Rainforest Research: Greatest Dangers

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ambience: rainforest ambience, mosquito

Stinging insects, poisonous snakes — it’s all in a days work in the Amazon. But they’re not the greatest danger you’d likely encounter in the rainforest. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet presented by Dupont. David Mellow is a field research assistant for the Earthwatch Institute.

“Our way of living while we’re working in the rain forest is sleeping in hammocks on riverboats. That tends to be quite comfortable if you can put up with the mosquitoes. We have netting, but that seems to only attract them. In taking volunteers and other North Americans into the rain forest, the dangerous thing, in those cases, is having one of them have a machete. They’re very sharp — and South Americans are very good at clearing trails, they’ve grown up with machetes in their hands, they’re very adept at using it. We, on the other hand, are very dangerous. Everybody is completely aware of poisonous snakes, but the most dangerous thing in the rainforest, when you’re out there working, is actually tree fall. It’s much more common than any poisonous snake, and there’s no way to avoid it if you happen to be under it. Usually when a tree is going to fall, there’s some wind involved, usually if a storm’s kicking up, or that sort of thing. But often on the forest floor, you’re not aware of this, because the winds are kicking up above you, and when the rain starts and everything, it’s long after, you know, the storm has moved in. So really just paying attention to where you hear noises — and often one tree will start an avalanche affect — one tree will affect another tree, will affect another tree, and you just know where the sound is coming from and go the other direction. These trees are gigantic, some of the bigger trees that are in the forest are the ones that fall because they’re the heaviest. Forty meters high, you couldn’t put your arms around some of them that have fallen down, around the trunks.”

If you’d like to hear about our new Pulse of the Planet CD, please visit our website at pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation . I’m Jim Metzner.

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Rainforest Research: Greatest Dangers

What is the most threatening aspect of research in the Amazonian rainforest? Timber......!!!!
Air Date:05/29/2007
Scientist:
Transcript:


music
ambience: rainforest ambience, mosquito

Stinging insects, poisonous snakes -- it's all in a days work in the Amazon. But they're not the greatest danger you'd likely encounter in the rainforest. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet presented by Dupont. David Mellow is a field research assistant for the Earthwatch Institute.

"Our way of living while we’re working in the rain forest is sleeping in hammocks on riverboats. That tends to be quite comfortable if you can put up with the mosquitoes. We have netting, but that seems to only attract them. In taking volunteers and other North Americans into the rain forest, the dangerous thing, in those cases, is having one of them have a machete. They're very sharp -- and South Americans are very good at clearing trails, they’ve grown up with machetes in their hands, they’re very adept at using it. We, on the other hand, are very dangerous. Everybody is completely aware of poisonous snakes, but the most dangerous thing in the rainforest, when you're out there working, is actually tree fall. It's much more common than any poisonous snake, and there's no way to avoid it if you happen to be under it. Usually when a tree is going to fall, there’s some wind involved, usually if a storm’s kicking up, or that sort of thing. But often on the forest floor, you’re not aware of this, because the winds are kicking up above you, and when the rain starts and everything, it’s long after, you know, the storm has moved in. So really just paying attention to where you hear noises -- and often one tree will start an avalanche affect -- one tree will affect another tree, will affect another tree, and you just know where the sound is coming from and go the other direction. These trees are gigantic, some of the bigger trees that are in the forest are the ones that fall because they're the heaviest. Forty meters high, you couldn’t put your arms around some of them that have fallen down, around the trunks."

If you'd like to hear about our new Pulse of the Planet CD, please visit our website at pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation . I'm Jim Metzner.

music