The Tahuayo River Amazon Research CenterIn 2007 Amazonia Expeditions’ launched its new Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center (TRARC), a long-term conservation initiative undertaken in consultation with government offices in Iquitos (Loreto, Peru), Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Tahuayo River villages’ Comite de Gestion approved the TRARC undertaking at its March 2007 meeting in return for the facility’s sharing of project findings with the region’s indigenous villages.
The TRARC initiative was developed to promote new collaborative projects in conservation biology, environmental studies, cultural anthropology, and more at the Area de Conservacion Regional Comunal de Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo (ACRCTT). Auxiliary support is provided by TRARC projects that bear particular promise toward helping promote sustainable developments among ribereños culture in this large and precious portion of western Amazonia. Work with TRARC scientific board members, for example, will augment villagers’ knowledge of their rainforest plants, while progressively illuminating the spectacularly diverse plant communities of ACRCTT for modern science.
Primate ResearchCurrent research on primates is helping to safeguard Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo’s spectacular primate fauna: 16 species representing every South American primate family and spanning the continent’s range of body size. Recent observations suggest that the new approaches to conservation at ACRCTT will be important for area primates. Primate census of the trail grid was initiated in 2007 and continues to the present time. Students and tourists can choose to assist in the census or in habituation of particular social groups of each of six large-bodied species of monkeys: Cebus apella, C. albifrons, Saimiri sciureus, Lagothrix lagothricha, Alouatta seniculus, and Cacajao calvus. This work is occuring on a research trail grid located behind the TRARC. During all-day follows of particular social groups, volunteers’ work includes progressively more systematic and detailed records of data for contribution to cumulative TRARC databases.
The trail grid behind the research center lodge covers 52 miles spread over 1000 acres. It is the largest trail system offered in the Amazon. It is the best hike known in the Amazon for viewing primates in their natural environment. Twelve species of primates have significant populations on the grid:
95 squirrel monkeys
170 tamarins (2 species)
90 titi monkeys (2 species)
25 brown capuchins
15 white-fronted capuchins
25 pygmy marmosets
25 night monkeys (2 species)
35 saki monkeys (2 species)
Other mammals living on the grid include: coati, tamandua, giant anteater, tapir, peccary (2 species), deer (2 species), ocelot, jaguar, paca, agouti, agouchi, armadillo, pygmy tree squirrel, Amazon tree squirrel, opossum (many species), rat (many species), sloth (2 species), kinkajou, tayra, and bat (approx 70 species).
Our motion activated night vision cameras have documented a large population of jaguar living on the trail grid as well as puma.