We have successfully made it through 4 days of habitat sampling and are only a little short of our goals on the timeline because of a massive rain storm that rolled through Mayaguez around 5pm yesterday. So far we have completed the habitat availability sampling at both sites and have collected habitat use data in the urban site.
The urban site we are using this year is pretty nice and the people are extremely friendly – we met a couple that allowed us to place our iButtons on their house and gave us an armful of avocados! The anoles in the urban area are abundant and we are collecting some great data on perch characteristics of urban lizards. I’ve been pleased to see that in my sampling the lizards seem to be using manmade substrates at very high frequencies. We found them on metal fences, house walls, ornamental plants, even glass windows!
The forest here is pretty beautiful as well, and full of different species of anoles – we have seen A. cristatellus, A. cuvieri, A. krugi, A. stratulus, and A. evermanni. Unfortunately the forest is also very steep at parts, which is making transects challenging. My field team is still in good spirits though and has embraced the challenge of scaling mountainsides and repelling down into gullies. Despite the bug bites and welts from stinging plants everyone is having a good time. Tomorrow we will be going back out to the urban area to collect some more habitat use data and then back to the forest for a couple of days.
On a side note, tropical storm Dorian looks like it is headed straight this way and is forecasted to hit us Monday morning. Since last night it has been downgraded to a tropical depression and looks like it might veer more north, but we will definitely see a lot of rain on Monday. Hopefully we catch enough lizards Sunday to keep us busy through the storm!