We traveled into reserve following the path of the river to install two remote sensing cameras and record plot data and vegetation samples. On route to first camera site we found wild turkey that had been killed by predator, which was possibly wild cat according to Dr. Chen. Shaoudon had buried it at request of the reserve director in order to prevent any potential spread of a possible infectious disease.
After a 2 hour hike in rugged terrain and crossing the river several times over, we arrived at first site and recorded researchers documenting data on the plot for the documentary. The researchers utilized a compass to establish cardinal directions for plot markers and flagged the locations of the plot to record the locations with GPS coordinates. Vegetation samples were recorded by a graduate student researcher Shushien studying botany at a university in a nearby province.
Dr. Chen worked diligently to document slope, aspect, and canopy forest change through fish eye lens and a range finder, while Shaoudon recorded the diameter of the trees within the plot. The purpose of using the fisheye lens was to craft and image using 6 photos to record the seasonal changes of the vegetation in the plot and to compare the data with satellite imagery.
On our way to the second plot Shauodon had found a deceased monkey along our path, which had appeared to have been there for quite some time. It is possible due to size that it could have been a golden monkey, but no one could be certain. We documented sighting and location coordinates with the GPS.
After the discovering the corpse we proceeded on to our next plot and recorded vegetation data this time it was a 13 point plot where Dr. Chen recorded the canopy coverage, slope, and aspect, while Shaudon recorded the diameter of the trees.
Our role for the first day was to record the researchers field work on video while they installed a total of two remote sensing cameras to capture any activity in the area, whether animal or human. Dr. Chen placed the cameras along paths that were commonly used by animals and double checked the placement by posing for the cameras and inspecting the footage in her camera before securing them in place. The settings were very sensitive and the vegetation around the camera had to be cleared in order to minimize the chance of a false trigger.
The cameras were set up to record 15 seconds of video and take 3 photos. After installing and securing the cameras we returned to Shaudon’s house for dinner. Shaoudon’s father had offered us some of their homemade liquor that was made from corn. I was the only one to drink it and it reminded me of a combination whiskey and rubbing alcohol, it was possibly the strongest liquor I’ve ever tried. I was told it was 50% alcohol and could hardly finish the glass that poured for me.