Saturday, June 10, 2017

Wildlife in the changing Andorran Pyrenees

I joined a group of volunteers under the auspicies of Earthwatch to help scientists collect data on the effects of climate change on the flora and fauna in Andorra. The work was over a period of six days, in the fresh air of the steep mountains with spectacular views. Our accommodations were more than adequate at the Hotel Bringué in the El Serrat community above Ordino, Andorra. We are at about 5,100 feet above sea level.

Here is the view from my room. 
Cows are grazing below the balcony.

Each work day we traveled by vehicle to the trail head, and then headed up the steep terrain to various sites.

Wildflowers were in abundance in the springtime environment, but I never expected to see fields of wild daffodils!

We were always assured gorgeous scenery and challenging hikes.

Brooke is setting tea bags in the soil to measure microbial activity. 
We are working at about a 45-degree angle.

Diana and Brooke take a siesta on the steep mountain.

Setting mist nets to catch small birds. They are banded and measured before being released.

Studying birds in the field. Principal Investigator Bernat looks on.

Jana is the certified bird specialist. Irene is learning. Both of these capable scientists were invaluable to the project. Their patience was much appreciated, and they were positive and happy people to work with.

This was one work site at about 7,500-foot elevation. Spectacular!

One happy camper!

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