Manu Biodiversity Expedition 2019 – Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon

The Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon (ASA) is a research-focused 501(c)3 
non-profit working in the southeastern Peruvian Andes and Amazon. We are 
planning an expedition to study biodiversity—butterflies and moths, bats and 
other mammals, birds, and herpetofauna—near Peru’s Manu National Park and 
Biosphere Reserve during July 1-14, 2019, as part of our long-term effort to 
document species’ distribution, abundance, and natural history throughout the 
Cusco and Madre de Dios regions. Participation in the expedition is open to 
those who wish to explore the Manu region’s hyper-diverse rainforests and gain 
practical skills and knowledge related to tropical biodiversity monitoring. 
Please note that a fee is required to cover the cost of hosting participants at 
the remote field base camp and covers all food, as well as logistical support 
and maintenance of the campsite.


1-14 July, 2019


Gallito de las Rocas conservation area, Cusco Dept., Peru (ca. 900-2,000 masl)


Open until May 31, 2019



This expedition is based at a remote, rugged campsite deep within the 
rainforest. Fees cover participants’ food, as well as logistical support and 
camp maintenance, and help to offset the cost of running the expedition.



The rainforests of southeastern Peru, where the Andes Mountains meet the Amazon 
basin, are widely thought to be the most biodiverse on earth. However, almost 
nothing is known about the abundance, regional distribution, or natural history 
of the vast majority of species, nor the impacts on populations of climate 
change. The ASA is working to gather this information for four key groups at a 
number of sites in southeastern Peru: Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), 
birds, bats and other mammals, and herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians). In 
addition to baseline biodiversity inventories, a second major goal at Gallito 
de las Rocas is to monitor changes in populations over time using standardized, 
repeated annual surveys.

The expedition is led by four researchers who will oversee data collection by 
their respective team and work with participants towards the following goals:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

Build a site inventory and monitor butterfly and moth abundance over time using 
a variety of techniques, including collecting with hand nets and baited traps, 
and light trapping for nocturnal species. Data gathered at Gallito de las Rocas 
and other study sites in the region are used in ongoing studies of Lepidoptera 
ecology, evolution, natural history, and conservation.


Data regarding bird species presence, abundance, and elevational distributions 
are gathered by point count surveys, passive acoustic monitoring, and through 
the use of mist nets. Banded birds are monitored to document changes in 
populations over time and to monitor elevational shifts due to climate change; 
banded birds also allow us to collect key natural and life history data (e.g., 
longevity), which are currently unavailable for most species in the region.


Medium to large mammals are inventoried using camera traps. However, the team 
will focus mostly on bats, which constitute the majority of mammal species at 
the study site. Bats are studied using mist nets and by passive acoustic 
monitoring. A major goal is to build a site inventory and a reference library 
of bat calls for the region, as well as to monitor changes over time in 
populations (e.g., abundance, elevational distributions).


Reptiles and amphibians are inventoried using transect surveys, mostly at 
night, but also by diurnal leaf litter surveys. We are also monitoring the 
presence of chytridiomycosis, an infectious fungal disease that poses a major 
threat to amphibian species worldwide.


Please visit the expedition webpage for more information about the expedition, 
our research goals, and what activities participants can expect, as well as how 
to apply.<>

Geoff Gallice, PhD


Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon

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