Introduction to our interviews of Daniel Saenz. February 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

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.

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.

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