Caiman Lodge – Animals 動物篇

Caiman LodgeCuyabeno眾多為遊客和科學家提供住宿的地點之一,有數間茅屋及基本設施。我們在這裡停留43夜,主要在附近的河流考察。到達房間後,我發現足不出戶已經可以「考察」。

Caiman Lodge is one of the places that provide accommodation for tourists and scientists in Cuyabeno. It has a few cottages and basic facilities. We stayed here for 4 days, mainly doing observations on rivers. After entering the room, I realized I could observe animals even without going outdoor.

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有一晚在床的木頭上發現手掌般大的捕鳥蛛。我很喜歡毛茸茸的大蜘蛛,非常興奮,也把附近的人叫來觀察。但想想睡覺時牠會爬到臉上,就向導遊求救。導遊面不改容地把牠放在手臂上,運送到室外慢慢研究,直至牠回歸野外。這種蜘蛛在我想象中非常危險,如果被惹毛了連身上的毛也能用來攻擊,但牠卻沒有。▼

One night, we saw a palm-sized tarantula on our bed. I was surprised because I really love huge hairy spiders, and called others to come and have a look. However, considering that it may crawl on my face when I’m asleep, we called the guide for help. He grabbed the tarantula with a smiling face, transferred it outside for us to observe, until it returned to the forest. In my imagination, these spiders were really dangerous. When pissed off, they could attack even with their hair. But it didn’t.  ▼_mg_0564

導遊說,動物能感覺人的情緒。當人緊張,牠以為人要攻擊,牠才會攻擊。畢竟亞馬遜食物豐富,沒有獵殺人類的需要。導遊徒手拿起蜘蛛簡直輕鬆,所以他根本不擔心被咬。我對此相當質疑,但他的成功經驗令我無話可說。也許真是因為大家是高興而非害怕,才沒有被攻擊吧。

The guide told me, animals can feel our emotions. They only attack when we are nervous, which makes them think we are going to attack. After all there is plenty of food in the Amazon, so there’s no need to hunt humans. The guide held the tarantula feeling totally at ease, so he didn’t think there was a risk of being bitten. I was very skeptical about this, but his successful experiences verified his theory. Perhaps it’s true that we weren’t attacked because we were more excited than scared when we saw the tarantula.

雨林動物多尸體也多,所以有很多禿鷹。最常見的是Black Vulture(),通常在Lodge的樹上就有45隻。最罕見的是King Vulture,據說其他的禿鷹都敬牠三分,會把食物拱手相讓。幸運的是,我們竟然遇到牠在上空盤旋!連導遊也興奮得大叫:「King Vulture! Wonder of the jungle!」▼

Lots of animals mean lots of dead bodies. As a result, vultures thrive in the rainforest. The most common vulture is Black Vulture (shown in the photo). Most of the time there were 4-5 of them on the trees in our lodge. The rarest is King Vulture. It was said that all other vultures offer their food when they see King Vultures. We were very lucky to have met one. Even the guide shouted excitedly, “King Vulture! Wonder of the Jungle! “  ▼_mg_0392

還有不同種類的猴子 (左圖:這傢伙鬼鬼祟祟地潛入廚房)  ▼

Monkeys are also common (photo on the left: this guy sneaked into our kitchen) ▼

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我們每天都乘獨木舟觀鳥。兩岸及水中的植物上常有雀鳥停留。周圍都能看見這隻Hoatzin(麝雉),外形有趣又不擅長飛行,所以被我們叫作「怪雞」。▼

We observed wildlife along the river by canoe. Birds often stop on plants in the water and at river banks. We saw a very special species called Hoatzin almost everywhere. As it looks funny and it can’t fly well, we called it ‘the weird chicken’.  ▼_mg_0197

雨林獨有的大嘴鳥 Toucan – species that’s only found in rainforests  ▼_mg_0040

這裡不乏巨大或七彩繽紛的動物,但最最令我興奮的還是小小的切葉蟻。他們會切割葉子搬回巢中,但葉子並非食物 而是「食物的食物」。葉子會被「加工」成糊狀,用來種植真菌(菇菇栽培嗎),而這些菇才是食物。小小的螞蟻竟然在進行 農 業 活 動 !第一次聽到NG的介紹時,我就對牠深深著迷!▼

We saw lots of huge and colourful animals. But what made me most excited were the tiny leaf-cutter ants. They cut leaves into small pieces, carry back to their nests. But they do not consume leaves. Instead, they mash them to grow fungus (mushroom garden?!), which is their real source of food. These tiny ants are FARMING! When I first heard about it from NG, I was already FASCINATED by this species!  ▼_mg_0169

很遺憾,因為我當時糟糕的攝影技術,只拍到模糊的影子……NG紀錄片中,牠們的鏡頭總是超大特寫。實際遇到時,這些「迷你的葉片」卻小得可憐,和青苔融為一體,我差點和從小就想見到的動物擦肩而過!但當我蹲下,他們卻比NG的超大特寫還要接近。

Unfortunately, due to my poor photography skills at that time, I was only able to capture these blurry shadows. In NG documentaries, they’re always shown by super close-ups. But when we really met them, the pieces of leaves were too tiny to be visible, and they looked just like moss. I almost blindly passed by the species that I’ve been looking forward since kindergarten! But when I squatted, they were even closer than the close-ups in NG. 

遇到的物種太多,無法盡錄。Cuyabeno的物種多樣性的確驚人,但更驚人的是當我將他和香港比較 – Caiman Lodge附近的鳥類大約有500多種,而香港竟然也有530! 雖然當中有很多是候鳥,但這也遠遠超過了我的想象,更不用說對觀鳥毫無興趣的大眾了。香港的自然環境,似乎值得更多宣傳和關注。

It’s impossible to show all species we’ve met. Biodiversity of Cuyabeno was astonishing, but what’s even more astonishing is the comparison between Cuyabeno and HK – number of bird species around Caiman Lodge is about 500-600, and that in HK is more than 530! Although most of them are transients, it’s still far beyond my expectation, not to mention ordinary citizens who’re not interested in bird-watching. Maybe natural environment in HK worth more promotion and attention.

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