Carnaval is an absolutely incredible coming together of people from across South America to mark the beginning of lent. Brazil has three main Carnavals, each famous for their different types of music; Rio for Samba, Olinda for Frevo and Bahia for Samba- Reggae. I was fortunate enough to spend a week celebrating in Olinda and Recife in a ‘carnaval house’ with an incredible mix of Brazilians and Argentinians. A famous part of the celebration here is the parading of Giant Puppets to the main square. This festival is crazy, as are the people, and it is an experience I will never forget.
I was lucky enough to work in this beautiful place during 2014. It is situated in southwest Brazil and spills into Paraguay and Bolivia. It is the world’s biggest wetland and is made up of a bewitching mosaic of habitats including vast grassy planes (during the dry season), forests, freshwater and saline lakes and huge rivers. This mosaic has resulted in a huge diversity of fauna and flora which, due to its mainly open nature, is much easier to observe and photograph than in the amazon.
I was helping with a camera trapping project which aimed to get an understanding of the abundance of Jaguars and their prey as well as how they use different habitats. Unfortunately cats here are in constant conflict with cattle owners and as a result are often illegally killed. It is necessary to try and understand more about these animals in order to aid future conservation.
Britain has some fantastic wildlife opportunities but having spent time travelling the British Isles I would go as far as to say that this is the best job within British conservation, bold statement I know.
What are the Farne Islands? The Farnes are a small group of islands off the Northumberland coast which are home to thousands of breeding seabirds in the summer and seals in the autumn and winter. Probably the most famous breeding visitors are the Puffins (c36000 pairs) however from April – August the islands are covered in breeding shags, arctic, common and sandwich terns, guillemots, razorbills and many more amazing species.
Why was I there? As well as drinking copious amounts of tea the wardens have many responsibilities. The job involved the recording of all fauna and flora on the islands, monitoring populations trends and breeding success of seabirds and seals and maintenance and upkeep of all of the islands facilities for the visiting public.