendo de un mamón de montaña.

02 de agosto de 2012. Pude ver 13 monos arañas, dos mamas con bebes y uno joven en la mañana, creo que son los mismos (que vió anteriormente) porque siempre aparecen los 2 bebés y uno joven.
27 marzo del 2013. Vi dos monos comiendo guarumo (Cecropia)
3 de julio del 2013. 13 monos arañas, con dos bebes, estaban comiendo semillas de nance (Byrsonima crassifolia), los vi en la mañana. Siempre los veo en el mismo lugar, parece que tienen un camino para ir y venir. Y como siempre camino por ahí siempre los veo, los cuento y veo si tienen bebés. Me gustan los monos araña, ya los quiero.
11 de enero del 2015. Pude ver un grupo de monos en la quebrada arriba en el bosque de galería cerca del corral. 8 monos adultos y 2 bebés.
5 de agosto del 2016. Pude ver 4 monos araña donde Sander, comían mangos, a las 9:30 de la mañana más o menos.
19 de agosto 2017. 5 monos adultos, dos con bebes, un mono joven, en el corredor (mencionado el 3 de julio de 2013).
23 de agosto de 2017. Pude ver un grupo de 14 monos, al medio día, tres adultos con bebes, dos más jóvenes y 6 adultos. Este es grupo más grande que se ha visto.

 

Trees monkeys feed from. (translated from voicerecorder)

Mono Arana  (Ateles geoffroyi)

 

Melicoccus bijugatus       Mamon de montana

Byrsonima crassifolia      Nance
Ficus insipida                   Higueron
Maclura tincotira             Moro
Spondias mombin            Jobo

Mangifera indica              Mango

 

Mono aullador de Azuero /Howler monkey  ( Alouatta cobiensis trabeata)

 

Crecopia longipes              Guarumo
Crecopia peltate
Ficus insipidus                  Higueron

Spondias mombin              Jobo

 

On trees and monkeys

Spider monkeys 2020

Video footage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel Saenz and his bird spotting in GranAzul

April 12th, 2020

Birds of Panama

 

The Birds of Panama, A field guide by George R.Angehr and Robert Dean, Daniel Saenz tells us about his bird spotting over the past years.

Azuero parakeets

 

Translated Audio recording of Daniel Saenz on birds. 

February 14 and 15, 2020

Attending: Daniel Saenz, Diana Moreno, biologist, Hector Barria, volunteer, Marco Bueninck, photographer, Anja van Ditmarsch.

Pages refer to The Birds of Panama  

1. Great Tinamou (Tinamus major) Page 2
2. Little Tinamou (Crypturellus soui) page 2
3. El pijije alas blancas (Dendrocygna autumnalis) Page 4
4. El pato criollo (Cairina moschata) Page 4
5. Anas discors female in the Rio Cobachon Page 6
6. Crax rubra killed for meat Page 10
7. Crested bobwhite (Colinus cristatus) Page 14
8. Pied-billed-grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) Page 14
9. Red-billed tropic bird Young (Pheathon athereus) Page 18
10. El pelícano pardo February 2015 (Pelecanus occidentalis) Page 22
11. El cormorán neotropical Pedasi (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)page 24
12. La fragata común (Fregata magnificens) Page 24
13. La garza tigrillo (Tigrisoma mexicanum) Page 26
14. La garza bueyera (Bubulcus ibis) Page 30
15. El Martinete cucharón 26/1/2019 (Cochlearius cochlearius) Page 32
16. El Tántalo Americano 2019 (Mycteria americana) Page 32
17. El ibis blanco americano (Eudocimus albus) Page 34
18. El Buitre negro americano (Coragyps atratus) Page 36
19. El Buitre Cabecirroja (Cathartes aura) page 36
20. El gallinazo Rey (Sarcoramphus papa) Page 36
21. El águila pescadora (Pandion haliaetus) Page 38
22. El repobardo (Campsonyc swainsonii) Page 38
23. El elanio tijereta. Spotted almost 9. (Elanoides forficatus) Page 40
24. El gavilán cangrejero colorado (Buteogallus meridionalis) Page 46
25. El halcón blanco (Leucopternis albicollis) Page 46
26. El gran halcón negro Rio Orillo(Buteogallus urubitinga) Page 48
27. Gray Hawk (Buteo nitidus) Page 50
28. El águila crestada Cerro Hoya (Morphnus guianensis) Page 54
29. El águila azor negra (Spizaetus tyrannus) Page 54
30. El halcón montés collarejo (Micrastur semitorquatus) Page 56
31. El carancho norteño Settled 02/04/2016 (Caracara cheriway) Page 58
32. El halcón murcielaguero (Falco rufigularis) Page 60
33. El halcón peregrino.Eats chicken (Falco peregrinus) Page 60
34. El pavito de agua 23/4/08 (Eurypyga helias) page 60
35. Grey-necked-wood- rail (Aramides cajanea) Page 62
36. La gallareta morada (Porphyrio martinica) Page 66
37. El caraú 23/3/13 (Aramus guarauna) Page 68
38. El tero. Spotted a mother with two chicks in Cobachon 17/05/2017 (Vanellus chilensis) Page 68
39. El ostrero común americano (Haematopus palliatus) Page 70
40. La jacana común spotted the young in Cobachon and the adults in Cambutal (Jacana jacana) Page 72
41. La paloma oscura (Patagioenas goodsoni) Page 100
42. Mourning Dove 26/6/19 (Zenaida macroura) Page 102
43. Tórtola pecho liso in the meadows (Columbina minuta) Page 104
44. La tortolita azulada (Claravis pretiosa) Page 104
45. La paloma titibu (Leptotila verreauxi) Page 106
46. La paloma montaraz de Coiba Endemic (Leptotila battyi) Page 106
47. La paloma perdiz común Cobachon and Portobelo (Geotrygon montana) Page 108
48. El perico carato. I spotted groups between 40 and 50 and smaller groups of 14 to 25 en finca GranAzul (Pirrhura eisenmanni) Page 110
49. El perico frente rojo. Sedentary. Groups of 60 (Aratingo finschi). Page 110
50. El perico cara sucia Cambutal (Bolborhynchus lineola) Page 110
51. La guacamaya bandera Years ago I spotted them but not anymore. The initial group was probably too small: approx 4. The birds are hunted for their feathers and their nests are destroyed by logging. (Ara macao) Page 112
52. El guacamayo verde I spotted groups of 30 They eat the nance seeds (Byrsonima crassifolia). (Ara ambiguus) Page 112
53. El periquito bronceado (Brotogeris jugularis) Page 114
54. El lorito encapuchado o loro marrón encapuchado. They feeding on the plantains in the farms (Pyrilia haematotis).Page 114
55. El loro amazónico. I spotted uptil 43 birds in a group (Amazona farinosa) Page 116
56. El loro moñi amarillo. Spotted in Cambutal (Amazona ochrocephala) Page 116
57. El cuclillo de manglar (Coccyzus minor) Page 118
58. El cuco guaquita de monte (Piaya cayana) Page 120
59. El cucu listado (Tapera naevia) Page 120
60. El cuclillo faisán. To be seen in Cerro Hoya (Dromococcyx phasianellus) Page 120
61. El garrapatero aní (Crotophaga ani) Page 122
62. La lechuza común. Spotted only en Playa Verde (Tyto alba) Page 122
63. El lechuzón de anteojos. Lives in Cobachon.Officially not mentioned in Field Guide (Pulsatrix perspicillata) Page 124
64. El mochuelo. (Glaucidium brasilianum) page 126
65. El pauraque. Punta Seca (Nyctidromus albicollis) Page 132
66. El ermitaño moteado ( Phaethornis yarugui) Page 138
67. El Ermitaño Golirrayado (Phaethornis striigularis) Page 140
68. El colibrí de Cuvier ( Phaecochroa cuverii) Page 142
69. El colibrí morado (Campylopterus hemileucurus) Page 142
70. El mango de Veragua. 13/08/2015 (Anthracothorax veraguensis) Page 144
71. El trogón violáceo (Trogon violaceus) Page 160
72. El surucuá amarillo (Trogon rufus) Page 160
73. Trogón (Trogon bairdii) page 160
74. El trogón grande (Trogon massena) Page 162
75. El momoto amazónico. They make holes in the ground for nests (Momotus momota) Page 166
76. El martín martín pescador de collar (Megaceryle torquata) Page 168
77. El martín pescador chico (Chloroceryle americana) Page 168
78. El buco. Only spotted in Portobelo (Malacoptila panamensis) page 170
79. El tucán pico iris (Ramphastos sulfuratus) page 176
80. El carpintero moñi colorado (Campephilus melanoleucos) Page 184
81. El pijuí pechiblanco (Synallaxis albescens) Page 186
82. El batará barrado (Thamnophilus doliatus) Page 202
83. El batará negruzco. Endemic in Costa Rica and the Pacific coast (Thamnophilus bridgesi) Page 104
84. El mosquero real Spotted in 2013(Onychorhynchus coronatus) Page 234
85. El bienteveo rayado (Myiodynastes maculatus) Page 252
86. La tijereta sabanera (Tyrannus savana) Page 256
87. El anambé aliblanco (Pachyramphus polychopterus) Page 260
88. El anambé degollado Have their nest in the Madrono tree (Calycophyllum candidissimum) (Pachyramphus aglaiae) Page 262
89. El titira enmascarado o puerquito (Tityra semifasciata) Pagae 262
90. El campanero tricarunculado (Procnias tricarunculatus) Page 266
91. El saltarín cuellinaranja. Spotted in 2013 (Manacus aurantiacus) Page 268
92. El saltarín de barba blanca. Spotted in 2011 and 2014 (Corapipo altera) Page 270
93. El saltarín cabecirrojo norteño. Spotted in 2009 in the hight foresto Cobachon (Ceratopipra mentalis) Page 270
94. El saltarín lanceolado (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) Page 270
95. El vireón cejirrufo (Cyclarhis gujanensis) Page 278
96. Urraca de pecho negro (Cyanocorax affinis) Page 280
97. Cucarachero rojizo (Thryophilus rufalbus) Page 292
98. La perlita tropical (Polioptila plumbea) Pagae 298
99. El bisbita amarillento .Spotted in 2019 (Anthus lutescens) Page 306
100. Perlita mielera (Dendroica petechia) Page 312
101. La candelita norteña (Setophaga ruticilla) Page 320
102. Reinita hornera (Seiurus aurocapilla) Page 322
103. Reinita (Phaeothlypis fulvicauda) Page 330
104. La tangara rosada. Spotted in Cerro Hoya(Rhodinocichla rosea) Page 334
105. Sangre de toro (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) Page 340
106. Azulejo (Thraupis episcopus) Page 342
107. azulejo de palmeras (Thraupis palmarum) Page 342
108. La tangara cabecidorada (Tangara larvata) Page 346
109. El mielero verde (Chlorophanes spiza) Page 348
110. El certiola de patas amarillas (Cyanerpes caeruleus) Page 348
111. El saltador de garganta canela (Saltator maximus) Page 350
112. El cerquero negrilistado. Very common in Cobachon (Arremonops conirostris) Page 362
113. La tángara rojinegra migratoria (Piranga olivacea) Page 364
114. El picogrueso pechirrosa (Pheucticus ludovicianus) Page 370
115. El realejo negro (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) Page 370
116. El gorrión común Spotted in Panama (Passer domesticus) Page 372
117. La loica pechirroja (Sturnella militaris) Page 374
118. El turpial oriental (Sturnella magna) Page 374
119. Chango o talingo (Quiscalus mexicanus) Page 376
120. Vaquero brillante ( Molothrusbonariensis) Page 376
121. El turpial toche (Icterus chrysater) Page 378
122. La oropéndola de Baltimore Migratory (Icterus galbula) Page 380
123. Oropéndola. Migratory (Psarocolius decumanus) Page 382
124. La eufonia coroniamarilla (Euphonia luteicapilla) Page 384

Checklist Angehr

One of the many checklists marked by Daniel

 

Daniel: When you want to know birds you have to know their song

 

 

Unfortunately only few pieces were left of Daniel’s diaries.

 The few he showed us are translated here

Thursday, 15 Juy, 2010  Green Macaw

I was walking along the Cobachon river up to the finca of  E. and I could see 3 green macaws eating Nance  (Byrsonima crassifolia)seeds . This was around 3 in the afternoon.

Saturday, 06 August, 2016. Shiny Cowbird

We could see a bird in my garden. ( Cobachon) This bird was totally black and it is possible that it was a  Vaquero birllante (Molothrus bonariensis) . There was only 1 bird.

Azuero Parakeets Monday, 11 November, 2013

I could see the parakeets at Sander’s finca.( GranAzul) They were eating Higueron ( Ficus insipida) . It was a group of about 25 parakeets. This was at 11 in the morning. I noticed the parakeets because they were singing.

Thursday, 13 February, 2020

There was a group of parakeets at Sander’s finca ( GranAzul)  in the orange orchard. They were eating Higueron . It was noon.

 

 

Daniel spotted the following birds feeding from these trees:

Trees Azuero parakeets feed from:

Scientific Name                                 Local Name
Croton draco                                      Sangrillo
Ficus insipida                                    Higueron
Pseudobambax septinatum               Barricon

 

Trees Parrots & Macaws feed from:

Scientific Name                                   Local Name
Ceiba pentranda                                 Ceibo, Bongo
Hura crepitans                                    Tronador, Nuno, Havillo
Terminalia oblonga                             Gujabo de Montana
Byrsonima crassifolia                          Nance

 

 

 

Introduction to our interviews of Daniel Saenz. February 2020.

April 12th, 2020

It is all coming together

We spent three full days with Daniel Saenz in GranAzul-Cobachon:the 15th, 16th and 17th of February, 2020. The days were filled with his observations on birds, monos and tortoises.  Daniel, Diana and Hector also went on long hikes.

Marco Bueninck made the photos, Diana Moreno took notes, Hector Barria de los Santos held the voicerecorder and I, Anja van Ditmarsch , was just happy.

 

George R. Angehr

The Birds of Panama
A Field Guide

Diana Moreno

Diana Moreno

Daniel, Hector Barrias de los Santos and Anja

That first day – Saturday 15th – we used a voicerecorder (held by Hector) to document all of Daniel’s observations while Diana made notes in Angehr’s Field Guide to keep track. It will take a while before we have transmitted all the information in a proper way and for now some photos.

 

.

.

Checklist Angehr

One of the many checklists

Daniel used the checklists in Angehr’s Field Guide and I am trying to think of a way to show all those 30 pages on this site.

 

Before I continue to the second day, the 16th of February, I would like to emphasize that the transcripts of the voicerecordings and the translation of the diaries will take some time.  Also Diana and Hector hiked for many hours with Daniel and  we will publish  their photos and annotations  when ready.   The videos we took are too large for this website and as soon as they are on youtube we will let you know.

 

Now on to the Monos. There are four species in GranAzul: the Howler monkey (Alouatta Palliata trabata) in Panama also known as GunGun; the white headed Capuchin ( Cebus capucinus capucinus)  in Panama known as mono Carito or Cariblanco; the  Arana or spider monkey ( Ateles Geoffroyi azuriensis ) in Panama known as Charrao and the mono nocturno panameno know as Jujuna.

Our main interest goes to the Aranas or spider monkeys. Over the years their number has grown from 4-5 to at least 14 and  maybe more. Diana and Hector on their last hike the 17th were lucky to see two Arana’s and they will tell more about this encounter when we get their information.

Here some photo’s of Daniel’s diaries which will be translated in due time.

Daniel on Aranas

Learning which trees monos like to forage from

Monos aranas y monos nocturnos

 

Saturday night ( February 15) around 10 pm there was a great excitement on the beach. A Warana ( Olive Ridley) turtle was spotted laying its eggs. Daniel could keep all the curious onlookers (visiting  Cobachon because of the long summer holydays) and their flashlights at bay and made sure the turtle could more or less quietly lay its eggs. Jaime noticed that the turtle had a fishing hook in its flesh and managed to remove it. The next day Daniel told us about his experience with turtles. And as always the biggest threat being : man and sometimes dogs. Daniel also told us that this turtle was unusually early as most of the time they come to lay their eggs in August – September. As there are only 13 hours to remove the eggs to place them in a safe place he decided to let them be and hope for the best

 

We do have videos of the turtle laying its eggs and once we put those on youtube we will let you know.

How a little drawing can be an inspiration

January 24th, 2020

The last time I visited Granazul and Daniel in his dwelling in Cobachon (when he spoke the famous words:  “no me gusta este flycatcher, muy complicado y pequeno. ”)  was in 2016.  To explain to me the geographical situation of the farms between Cobachon and the Cerro Hoya Daniel wanted to draw me  a little map.

While he was looking for an empty piece of paper  I noticed that there were several fully written pages laying around. “What are those. Daniel?”I asked. A bit reluctant and with a shy smile he answered me that those papers were his observations of birds, animals and even trees. “How long have you made those notes?”I asked.  “Por muchos anos,” he answered.

The map Daniel drew, in  all its coarseness, gave me a good idea what was happening in the areas between Cerro Hoya and the Pacific Ocean.  And to be more specific where Daniel wrote ” Sander” on his map that is Granazul – the land our familly owns. And next to ” Sander” you see ” F Panama” wich is the conservation area of Fundacion Panama, bought through the IUCN some years ago.

The realization of Granazul’s  unique location so close to the Cerro Hoya together with Daniel’s important knowledge of Azuero’s flora and fauna, inspired me  to play a humble role in documenting and possibly conserving Nature in and around Granazul.

Map Cerro Hoya - Granazul

Daniel’s map of land between Cerrro Hoya and the Pacific

Back in Chitre where I stayed with the Morales family I asked  my friends to help me with a letter to the ornithologist Francisco Delgado, discoverer of the Painted Parakeet of Azuero.  I thought professor Delgado might know of Daniel Saenz  as he is mentioned by  George R. Angehr in “ A bird finding Guide to Panama.” In my letter  I explained  to professor Delgado my ideas and plans to interview Daniel.

Professor Delgado did not response to my letter and for some years I chose not to think about  interviewing Daniel . Yet  the idea did not reallyl leave me ..

Until … well …untill  last year summer when I met with my beloved cousin Marco, who was visiting the Netherlands form Mexico where he has lived for the last twenty years.  Marco just turned seventy and being 8 years his senior,  I thought we would make an excellent duo for my expidition to Granazul- Cobachon. And so did Marco!

Azuero Parakeet

Azuero Parakeet endangered . Only in SW of Azuzero Peninsula

 

First I contacted Ruth Metzel  of the Azuero Earth Project, now Azuero Eco Project who I had met many years ago in Pedasi. Ruth greatly approvevd of my plan to document Daniel’s diaries and brought me in contact with Sandra Vasques – working in Pedasi. Sandra and I agreed that we would wait until January – a month before Marco and I were scheduled to come to Panama, to go over the details of our trip and to find the right interns to come with us to Granazul – Cobachon.

 

Knowing that the land next to Granazul was bought many years ago by the Fundacion Panama, through the IUCN in the Netherlands, I decided to contact their office in Amsterdam. I was very fortunate to meet with Marc Hoogeslag who, when I told him about Daniel, said the following:

 

“It is easy to become cynical when you work in conservation for two decades, but men like Daniel give us hope again. To document all the information Daniel can share is of crucial importance.”

 

 

Birds Spotted in Gran Azul Panama

March 31st, 2016

In the  ten days that I spent in Gran Azul I took some time with  Daniel asking  him to  tell me about the birds he spots.  Before answering my question Daniel explains to me: “ if you want to know  birds you first have to know their song.”  And indeed, he calls the birds imitating their sound and they answer….  Daniel has bird watched – as you know – with George R. Angehr, who mentions Daniel in his “ A bird finding Guide to Panama” on page 182. With the following list which I got from Daniel I will refer to the pages of George R. Angehr’s book “ The birds of Panama- a field guide.”

First of all Daniel asked me to be sure to mention that he has spotted the Spectacled Owl ( Pulsatrix perspicillata) in Gran Azul. In the field guide Gran Azul is not mentioned but Daniel is absolutely certain and would like to contact George Angehr.

From “Wikipedia”

Here follows Daniel’s list as he gave it to me and therefore not in any order other than what he remembers. I will write the Panamanian name first , the common name in black, the scientific name in italics followed by the   page in the field guide.

Batara, Black-hooded Antshrik, Thamnophilus bridgesi, page 204.

Perlitos, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Polioptilaplumbea, page 298.

Ivis, White Ibis, Eudocimus albus, page 34.

Pico Amarillo, Keel-billed Toucan, Ramphastos sulfuratus, page 176.

Martinpescador grande, Ringed Kingfisher, Megaceryletorquata.

Halcon, Collard Forest-Falcon, Micrastursemitorquatus, page 56.

Loros casanga de pico negro, Blue-headed Parrot, Pionus menstruus, page 116.

Loro Glatanero, Brown-hooded Parrot, Pyrilia haematotus, page 114, ( solo en el meses de diciembre a febrero).

Garsa Blancas, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax,  Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Nyctanassa violacea,  Boat-billed Heron, Cochlearius cochlearius  page 32.

Garsa Tigra,  Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Tigrisoma fasciatum, page 26.

 

Carpintero, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Melanerpes rubricapillus, page 1

Carpentero, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Campephilus melanoleucos, page 184.

Oropendolas, Crested Oropendola, Psarocolius decumanus, page 382.

Cormorant, Neotropic Cormorant, Phalocrocorax  brasilianus, page 24.

Yellow Headed Caracalla, Yellow –headed  Caracara, Milvago chimachima, page 58.

Stripe Throated Hermit, Stripe-throated Hermit, Phaethornis striigularis, page 140 (Este lo vi atras del rancho de Sander).

Masked Tityra, Masked Tityra, Tityra semifasciata, page 262. ( en Galeta )

Squirrell Cuckoo, Squirrel Cuckoo, Piaya cayana, page 120. (en Galeta)

Little Cuckoo, Little Cuckoo, Coccycua minuta, page 120.

White Howk, White Hawk, Leucopternis albicollis, page 46. ( Jaime, Emanuel and I spotted this bird last week in a tree close to our rancho).

Mealy Parrot,  Mealy Parrot, Amazona farinose, page 116.

Great Green Macaw, Great Green Macaw, (Ara ambiguous), page 112.( recently saw a group of 13 Macaws).

Striped Cuckoo,  Striped Cuckoo, Tapera naevia, page 120.

Barred Antshrike, Barred Antshrike, Thamnophilus doliatus, page 202.

Rufus browed Peppershrike, Rufus-browed Peppershrike, Cyclarhis gujanensis, page 278.

Mangrove Cuckoo, Mangrove Cuckoo, Coccyzus minor, page 118. ( only for a couple of months a year but Daniel is not sure when)

Azuero periquito, Azuero Parakeet, Pyrrhura eisenmanni, page 110.

Trogon, Violaceous Trogon, Trogon violaceus, page 160.

Trogon,  Slaty-tailed Trogon, Trogon Massena, page 162.

Lance tailed Manakin, Lance-tailed Manakin, Chiroxiphia lanceolata,page 270.

Red capped Manakin, Red-capped Manakin, Pipra mentalis, page 270.

 

Daniel assures me that there are many more  he forgot to mention. Like the Flycatchers as he says:  “no me gusta este flycatcher, muy complicado y pequeno. ”

 

avanditmarsch@gmail.com; svdende@gmail.com.

GranAzul and introducing Daniel

February 25th, 2014

 

 

Crossing a river

Just before entering Cobachon we see on our right the impressive mountains of the national park Cerro Hoya, seemingly very close in the clear morning light.

Cerro Hoya

While visiting the pasture we saw a King Vulture and three Green Macaws at close range. The King Vulture was amongst many Black Vultures feeding on a dead snake. The Green Macaws were feeding on the fruits of a nearby Sandbox tree (Hura crepitans).

 

The next day Daniel showed me a turtle egg nursery where he has planted eggs that he had saved from poachers. He said it was a very rare species to be seen laying in this area, the Green sea turtle (Chelonias mydas).

Turtle eggs

Daniel saving turtle eggs from poachers

Walking toward the beach we see tracks of a marine turtle that has come to lay its eggs. Daniel immediately erases with his slippers the tracks so poachers will not find the eggs– unfortunately still highly desired as being an aphrodisiac. By the look of the tracks, and the various holes the turtle dug, Daniel surmises it to be a Caguama ( I have to find the Latin name and apologize for not having done so yet). This incident with the turtle tracks gives me an opportunity to properly introduce Daniel Saenz. He is not only very valuable in doing the necessary manual labor such as building ranchos, fences, servicios (toilets) and water systems, but even more importantly he knows the fauna and flora of this area as few others do. Let me quote George R. Angehr in his book A Bird- Finding Guide to PANAMA, page 182, “ There are only a few houses in El Cobachon. Daniel Saenz, who lives there, is an excellent guide to the area. Daniel can help to hire horses and make other arrangements.”

Before leaving  we all have lunch in our rancho. Daniel leafs through our new bird field guide ( A field guide to Birds of Panama, by Goerge R. Angher) which is a follow up on the book I mentioned earlier.

Daniel points out special birds he sees regularly on Gran Azul, such as the Azuero Parakeet (Phyrrhura eisenmann),  and the Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus), of which a pair has a nest in one of the Cuipo trees.  Apparently the poaching of these magnificent birds has decreased as Daniel regularly sees flocks flying over. Just last week he counted a flock of thirteen Green Macaws.

 

On Charraos, Gun-Guns and Cariblancos

April 2nd, 2011

Let me quickly help you with the translation before you think that I have started a blog in a different language!

Higueron Gigante ( Ficus insipidia)

Charrao also called Charro or  Mono Arana is in English  Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi azuerensis). Of the three different  types of monkeys in Gran Azul the Spider Monkey is the most elusive.  About five  years ago Daniel saw  a group of four Aranas in Gran Azul and, in November  2010, he counted eleven Aranas. As soon as l return from Gran Azul in the middle of  April I will contact the Azuero Earth Project to tell them this good news. ( www.azueroearthproject.org)

Igueron verde with Daniel.

We also have the Howler monkey,  (Allouatta palliata trabeata), known here is the Gun-Gun.  It seems that we have quite a few families of the Howlers in Gran Azul and I can assure you that you hear them from early morning to late in the evening. However Daniel did not tell me about the size or  number of those families. As you probably know the Howler uses his voice to make sure that he does not encounter another family as he does not like confrontations and prefers to eat and digest in peace the many leaves he and his family eat.

Caimito ( Chrysophyllum cainito)

The third is the White headed Capuchin ( Cebus capucinus capucinus), known here as Mona Carita or Cariblanco. When I was in Gran Azul last week we saw one Cariblanco quietly sitting in a tree munching on some fruits or maybe an insect and our presence did not seem to worry him or her.

Is this all I can tell you about the monkey population in Gran Azul? At the moment it is. Certainly we will try to make some progress in our observations next year when we plan to be in Gran Azul for the entire dry season. I look forward to meet with the Azuero Earth Project people to get valuable advice and information from them. As for now I will just show you some of the trees in Gran Azul which are of major importance for the wellbeing of these amazing creatures.

Nance ((Byrsonima crassifolia)