Current REGUA volunteer Riche Rifkind from Scotland was doing voluntary work for the Wildlife Trust in Bolton and decided a change was necessary. He travelled to Ecuador in 2011 do some voluntary work, fell in love with the style of life out there and decide to return this year to do another stint in Ecuador and Brazil. He is passionate about his macro photography and came to visit us and help us get as many images of nature as possible. Riche walks all day and is out at night and has already amassed a fantastic collection of superb shots causing all to stir in our seats and want to get out there and follow suit. Riche says:
“Guapi Assu Bird Lodge has a large variety of habitats which supports a large diversity of plant and animal species. Although it is primarily a birding lodge but it is really important to appreciate and understand the full diversity and the roles that each species has to play, that without certain plants or insect species many birds would not be able to survive. Dragonflies are completely harmless to humans they do not bite or sting; they are very beneficial as they mostly eat flies and mosquitoes and please if you find any caterpillars hanging by a thread, do not knock them for they do this for protection as it makes it harder for predators to catch them. Also they do this to stay attached to the plant which is their food source. If they were to fall off they would die as may not be able to find the right plant. The only time they move from the plant is when they are ready to start the metamorphosis stage.
I personally recommend a night walk. It’s a great way to experience the area with a completely different atmosphere compared to the day time, and you will see and hear many species that are only active at night. You can still spot many diurnal insects resting on the underside of leaves for protection from the weather and other animals that hunt them for food. Just open your eyes to the many wonderful species around you, you may see something rare or even new. I hope that I have helped you on your walk, any walk.”