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: www.sustainableamazon.org/manu-biodiversity-2018<http://www.sustainableamazon.org/manu-biodiversity-2018> 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. Birds 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 www.sustainableamazon.org/manu-biodiversity-2018<http://www.sustainableamazon.org/manu-biodiversity-2018>. For general inquiries please contact us at i...@sustainableamazon.org<mailto:i...@sustainableamazon.org>. Geoff Gallice, Ph.D. President Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon