What's The Latest In The Amazon? - 87% Of All Biodiversity Has Returned To Their Regenerating Rainforest!

Posted by Ellie Hutchin on 9th Jun 2017

On the first day of the Amazon Conservation Project in Peru, new volunteer groups participate in a tropical ecology walk through the various levels of the regenerating rainforest at the project site. One of the volunteers at the project site, Amelia, who is a 23 year old graduate from the UK, was kind enough to share what she thought about the project with us, and her words have really been brought to life by the amazing pictures taken by the wonderfully talented Eilidh Munro! Let's she what Amelia had to say!

We begin with this incredibly image where unfortunately whatever mysterious creature the volunteers had spotted is either well camouflaged, or up too high in the trees to be in shot! By the looks of things however it was definitely something incredible. The vastness of rainforest is something that strikes the volunteers during their first tropical ecology walk and on that topic Amelia said;

volunteer opportunities in the tropical rainforest

“I was quite shocked actually. It was a real jungle. I knew it was in regeneration and for me that’s not what a regenerating rainforest would look like. I was amazed at how much life there was - within about 100 metres we had stopped to see so many things, so much life.”

In the past, the areas of protected rainforest at the project site were logged and used as farmland. Despite a complex and difficult history, the research done by the team at the project site(with the help of generous volunteers of course) shows that 87% of all biodiversity has returned to the forest! This is a very positive omen for the future of the rainforest.

volunteer opportunities in the amazon peru

You will carry out differing activities across various levels of the Amazon that falls within project territory, so you can expect to take exciting trips down the river, spotting countless and diverse species along the way. This is Amelia leading her fellow volunteers, although between us, she was going the wrong way! Amelia and her fellow hard workers were amazed at the abundance of life waiting to be discovered as soon as they entered the emerald terrain.

butterflies in the amazon rainforest volunteer opportunities abroad

The amazon has an amazing and diverse butterfly population, and this is something that never fails to delight volunteers. Conducting butterfly surveys is one of the activities that you could be taking part in! On their first day they were lucky enough to see three species of monkey, but Amelia's favourite activity was these incredible surveys.

“It was so cool to see Emma [a field staff member] catch the butterflies, then we all went through the book to ID them and then entered the data back at camp. I didn’t realise the programmes would be so hands on, but although we’ve only been here one week I feel like we’re actually contributing to the work, which is exactly what I wanted.”

The field site location is one of the best for bird watching in the world. Being able to identify which birds and how many of them are resident in the jungle, helps to provide scientific indications to the research team about its structure, age and health.

Amelia has found the surveys to be much more accessible than what she originally feared in anticipation of what it would be like to work in the Amazon.

“I was petrified. I kept on swinging between ‘this is the coolest thing I’m ever going to do’ and ‘I can’t do it’. When you’re at home ‘the wild’ can feel so far away, and it’s hard to feel engaged with it. But when you’re here and nature is all around you - it’s hard not to get excited about it.”

The following image was snapped by rainforest conservation volunteer, Naelle Laymajoux, and we think it is our favourite volunteer snap for quite a while! It was taken whilst monitoring amphibians and reptiles at different stages of regeneration within the forest. Even though the volunteers are there to provide a sustainable environment for this little guy and his rainforest friends, he still does not look impressed at all at being surveyed!...

volunteer abroad in the jungle

Amelia reflected upon her experiences and what she is most looking forward to throughout her time on the project.

“People who know me would be surprised that I could do this,” Amelia said, “but maybe they’ll think, ‘if she can survive the jungle, I can do it too’, and they’ll be inspired to do something like this as well. At this point, I’m just really excited to learn more. I’m really not a morning person, but I can’t wait to do Colpa [the bird survey, which kicks off at 5:20am]. I’m amazed by the amount of birds you find here and really excited to learn how to recognise their calls. I want to go home and say ‘I survived the jungle’, to talk about it with knowledge, to try and protect it and to visit more jungles across the world. I’ve lost my fear of the jungle.”

If you feel inspired by Amelia's exciting tales of the jungle, then please view the project on our website for more information. Alternatively you can give us a call to inquire today.

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