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Expedition Reptile: Snakes in the Amazon Rainforest

June 21, 2019 - July 3, 2019

| $2,775

Description

The goal of this expedition is to generally study reptiles and amphibians, get a better understanding of their populations in the study areas, identifying each species, and to observe these species in the wild.

But there is also a greater mission. Reptiles, especially snakes, are often misunderstood. In the Peruvian Amazon, like in many other places around the world, most snakes are killed on site. For the past ten years Tamandua has been working to educate local people and international guests about snakes, and it has done nothing short of change lives. Local people who used to kill every snake they saw with a machete, from fer de lances to giant anacondas, now are our trusted snake finders – they’ll call us in and be just as fascinated as we are when we find a rare or new species. Often, the same people that used to be scared of snakes and kill them, now pose for pictures with them, excited to show their friends and family. This dynamic of educating our clients and also our staff is part of what makes Tamandua special. We are helping humans and animals coexist and having a ton of fun in the process!

A main study subject will be the green anaconda (Eunectes murinus). For an apex predator that can easily outweigh a grown man, we still know very little about the anaconda. How many of them are there? How are they adapting to the rapid changes in Amazonia today? How big are they getting? We still have a lot to learn about this species. But before the snakes can be studied, they must first be found. One does not simply walk into the Amazon and ask an anaconda to climb onto a scale. Because they live in inaccessible swamps, it can be very hard to track and monitor an anaconda, but our guides have years of experience doing just this.

We will also be looking for many other snakes during the expedition. These include over seventy species from yellow-tailed cribos to black skinned parrot snakes, fer de lances, bushmaster, calico, coral, and dozens more. The Madre de Dios holds the superlative of the highest reptile and amphibian diversity in the world. Our research site is a mix of primary and secondary forest – not so much deep jungle, as much as the perfect reptile habitat.

Location

Few places on the planet are as mysterious and awe-inspiring as the Amazon Rainforest. Its massive size and prolific biodiversity make it one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Towering tropical trees and winding rivers make up a vast and fertile basin that is home to a stunning array of flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. It is also home to some of the last remaining tribal cultures isolated from the modern world. Spectacularly beautiful and overwhelmingly vast, it is a wilderness few people get the chance to experience.

This expedition will take place at two locations: the Saona Lodge and the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station.

The first stop will be the Saona Lodge, named using the local tribal word meaning Anaconda, which is located near Infierno. The Native community of Infierno is comprised mainly of people from the Ese-Eja tribe. The community is located about two hours from the city of Puerto Maldonado, and straddles both sides of the Tambopata River. A very special ecosystem we will have access to is the Floating Forest, which is known to be the home to giant anacondas reaching over 20 feet in length. While staying at Saona, our focus will be looking for anacondas.

The second stop will be the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station. This area is home to many different snake species that we will be looking for.

Both locations are located in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, the most bio-diverse place on earth, containing some of the most stunning flora and fauna in the world. There are 90 species of mammals, ~600 species of bird, and ~150 species of reptile and amphibian that seek refuge in the seemingly limitless expanses of towering rainforest trees.

Isolated deep in the lowland rainforests of Peru, the lodges are comfortable and safe places at which we base our operations where you will have the opportunity to be truly immersed in the rainforest. Because of the remote locations and pristine forest, wildlife is extremely abundant. Often the morning is filled with the calls of parrots, toucans, and howler monkeys. You can expect to have regular sightings of macaws, caiman, peccaries, capybara, parrots, snakes, frogs, toucans, and eight different species of monkey. Other more difficult to spot wildlife includes jaguars, ocelots, Brazilian tapirs, giant armadillos, giant anteaters, and deer. However, careful planning and soft quiet footsteps can reveal many of these species.

Both stations are fully equipped with running water, toilets, and showers. We have comfortable beds with mosquito nets and hammocks to relax in. On the main deck you can find a library of field guides and biodiversity surveys. We have a fully staffed kitchen and employ local chefs who cook authentic local cuisine that will help power your mind and body. We can confidently say that your presence at the stations will not only place you in one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet but it will also make you an important part of it’s security for generations to come.

Schedule

Friday, June 21: Arrive in Puerto Maldoando, Peru (airport code PEM) and take a short cab ride to the hotel to meet the group.
Saturday, June 22: Travel to Saona Research Station and Orientation
Sunday, June 23 – Wednesday, June 26: Fieldwork on Projects
Thursday, June 27: Travel to Las Piedras Biodiversity Station
Friday, June 28 – Monday, July 1: Fieldwork on Projects
Tuesday, July 2: Travel to Puerto Maldonado
Wednesday, July 3: Fly out

Price

$2,775. This includes transportation to the lodges once in Peru, food and accommodations at the lodges (double occupancy), personal guiding throughout the vast surrounding jungle, hotels in Puerto Maldonado (double occupancy). Not included in this fee is airfare to Puerto Maldonado, Peru, travel insurance, and meals in Puerto Maldonado.

NOTICE

To apply, applicants must complete online forms, an interview, and give a $650 deposit. Please contact adventure@tamanduajungle.com to apply.

Details

Start:
June 21, 2019
End:
July 3, 2019
Cost:
$2,775

Location

Peru Retreat
Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Organizer

Tamandua Jungle
Email:
adventure@tamanduajungle.com
Website:
TamanduaJungle.com