My name is Katja. I am 18 years old and I come from Frankfurt in Germany. I grew up in a family of naturalists and animal lovers.
My grandfather owns a property in Macae de Cima near to REGUA. He specialises on a family of miniature orchids and is a co-author of a book on the orchids of the Sierra dos Orgaõs. My father grew up stumbling over snakes on my grandfather’s land and became a recognised snake charmer himself. He travels to Brazil because of its wonderful snake fauna and is very familiar with the well-known Jararaca.
Most of my family’s travelling led us to remote rural places in Europe and North America. Of course snake tracking is not only about snakes but other wildlife, landscape and nature in general also. On these trips exploring wilderness I fell in love with nature myself. I love to walk and explore natural places and take a closer look on whatever comes across.
In 2012 I passed through the gates of REGUA Reserve and from that moment I was determined to come back as a volunteer some day. REGUA is a very special place of immense beauty and breathtaking scenery. It is one of the very few places left one can still experience and explore almost undisturbed Atlantic forest.
In summer of 2015 I finished school with a focus on natural sciences and before starting university I felt this could be “some day” – although this four week trip will only serve as a glimpse into the Mata Atlantica habitat.
Volunteering at REGUA includes a project – a small scientific work. I decided to take a closer look at REGUA’s restored wetlands. Therefore I concentrated on the animal trails within and around the wetlands to find out which animals call the wetlands their home and which migrate to and from the wetlands on regular bases.
I will try to develop an “animal trail map”. Looking at animal trails means I will focus on the “big game” only. On the technical side I rely on two camera traps.
With only four weeks I understand that this work could only open a window for further work. But who knows… maybe I come back… some day?