It's been an eventful few days here in Palau! On Sunday, we drove up to Ngardmau state to survey their marine protected area for sea cucumbers! This was a follow-up survey to some previous work by PICRC and Ngardmau State.
(Above) One of the members of the genus Actinopyga our students surveyed (for those interested, there were about 1.7 per square meter); (below) Jack heroically swimming against the current near the yellow transect tape.
On Monday, we did some quick freshwater explorations around Ngardok Lake in Melekeok state (the largest natural body of freshwater in Micronesia), and found some fun odonate nymphs and daphnia. We also did some ant surveys of some of the different vegetation types in the reserve around the lake.
(above) An excited Dr. Carla Atkinson checks out some of the aquatic macroinvertebrates (and cane toad tadpoles) we found in Ngardok Lake. (below) A close up of one of the many mosquito larvae we found in the lake, taken in the field through Anuschka's cellscope.
Finally, on Tuesday, we spent the morning planting about 86 native trees in an eroded Bauxite mine site in Ngeremlengui State with the Ebiil Society.