Amazon Forest Conservation
Some of the Earth’s greatest diversity of flora and fauna exists in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve in Peru. This is where Dr. Richard Bodmer, from the University of Kent at Canterbury, has been conducting rainforest conservation research with the help of Earthwatch volunteers. This region of the world has previously been exploited through deforestation, overhunting and overfishing causing a loss in biodiversity.
Dr. Bodmer is developing conservation programs, which include local indigenous people, to protect this precious ecosystem. Earthwatch volunteers have assisted Dr. Bodmer in measuring the conservation efforts by monitoring the populations of key wildlife species including river dolphins, manatees, caiman, river turtles, macaws, primates, game birds, and certain fish species. These key species have indicated that conservation efforts are becoming more effective with most populations remaining constant or increasing.
Conservation efforts are most successful when local communities, governments, organizations, and researchers work together towards a common goal. Dr. Bodmer believes that in many ways the reserve is healthier now than it was 25 years ago and that the local Cocama people are more involved in conservation than ever before. Dr. Bodmer and Earthwatch volunteers are doing their best to save the Amazon forest and the biodiversity within.
Earthwatch Institute Website