The 50 members of our international team have spent the last nine days in Venezuela on the JBL Expedition 2016. The team visited a site in the Orinoco Delta and the Canaima National Park in the middle of the jungle of Venezuela. Unlike in recent years, due to our extreme seclusion (no internet!), we are only now able to report on it. Our aim was to gain insights and knowledge about the country, its people and its wildlife, which will benefit our understanding of aquatics and terraristics and which will shape JBL’s product development in the future. It was the twelfth expedition JBL has carried out since 2001, and it represents an important part of the company’s active research.
We had onsite guides, belonging to several indigenous tribes, to accompany the groups to both sites. As hunters and natives they had a very intimate bond with the wildlife and they knew the surroundings of the reserves like the back of their hand. They also knew where to look in the biotopes and habitats to find any given water and land dwellers, and this helped us to achieve our various research aims considerably.
For the day trips, meticulously planned with German efficiency, our large group split up into 6 small groups. This enabled us to discreetly take photos and videos of the animals without running the risk of frightening them away. The group met up at night in the camps, in the middle of the jungle. We slept in open huts and hammocks – wonderfully close to nature.
All of us were fine for the whole of the journey. No one was hurt and there were no notable problems despite the rough terrain and the numerous poisonous animals. There were just a few scratches, bruises or mosquito bites to be reported by almost all our group members. We didn’t see the fallen mangrove and holly trees, or rocks under water because of the blackwater and the strong clouding of the whitewater.
Throughout the nine days we kept out SLR cameras, GoPros and other recording devices running hot, so that we can now, retrospectively, provide you with detailed daily reports with our scientific findings, measurement data and species lists. You will find this on the page Expeditions in about 2 months. All the participants’ material will be collected so that you can read the new and important insights about the species we encountered, and apply them to your animal biotopes at home.
And while you’re waiting, you’ll find a series of short daily reports written and illustrated from the viewpoint of Groups 3 and 4 on our blog.