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Final Report

Initial | Fragmentation | Amphibians | Bats | Monitoring | SIVAM

Plan 1: Choose exemplary case studies
Our original plan was to choose case studies of a few species populations. Though the plan was rather vague, we were going to separate the rainforest sort of into different habitats--water, ground, tree, canopy, underground, etc.--and choose an exemplary species from that habitat and apparently just "learn about it". As is probably easy to see, we abandoned this plan simply because of the difficulty in choosing one representative species, and of course the lack of significance of simply learning and studying one random species.

Plan 2: Choose species based on food webs
This plan was based on the principle that if one species population was healthy, then those species that ate it or were consumed by it were also healthy. Although somewhat flawed because of the abundance of species and the complexity of food webs, this idea was the first that led us on our way to the idea of "indicator species". We each tried studying a species in a different part of the food chain, but when we came together and shared the information, the research was interesting but the individual research did not relate to each other, so this plan was also left by the wayside, to some degree.

Plan 3: Separate project into two parts--Characterizing and Monitoring
We decided to separate the project into Characterizing (developing an information template to describe species which would prove useful in setting up a database, and adapting monitoring strategies) and Monitoring (researching and developing modern and common monitoring practices to not only keep track of animal species, but also to "keep an eye" on the rainforest and be alerted of new threats). This plan seemed to fulfill all of our goals, as mentioned in the grade definition. The only problem with this plan was that it was based too widely on general research. Our project needed to be more focused. And so, on to...

Plan 4: Key Indicator Species
The current plan is to focus on the health of the ecosystem, and basically use animal species to do so. Of course, this also involves developing ways to preserve the health of animal species, as animals are part of the ecosystem. Our plan is to research and choose a few indicator species (i.e.-- bats, amphibians) that are not only relatively easy to monitor, but that also show some important information about rainforest ecosystem health. Current areas of research include researching possible indicator species and the threats to the rainforest (so that we can choose appropriate species that would illustrate the effects of such a threat on the ecosystem). There are more areas of research to come.
This is by far the most promising plan, and seems to be the one that will "stick". After the preliminary research, more details and information will be available as to the exact status of the project and the associated research.