Mountains, monsoons and mosquitoes: highlights from amphibian biologist Dr Jodi Rowley's diary of her recent field trip to Central Vietnam.
Just as we were about to head off to survey, dressed in our muddy, smelly field gear, a massive thunderstorm hit. We waited for the storm to pass, sitting in the pitch black hut, listening to the deafening noise of rain on the roof. It was so nice to have a roof over our heads and not be huddling under a tarp while our hammocks fill up with water (as is the usual case when we are camping in the forest)!
The storm passed after about an hour and we waited another half an hour in the vain hope that the flooded streams might recede just a little. However, when we ventured out, the streams remained very much flooded and too dangerous to traverse, so we stuck to the adjacent forest. The first hour surveying yielded just two frogs, but gradually the frogs began emerging from their hiding spots.
I had a brief panic when I got left alone in the forest- I stood up after recording a small puddle frog to find myself in complete darkness- no torch-lights in sight. I walked in circles (I’m terrible with directions), trying not to freak out completely, until I found everyone again, downstream. It’s funny how unsettling it is to be completely alone in the dark in the forest. I’m used to being far from everyone else in the forest at night, but I like seeing the faint glow of a headlamp in the distance, or at least know the direction that everyone has gone!