Expedition: Manu Biodiversity Survey – Peruvian Andes Amazon

The purpose of this expedition is to explore and survey the biodiversity of 
‘Gallito de las Rocas’ (Cock-of-the-Rock), a newly-established conservation 
area located in the rainforest of Peru’s Cusco Department, at the juxtaposition 
of the Andes mountains with lowland Amazonia, near the world-famous Manu 
Biosphere Reserve. Our focal groups will include Lepidoptera (butterflies and 
moths), birds, and herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians).

The expedition is supported by the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon (ASA), a 
U.S. non-profit working to conserve the Amazon rainforest through basic and 
applied research, and the Asociación para la Conservación del Valle de 
Kosñipata (Kosñipata Valley Conservation Association; APCONK), a Peruvian 
non-profit dedicated to conservation in Cusco’s Kosñipata Valley.

Dates: July 30 – August 13, 2018
Application deadline: June 30, 2018
Meeting location: Cusco, Peru
Expedition cost: $1,600 (all inclusive, minus airfare to Cusco, Peru)
Contact: i...@sustainableamazon.org<mailto:i...@sustainableamazon.org>
More information: 

 This expedition is open to those who would like to learn more about the 
plants, animals, and rainforest ecosystems of the Manu region, and who would 
like to gain more experience studying Lepidoptera, birds, and/or herpetofauna 
in the tropics. Participants should be in relatively good physical condition 
and willing to work hard as part of a team at a primitive, remote jungle camp. 
However, our hard work will be rewarded by nearly endless discoveries in one of 
the world’s most amazing biodiversity hotspots.

Research Objectives and Methodologies

Lepidoptera (Butterflies & Moths)
Butterfly and moth species will be sampled using a variety of techniques. For 
butterflies, baited traps will be deployed in a variety of local microhabitats, 
and species that do not visit baits will be collected using hand nets. Moths 
will be sampled at night using a metal halide light setup. Manu is thought to 
contain a world record number of butterfly and moth species, and this 
expedition will contribute to ongoing efforts to quantify the reserve’s 
biodiversity. Specimens collected will also contribute to important collections 
in Peru and the USA, permitting the further study of patterns in Lepidoptera 
diversity, ecology, evolution, and conservation biology.
This study will document patterns of avian species richness and abundance along 
a 500-elevational gradient in Gallito de las Rocas. Species occurrence will be 
recorded using a combination of point-count and walking-transect surveys to 
look and listen for birds. Many of the birds are cryptic and difficult to 
detect with standard aural-visual surveys, so mist-nets will also be deployed 
to capture and band birds. Banded birds have the added benefit of providing 
researchers with a means to track individuals over time. Data collected from 
studies of banded birds helps shed light on the relationships between life 
history, survival, and local movements; information that is generally lacking 
for most Neotropical birds. With over 1100 species registered from Manu 
National Park, the team can expect to have their surveying and identification 
skills put to the test, and be rewarded by some of the best birding anywhere in 
the world.
Herpetofauna (Reptiles & Amphibians)
Surveying reptiles and amphibians is relatively straightforward, but due to the 
cryptic nature of many species, long hours are required to build a site 
inventory. Thus, the herp team will spend significant time in the jungle 
searching for frogs and snakes, especially at night, when these animals tend to 
be most active. The conservation area’s herpetofauna has not been extensively 
assessed, so we are sure to have some exciting finds and new records!
This is a science-based expedition not to be confused with an ecotourism 
experience. We will travel far off the beaten path, into an unexplored region 
of both exceptional beauty and biological diversity, and generate important 
data useful for the study of biodiversity, as well as how best to protect as 
much of it as possible in an age of expanding human influence.
More information & how to apply:

For more details about the expedition please visit 
 For general inquiries please contact us at 

Geoff Gallice, Ph.D.


Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon

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