Wycombe Abbey Conservationists Visit Peru
26 April 2023 - All
Over the Easter break, a group of 11 Lower Sixth pupils travelled to the city of Iquitos in the Peruvian Amazonian province of Loretto. Flight delays meant that we immediately transferred from the airport to our home for the next 12 days; a boat moored in a channel off the main Rio Amazonas. The aim of the expedition was to collect biodiversity data that supports the conservation work carried out by the local indigenous community.
Pupils, staff and our guide, lived on the boat and carried out multiple surveys between the hours of 6:00am and 11:00pm. Smaller auxiliary boats were used to study the populations of fish, birds, dolphins, fishing bats, frogs, and caiman. Highlights included catching piranhas, spotting sloths, and paddling a canoe along the channel.
The land-based surveys meant braving the ever-present mosquitoes and entering the forest. We monitored the populations of mammals and game birds, recording those seen on the trail as well as setting up camera traps. The final survey was to record the variety of lizards found in the forest. We were left in wonder by the skill of the guides as they spotted these small animals, camouflaged on the trees.
Alongside this work, we had lectures exploring the ecology of the Amazon and the development of community-based conservation in the area. It was also interesting how the research group had been investing in green energy to lower their impact on the environment.
We also had the privilege to visit three local villages to learn about their life and how they sustainably use the forest for food and other raw materials. These visits also featured a football match and dancing with the children, followed by a craft market.
The pupils on the trip must be praised for their resilience and good nature, particularly when dealing with delays in our travel plans.
Mr Matthew Whiteley
Teacher of Biology
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