The following is a Field Trip Report of the

Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club’s trip to Mt. Tamana. The trip was on 23rd February, 2015 and the report was written by Marlene Maynard. It is an excerpt from the TTFNC’s quarterly bulletin, The Field Naturalist, Issue No. 2, 2015

On Sunday the 23rd February, 26 members
journeyed to Central Trinidad to see the bat caves
located in the Tamana Forest Reserve.

The trip began at about 7 am. After departing
from UWI we travelled for almost two hours, passing
through villages like San Raphael and Guiaco, admiring
the scenic beauty of the rural areas. We
veered left into Coora road which led us on to a
bumpy, rugged dirt track that finally brought us to
the starting point of our adventure. After a briefing
session led by Dan Jaggernauth, the group commenced
the trek.

Along the hike there were many trees that
were made known to the group by Dan. We also
discovered a veiled lady mushroom.

After much walking, the group finally arrived at the
caves. There were three openings. The scent of the
bat droppings was pungent. Some persons ventured
close to one of the openings, with a couple individuals
actually going in. Light was shone overhead
and numerous bats were seen flying around. The caves are home to 11 out of 67 of the bat
species endemic to Trinidad. The bats are mainly
fruit or insect eating. We also saw one lone bat flying
out of the cave. 

Afterwards, we proceeded towards the summit,
passing many trees and plants along the way.
Numerous red howler monkeys were heard
(although unfortunately not seen). On reaching the
summit, mention was made of the ‘trigmark’ or
trigonometrical point, as evidenced by a section of
brass surrounded by concrete. This represented the
highest point in Central Trinidad. 

Once up on top, the view was spectacular.
There were clear views of the Northern Range,
Arena dam, land quarrying or slippage on a distant
hill and Brasso Venado village. There was a view of
many immortelle, breadfruit and chataigne trees.
One hiker even spotted a plane landing at Piarco.
Birds including parrots and corbeaux were seen flying
overhead.
The group relaxed and took in all the breathtaking
scenery. It began to rain and shelter was sought
in a grove of balisier plants. Once the rained ceased,
we started our descent. On our way down, the
whistling of the brown woodcreeper was heard by
some.
We eventually reached back to the starting
point at around 1:30 pm. Indeed it was a pleasant
trip.

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