Monday, June 13, 2011
Yesterday was our last day at Snake Cay. After six weeks of "Paradise," it is time to say "hasta luego." Both legs of the trip were extremely successful. The second leg has been a lot of fun and full of surprises, from a nice number of unexpected observations to getting "barked at" by talented undergrads. Kudos to Angela, Maria (a.k.a. Miss W), and Dustin; they did a great job collecting focal observations! The final count - an impressive 552 observations (or approximately 183 hours of observations) - is a nice data-set that should help us to better understand the behavior of anoles. Dave "El Chivo" also had a very successful trip. He was able to collect spontaneous displays from individuals on all of our cays; this is a lot harder than it sounds. To give you some idea: imagine watching a lizard continuously for 6 hours and coming back empty-handed. Well, this is not a rare event when you are working here in beautiful Abaco, where population sizes can be quite small and the abiotic conditions (e.g., wind speed, presence of predators, changes in tides, temperature) are not the most conducive for lizards to display. It is just a matter of sticking with it day after long day to get the number of displays you want.
... and now the REAL fun is about to begin! In a few months we should have an idea on what our data look like, and hopefully we will have a couple of papers to write. Also, please stay tuned, we will back on the air in two weeks from the tropical island of Jamaica. This is the next stop on our journey across the West Indies for our other main project on the evolution of dewlap color in anoles. Hasta Pronto!!!!!!