The presence of three previously unsighted species within Katalapi Park was confirmed this summer season: the painted lizard Liolaemus pictus, the tree-mouse Irinomys tarsalis, and the "Monito del Monte" or Dromisiops gliroides . These species were observed and -in the first two cases- photographed, by Veterinary Medicine students from the Universidad Mayor, doing their internship at our private protected area. The students, Belén Bustamente, Ismael Horta, Cristóbal Suazo, and Fernanda Soffia, are also part of "Vida Nativa", a group specializing in native species, which has done important base line information and education efforts in Santiago´s Quebrada de Macul.
The painted lizard species is considered "vulnerable", and was photographed near the campground. The tree-mouse´s conservation status has not been classified, but is clearly differentiatied from other mice by its brush-shaped tail. It was found on a fern, bordering the Menocos Trail.
The last sighting was the "Monito del Monte", a species considered "insufficiently known". It is a tiny nocturnal marsupial that weighs approximately 25 grams and has a prensile tail. Previous indirect indicators of its presence had been found, the most telling of which was a characteristic nest, found by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) biologist Alberto Tacón, four years ago. Last week, Universidad Mayor interns saw three Monitos in one sighting. "We saw them climbing very clearly" say Ismael and Fernanda, "and they were recognizable beyond a shadow of a doubt by their binocular eyes and the prensile tail". At the moment of the sighting, they were doing nocturnal research in the area of the park with most mature vegetation, bordering the Tepual River, near a patch of native bamboo.
These new sightings are considered of great importance for the park, given that they are infrequent species, difficult to sight, and in some cases, in special conservation category. Ana María Vliegenthart, Education Director, indicated that together with intern Belén Bustamente, they have already begun working on interpretative activities and species information, given that the presence of these new species in the park opens new opportunities to reach visitors with fascinating data.
Once a year, the World Wildlife Fund´s United States (WWF-US) board of directors travels to one country in the world to get to know the work of their local offices. This year, the privilege fell on Chile and during their short tour, they stopped for a few hours to get to know the temperate rainforest in Katalapi Park.
The people who belong to the WWF-US Board are key actores in conservation worldwide. They are the ultimate people responsible for initiatives that have created greener markets, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification scheme, or emblematic campaigns to save species, such as their logo´s animal, the panda bear.
At the park, visitors walked the Tineo trail, where at interpretative stops they learned about the pressures the temperate rainforest is under, saw concrete examples of how some of the legacy of these pressures have affected forest composition and structure in our park, and got to know some of the extraordinary treasures of biodiversity it hosts. One of the high moments for the visitors was the sighting of a bird called the Chucao, a type of Tapaculo. This bird is by nature curious and trusting, and came close to the visitors and they looked at each other attentively. Although the chucao is a fairly common bird in the south of Chile, it is endemic to our temperate rainforests, reason why it is a bird of great interest for foreign birdwatchers.
During the event, the Board of Directors also listened with great interest to a talk by the Association of Private and Indigenous Protected Areas -ASI Conserva Chile. Board members Rodrigo Condeza, Javier Ancapan, and Elisa Corcuera emphasized the strength, variety, and depth of the Chilean private lands conservation movement in relation to the global context, and its extraordinary potential which, in order to be fulfilled, requires establishing quality standards and support programs for members to raise their management standards. ASI Conserva Chile also took the opportunity to thank WWF Chile for their support since the birth of the organization, and for their enthusiasm in current cooperation projects.
Katalapi´s visitors can now enjoy ATMA lodge and yoga center.
ATMA Yoga Center is now linked to its direct neighbor, Katalapi Park Research and Education Center, by an internal trail that crosses both land holdings through tranquil and beautiful forested areas. The walk from our event center to ATMA buildings is a mere 8 minutes long, now allowing people who lodge at Katalapi to incorporate to their schedules yoga, relaxation, and meditation sessions in the forest, with total comfort and convenience. Yoga classes cost ChP$ 4,000 per person, and must be coordinated directly with ATMA (http://www.atmabosque.cl/). ATMA Center has also recently finished building a lodge, which offers extended lodging capacity for Katalapi visitors, who can now also stay in their rustic, comfortable, charming and moderately priced facilities. Owners of both initiatives have a tradition of friendship and cooperation, both being members of the Reloncaví Route Tourism Group, an initiative which positions the Austral Highway´s first section as a tourism alternative marked by forest and ocean landscaps, and respect for nature.
* The Chilean Network of Herpetology (RECH) held its II Colloquium of Amphibians and Reptiles at the Research and Environmental Education Center Katalapi Park, from December 7-9.
Download "The Amphibiams of Katalapi Park" (in Spanish)
The purpose of the Colloquium was to present the latest research advances with respect to the biology, ecology, and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. This knowledge is essential for the understanding of the strong declination that these animals are suffering worldwide, specially amphibians.
Among thChilean herpetologists defined their activities for 2012 in Katalapie outstanding reports are the successful procedure to reproduce “Darwin's frog” in captivity and the advances to understand ways and evolution of acoustic and visual communication in amphibians and reptiles. The general discussion for their conservation was important for defining 2012 activities.
The event was organized by Professors Helen Diaz (Universidad de Concepción-Los Angeles) and Marcela Vidal (Universidad del Bio Bio-Chillán). In addition to the numerous Chilean researchers, several foreing researchers also participated in this meeting. Barry Sinervo (U. de California-Sta. Cruz), Carmen Ubeda (Argentina), Nora Ibarguengoytia (Argentina), and Fausto Méndez (México) delivered outstanding lectures.
During the Colloquium , RECH included a new member in its steerring committee to link the network with government services, to improve information flux towards institutions such as Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, SAG and CONAF. Gabriel Lobos (Universidad de Chile), with the support of Marta Mora (Universidad Mayor), will be responsible of this task. He will also lead the organization of a workshop on capture and management of herpetozoans during the first half of 2012. The results of this workshop will be published in a book, which will be delivered to public services, NGOs, and consulting firms related to environmental impacts evaluation.
Julio San Martín (Universidad del Mar Talca) was appointed as New Membrecy and Communications Officer. Andrés Charrier (P. Universidad Católica) was appointed for conservation communications. Marcela Vidal (Universidad del Bio Bio) and Helen Díaz (Universidad de Concepción) were re-elected as coordinators of the Network. Antonieta Labra, Felipe Rabanal, Claudio Correa y Gabriel Lobos will function as their advisors.
The I Colloquium on Silviculture of Chilean native forests was held between November 30 and December 2, 2011. The purpose of the Colloquium was to unite Chilean and foreign scientists whose research is oriented towards native forest management discuss and enhance research in this area. During the three days of the Colloquium the scientists presented their work on native forests silviculture. The discussion was centered around production of wood and fiber.
Among the Chilean scientiststs participated Gustavo Cruz (Universidad de Chile), Pablo Donoso (Universidad Austral de Chile), Burkhard Müller-Using (Universidad de Concepción), Celso Navarro (Universidad Católica de Temuco), Christian Salas (Universidad de la Frontera), Rómulo Santelices (Universidad Católica del Maule), Rafael Coopman (Universidad Austral de Chile) and Alvaro Promis (Universidad de Chile). Foreign researcher that made presentations were Robert Allen (Landcare Research of New Zealand) and Guillermo Martínez Pastur (CADIC, Argentina).
The last day of the Colloquium there was a field tripto visit silvicultural assays in the evergreen forest near the town of Correntoso and next to Alerce Andino National Park. In the afternoon, there was a discussion on challenges ahead to enhance silviculture in Chile
A book based on the presentations and discussions during the Colloquium will be published on “Avances en Silvicultura de Bosques Nativos”,. This book will be the first of a series based on topics discussed in future colloquia. It was also agreed to organize a Colloquium every two years. This first version of the Colloquium was organized by the academics Pablo Donoso and Alvaro Promis, and sponsored by The faculty of Forest Sciences and Natural Resources of Universidad Austral de Chile and Faculty of Forest Sciences and nature Conservation of Universidad de Chile.