Peru – CREES research and bridging community and conservation models

Peru – CREES research and bridging community and conservation models

Our partner in Peru is The Crees Foundation For Manu  – a non-profit organisation committed to the conservation of the Amazon.

Here are some upates from them

Searching for amphibians and reptiles
from M Sc Joseph Oakley – Research Coordinator
This month ( April) at the MLC we have dedicated a lot of effort into two of our long-term surveys – Visual Encounter Surveys (VES) and pitfall traps. Both of these methods focus on herpetofauna, commonly known as amphibians and reptiles, which are important bioindicators due to their sensitivity to changes in the environment and their role in the food web. Our pitfall traps are aimed at small terrestrial species such as frogs and lizards that dwell in the leaf litter, while VES is an active search for all herpetofauna species at night, when many are more active. Through the use of these two surveys, we can study amphibians and reptiles both on a large scale of overall trends of their populations throughout time and space at the MLC, as well as at the species level, which is especially valuable for rare or elusive species. This month, we have found two particularly rare species of reptiles. One of these is Bachia dorbignyi (Dorbigny’s Bachia), which is an elusive lizard that lives underground or under leaf litter and logs. This unusual lizard has a very elongate body with highly reduced limbs, adaptations for its fossorial lifestyle. Since actively searching for this species would be like finding a needle in a haystack, pitfall traps prove to be one of the most reliable methods. Very little is known about the natural history or abundance of this species due to its secretive habits, therefore any observations are extremely valuable.
Photo: Joseph Oakley
Likewise, Atractus major (Big Ground Snake) is another very uncommon species in the area that usually lives under leaf litter, although we encountered it resting on low vegetation during a VES. With only a handful of records at the MLC throughout the last decade, this observation provided us with data on its size, habitat use and occurrence, as well as giving us the opportunity to take photos which we were previously lacking. We hope to find more interesting species such as these to add to our long-term database as we continue with the projects this year.

“In 2019,we embarked on a journey to strengthen our partnership by signing agreements that promote participatory collaboration to develop projects and enhance the technical capacities of researchers from both our organizations. 

In this context, after a series of meetings held throughout 2023, where we exchanged interests and crafted various project proposals, the University, through a decree, decided to co-finance the project titled “Impact of human disturbances and climatic conditions on the biodiversity of the Manu Biosphere Reserve.” This project will be carried out jointly between our Manu Learning Centre Biological Station and Romero within the Manu National Park. 

As a result, we’ve begun coordinating efforts in March to kickstart the project implementation from April onwards. We’re currently in the process of procuring essential equipment and materials crucial for project development.”

 From Tadashi Caceres Jahana – Community Program Coordinator
On November 24th, I actively participated in a pivotal meeting representing Crees, where the primary objective was to brainstorm ideas for the creation of a renewed management plan for the National Park. Collaborating closely with SERNANP, the government institution dedicated to safeguarding protected natural areas, the ceremony marked a significant milestone. We compiled an extensive overview of the social projects executed during the park’s first 50 years, projects that have positively impacted the residents throughout the park’s influence area.
Comprising a core zone and a buffer zone serving as a shield against human pressure, the park focuses on education and health initiatives for native communities in the core zone. Simultaneously, in the buffer zone, efforts are geared towards providing additional training to facilitate integration into the global market.

Crees was honored to secure a position in the Conservation and Climate Change Commission. We are enthusiastic about this role, serving as a vital support group within the commission. The trust placed in us by the community is deeply appreciated, and we are committed to exerting our utmost efforts for the holistic development of all residents in the region. “   To learn more about our volunteer programme in Peru take a look here

Learn more about the volunteer programme here

Comments are closed.