Long-Term Biodiversity Monitoring:
Within this monitoring initiative, we study five strategically selected bioindicator animal groups to assess biodiversity in relation to forest disturbance levels. These groups play a pivotal role in our long-term conservation strategy, offering a detailed insight into the health and resilience of the ecosystem. The bioindicator groups include:
- Amphibians and Reptiles
Amphibians serve as excellent indicator species, displaying an extraordinary vulnerability to environmental changes throughout their life stages due to their sensitivity to chemical pollutants and alterations in atmospheric and aquatic environments. Moreover, they play a pivotal role in the energy flow and nutrient cycle as both predators and prey.
Reptiles form another vital group that plays a key role in the ecosystem’s food web. They serve as predators for small mammals and, at the same time, act as prey for birds, mammals, and snakes. Reptiles remain considerably understudied, amplifying the significance of our contribution to enhancing the understanding of these animals.
- Birds and Mammals
Birds are beautiful species that serve as seed dispersers, playing a crucial role in the tree regeneration process. Additionally, some of these animals serve as a protein source for local communities.
The richness and abundance of mammals and birds can provide valuable insights into the forest, including its structure, age, health, and the level and type of human impact.
Peru harbors approximately 21% of the world’s butterfly species, making it one of the richest and most diverse countries in the neotropical region for this particular insect.
These beautiful insects are particularly sensitive to environmental changes, making them an ideal indicator for long-term monitoring.
Long-Term Monitoring of the Macaw Clay Lick:
On the outskirts of the Manu Learning Centre lies the Mascoitania Clay Lick, a natural formation that attracts a variety of parrot, macaw, and parakeet species. Each early morning, we conduct meticulous monitoring of the clay lick, not only to record the number of visiting species but also to observe the fascinating social activities that unfold among them. This careful tracking aims not only to comprehend the richness of biodiversity in action but also to assess the potential impact of certain ecotourism activities on this delicate ecosystem. Our commitment to this process allows us not only to preserve the natural beauty of the Mascoitania Clay Lick but also to promote ecotourism practices that respect and safeguard the astonishing life it hosts.
Remote Sensing for Biodiversity Assessment:
The biodiversity of the Manu Biosphere Reserve is so vast and intricate that we cannot fully grasp it through simple observation with our eyes. Numerous elusive elements often go unnoticed, but with the aid of technology, we are narrowing this gap. In our station and throughout the Manu Biosphere Reserve, we utilize various technological tools to characterize biodiversity and elucidate different ecological phenomena.