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Tambopata – A tropical paradise in the shadow of gold | Part 4

Films for conservation | by George Olah on 01 November 2020 It was dawn in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. After an early start, we were heading to a clay lick with nature filmmaker Bertie Gregory in a motorised canoe. The air was humid and still very cold, especially in the headwind of our boat. But we had to hurry as the rainforest was already awakening. We unloaded the film gear to a dry patch of rocky riverbed, a few hundred yards from the clay lick, and launched the drone. The macaws also woke up early and were already on...

Tambopata – A tropical paradise in the shadow of gold | Part 3

Gold-mining with deforestation | by George Olah on 01 September 2020 Biogeographically Peru can be divided into three major units: the deserts along the Pacific coast, the Andean mountain range that forms the backbone of the country, and the Amazon to the east. Most of the waters of the Amazon Basin originate in the Peruvian Andes. These mountains provided the stage for many important South American civilizations, such as the Chavín culture (900–200 BC), the Huari Empire (600–1000 BC), the co-existing Tiwanaku civilization, and finally the Inca empire (1438–1572 AD). The capital of the Inca Empire – or Tawantinsuyu...

Tambopata – A tropical paradise in the shadow of gold | Part 2

Development of research and ecotourism | by George Olah on 01 August 2020 In the depths of the Peruvian Amazon, at the Tambopata Research Center, our radio receiver crackled, and Jesus started to speak in a slightly disturbed voice… No, it was not the apocalypse approaching, Jesus was a biologist colleague of mine from Lima trying to reach me at the research station. He was out in the nearby forest and repeated in his message that there was an accident, Gabriela (also a biologist from Lima and the wife of our project director) was bitten by a venomous snake...

Tambopata – A tropical paradise in the shadow of gold | Part 1

Indigenous tribes, rubber, and clay licks in the Peruvian Amazon | by George Olah on 01 July 2020 “This is your captain speaking, please fasten your seatbelts because we will have a slightly bumpy ride” – I listened to the announcement on board a plane that recently left Cuzco. I did not even have time to unfasten my seatbelt since takeoff, but I pulled it a little tighter now. The city of Cuzco in the Andes mountains was just a short stop for my plane departing from Lima, which was now heading for its final destination, Puerto Maldonado. Also...
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