Macaw Clay Lick Tambopata – Amazon Wildlife

Macaw clay lick Tambopata – Amazon Wildlife: are key to conservation and tourism in southeastern Peru areas. Previous studies by members of the Tambopata Macaw Project have shown that the area of ​​southeastern Peru have high abundance of bird and mammal clay licks and licks of birds anywhere in South America and probably the world (Brightsmith et al. 2009, Lee et al. 2009). These licks are visited by several species of large animals such as macaws, parrots, tapirs, monkeys (Alouatta and Ateles), peccaries, deer, etc., in their eagerness to consume land to supplement their diet (Kyle 2001 Brightsmith et al., 2009).

In itself, big cats and other predators also frequent much in their attempt to get prey. Many of these animals are important tourist attractions of the region as well as important sources of animal protein for local people (Redford 1992). In turn, many of these species play important roles in the ecosystem, such as seed dispersal and regulate populations through predation on amazon.

Our studies also show that the vast majority of the Mother of God licks are not being exploited by humans (Brightsmith et al. 2009). This puts us in an excellent position from the point of view of conservation, it gives us the opportunity to study macaw clay licks in its natural state so we can decide that we need a better way to preserve its pristine form and in which we can sustainably manage for ecological and anthropological benefit.

Because of the importance of collpas for the area and the fact that the Mother of God is the epicenter of global abundance and diversity of licks, it is imperative that the SERNANP and other conservation agencies that have been working in the area have a protection plan and sustainable management and consider it in one of his highest strategic priorities. Moreover now, the urgency to monitor animal populations and their interactions are increased due to the completion of construction of the Interoceanic Highway. The fact collpas map in the Tambopata National Reserve (RNTAMB) and Bahuaja Sonene National Park (PNBS) allow specialists to plan management strategies and joint monitoring of the many licks itself or animal populations species “flags” that use them in the Amazon.

The purpose of this project is to determine the abundance of macaw clay licks in different sectors of the reservation. For this, we present a mapping of the main clay lick Tambopata Reserve in order to provide a basis of licks that would make it possible to design a monitoring plan of the largest clay lick, most used (by animals I human), but at risk and more accessible in the Amazon.

Expeditions to Macaw clay lick:

The main effort in the field work concentrated on tour the main rivers found in the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. These being: (1) Rio Heath, (2) Chuncho, (3) La Torre (4) Malinowski, (5) Blue (6) Tambopata. Overall, the team sailed every river from its mouth to where the water level allowed it. Due to the different paths geography rivers, methodology in each was not exactly the same.

To search licks itself, it was determined as a starting point, the mouth of the river to ride and as an end point where the river was still navigable or to the border with the department of Puno (Jurisdiction of the contract does not cover the Puno department). The linear distance traveled (endpoint minus baseline in kilometers) was determined. This distance was divided into 10 sections, provided that each of the sections was not less than 5 km. System Universal Transverse Mercador UTM coordinates and Google Earth 5.0 program (2007) was used.

Overall, I plan to assess 10 and 10 transects River transects broken by river. For each transect river, I plan to walk 2 km of river banks on both banks of the river stretch. River transects was located in the last two kilometers of the corresponding section. To transects broken I was planned to go 1 km unnavigable edge broken by linear stretch. I was planned traveling 5 transects broken on the right side and 5 on the left bank, except margins interlayer immediately adjacent sections: sections pairs on the right bank and odd sections on the left bank (or vice versa). In the event that was achieved not complete 1 km traveled broken line in the corresponding section, the mileage is missing would run in the next leg broken in the same bank of the river, or failing in the next and so on, being the ultimate goal of complete 5km broken linear paths to each bank of the river. During the furrowed, all existing streams on both banks of the river in order to assess when the end point, which met the pre set (non-navigable streams and walk evaluable) registration requirements are. In addition, streams that exclude: (1) were very short (according to local references) and not reach complete 1km linear or (2) they were surrounded by dense forests of bamboo. The sought after collpas in river transects were used in many cases the boat because the disadvantages would arise when trying to walk the edges including steep slopes and branches that prevented continue. For transects broken, obstacles into the woods and back to the edge of the stream nearest skirted past the obstacle. Next, the specific methodology performed in each river occurs.

Heath River Methodology:

(Based on methodologies Gabriela Vigo Trauco and modified by Aldo Ramirez) Collpas search for the Heath River, we proceeded to set the starting point of the route to be realized. “Rio Heath” was named the transect Heath River covered by the confluence of this river with the Mother River under God, border with Bolivia on the right bank of the Mother River under God (starting point) to 60 linear kilometers from the mouth to the ravine Sabaluyo (endpoint), located on the Peruvian border with Bolivia.

The linear distance between the starting point and end point was 60 km linear. This distance is divided into 10 sections 6 line km each. The establishment of the initial points and end sections are performed using Google Earth 5.0 program (2007). All river transects were located in the last 2 km for the section. For transects broken, they were pre-evaluated each of the 33 streams found on the left bank (Peruvian margin) in order to establish what could be traveled on foot. I plan is to walk 2km stretch tours only in the margin of the river to the Peruvian side (left side): transect river. In turn, 1 km from a broken line is crossed only on the Left Bank, located in the corresponding section: Broken transect.

The topography of the river allowed for river transects in the pre-set points smoothly. All river transects were done walking. A total of 10 transects broken were evaluated, including 2 outlets of lakes. Selected were those broken easily accessible walking along the shore of these or the channel itself; I do not differentiate between clearwater streams, black, white or static or flowing streams of water. Ravines where soil saturation and / or very short mouths of lakes not allowed to enter on foot or in the presence of forests bale income made it impossible to remove. A total of 74 km of river sail, walking a total of 20 km on the left margin. Also be broken 10km linear path on the left bank.

Methodology Chuncho River:

(Based on methodologies Gabriela Vigo Trauco and modified by Aldo Ramirez) To search Chuncho collpas in Rio, we proceeded to set the starting point of the route to be realized. “Rio Chuncho” was named the River transect Chuncho understood at the confluence of this river with the Rio Tambopata (starting point) located on the right bank of the Rio Tambopata, up to 10 km line from the mouth (end point).

The linear distance between the starting point and end point was 10 km linear. This distance is divided into two sections of 5 km linear each. The establishment of the initial points and end sections are performed using Google Earth 5.0 program (2007). All river transects were located in the last 2 km for the transect. For transects broken, it was pre-tested in order to establish those which could be driven, for a total of 3 streams. They traveled on foot the two margins of the river bank left and right (transect river). In turn, 2 km from a creek located within the relevant section (broken transect) Linear is crossed. Whenever possible, the location of streams intercropped with respect to the riverbank.

The topography of the river would allow river transects in the pre-set points smoothly. Due to heavy rain, it was not possible to make walk transects; these being made using the boat. In total transect Broken (1 km) it was made in section 1 and two small creeks (400m and 600m) in section 2. All broken evaluated were located on the left bank of the river. He not found broken on the right bank of the river. Broken selected were those easily accessible by walking edge of these or the channel itself; I do not differentiate between streams of clear, black or white water or static or flowing streams of water. Ravines where soil saturation, very short mouths of lakes not allowed to enter on foot or in the presence of forests bale income made it impossible to remove. In total 23.11km river sailed a total of 2km linear Broken was walked on the left bank of the river, on the right bank was found not broken. It is evaluated just 2 streams on the left side.

Methodology Rio La Torre:

(Based on methodologies Gabriela Vigo Trauco and modified by Aldo Ramirez) To search for collpas in the River Tower, it proceeded to set the starting point of the route to be realized. “Rio La Torre” transect was called the River La Torre understood at the confluence of this river with the Rio Tambopata (starting point) located on the right bank of the Rio Tambopata, linear up to 25 km from the mouth (end point). The linear distance between the starting point and end point was 25 km linear. This distance was divided into 5 sections of 5 km linear each. The establishment of the initial points and end sections are performed using Google Earth 5.0 program (2007). All river transects were located in the last 2 km for the section. For transects broken, it was pre-tested in order to establish those which could be driven, for a total of 16 streams recorded in the GPS. They plan to walk along the river 2: left and right (transect river) margin. In turn, 2 km linear broken located in the corresponding section (broken transect) are crossed. Whenever possible, the location of streams intercropped with respect to the riverbank.

The topography of the river would allow river transects in the pre-set points smoothly. However, due to heavy rain, it was not possible to make walk transects; these being made using the boat. A total of 9 transects were evaluated completely broken. On the left bank, an additional 500 m in length which corresponds to one ran. In this way I try to compensate for lack of transect broken in section 1 (right side). Selected were those broken easily accessible walking along the shore of these or the channel itself; I do not differentiate between streams of clear, black or white water or static or flowing streams of water. They remove streams where the soil saturation and not allowed to enter on foot or very short mouths of lakes, or in which the presence of forests was impossible bale income. In total he sailed 54.37km. It was evaluated from the boat, 10km of river bank on the right margin and 10km river bank to the left bank. 5.5 km to 4 km left margin and right margin linear: In turn, a total of 9.5 km of linear creek is crossed.

Methodology Blue River:

(Based on methodologies Gabriela Vigo Trauco and modified by Aldo Ramirez) To search for collpas in the Blue River, we proceeded to set the starting point of the route to be realized. “Blue River” was named the transect Blue River covered by the confluence of this river with the Rio Malinowski (starting point), located on the right bank Malinowski, up to 10 km line from the mouth (end point) The distance linearly between the starting point and end point was 10 km linear. This distance is divided into two sections of 5 km linear each. The establishment of the initial points and end sections are performed using Google Earth 5.0 program (2007). All river transects were located in the last 2 km for the transect. For transects Broken, were pre-tested in order to establish those which could be driven, for a total of 14 streams recorded in the GPS. They plan to walk along the river 2: left and right (transect river) margin. In turn, 1km linear broken located in the corresponding section (broken transect) are crossed.

Whenever possible, the location of streams intercropped with respect to the riverbank. The topography of the river allowed for river transects in the pre-set points smoothly. The second stretch of river was carried from the boat and the first stretch of river was conducted. A total of 4 transects were evaluated completely broken. Ravines on both sides of the river was evaluated. Selected were those broken easily accessible walking along the shore of these or the channel itself; I do not differentiate between clearwater, black or white water or static or flowing streams of water. Ravines where soil saturation, very short mouths of lakes not allowed into foot was removed. The presence of forests was notorious bale and this hindered the entry into some streams, but did not interfere with the full implementation of planned transects. This vegetation is very dense on the 2 sides of the river. In total 17.42km river sailed. We evaluated 4 km river banks (2km by range) and 2 km walk from the boat Rivera; Likewise, 2 streams were evaluated on the right bank (1km linear each) and 2 on the left bank (1km linear each).

Methodology Malinowski River:

(Based on methodologies Gabriela Vigo Trauco and modified by Aldo Ramirez) Collpas search for the Malinowski River, we proceeded to set the starting point of the route to be realized. “Malinowski River” was named the Malinowski River transect covered by the confluence of this river with the Rio Tambopata (starting point) located on the left bank of the Rio Tambopata, up to 60 km line from the mouth (end point). The linear distance between the starting point and end point was 60 km linear. This distance is divided into 10 sections 6 line km each. The establishment of the initial points and end sections are performed using Google Earth 5.0 program (2007). All river transects were located in the last 2 km for the transect. In case of Broken transects, pre-evaluated in order to establish those which could be driven, for a total of 68 streams recorded in the GPS.

They plan to walk along the river 2: left and right (transect river) margin. In turn, 1 km from a broken line located within the relevant section (broken transect) are crossed. Whenever possible, the location of streams intercropped with respect to the riverbank. The topography of the river transects would allow smooth river, but during the evaluation was necessary to be pushing the boat, collect and forth to the person doing the transect river on the left bank, because the bank was totally eroded by the mining industry, the company’s boat was also necessary because there was not friendly people to our work; River transects developed normally. A total of 20 were evaluated completely broken. Selected were those broken easily accessible walking along the shore of these or the channel itself; I do not differentiate between streams of clear, black or white water or static or flowing streams of water. Remove creeks where soil saturation, very short mouths of lakes not allowed to enter on foot or in the bale presence of forest income was impossible.

In this river, mining is also carried at the head of the ravines. The continuous movement of own material mining brings change cause of the gorge itself. It was not possible to differentiate from the conjunction of the creek with the main river, if they have broken the selected mining activity at its nascent. This caused setbacks at work, since some of the streams designated for evaluating people performing mining activities were found, and it was not possible to complete the pre established route. In these cases it had to complete the evaluation in another gorge of the same bank of the river. In total 119.61km sailed river, walking a total of 40km of banks. Also a total of 10km of linear broken on the left bank of the river and 10 km linear on the right of the river. 10 being evaluated ravines on the left side and 10 on the right side.

Methodology Tambopata River:

(Based on methodologies Gabriela Vigo Trauco and modified by Aldo Ramirez) To search licks in Tambopata River proceeded to set the starting and ending points of the route to be realized. The starting point was set at the confluence of this river with the Madre de Dios River. The actual endpoint is set to 67 linear kilometers from the confluence of this river with the Madre de Dios River.

The linear distance between the starting point and end point was 67 km linear. This distance is divided into eight sections 8.4 linear km each. In this river, I do not plan to evaluate 10 flights because the mapping Collpas made in 2007 had already been successfully evaluated the two end sections (Section 10 and Section 9). The establishment of the starting and ending points, sections and river transects were performed using Google Earth 5.0 program (2007). All river transects were located in the last 2 km for the transect. For transects broken, they were pre-evaluated in order to establish those that may be driven, for a total of 47 registered streams.

They plan to walk the two banks river, right bank and left bank. In turn, they plan to go 1 km straight a ravine located in the corresponding section, taking into consideration the interlayer along the river (right and left). The topography and geography of the river basin allowed for river transects in the pre-set points with many drawbacks. The presence of different causes (little arms) of the river caused that the starting points or end of the same bank of the river they were far away from the current main course of the river and often hidden behind dense forests. All river transects were done walking. Sometimes, due to the existence of islands (section 7 and 8), the beginning of the river transect right bank was not visible from the starting point equivalent on the left bank was not visible; They had to find the pre-set points. Unlike other rivers assessed in the Tambopata river, he had to intensively search for the pre set points.

For transects broken, it is pre-evaluated all streams located in the stretch of river to be analyzed in order to establish those which could be traveled. A total of 86 streams were evaluated. Selected were those broken easily accessible walking along the shore of these or the channel itself; I do not differentiate between clearwater streams, black, white or static or flowing streams of water. Broken was eliminated in the soil saturation refused entry walk
or in which the presence of forests bale entry made impossible. Transect was not broken in the section 8, since not broken any record. In total 128.80km sailed river, walking a total of 16 km on the right bank of the river and 16 km to the left margin. In turn, linear 7km from creeks ran on the right bank of the river and linear 7km on the left bank of the river; It is inspected 23 streams of the left and right margin.

Procedures to find and measure Macaw clay lick:

In this study we have identified an area as collpa only if 1) we have animals eating soil found on the site or 2) if we found teeth marks or footprints where they have been eating ground. For every confirmed lick we have measured the length and total height. Between each collpa we have determined how many different areas were used by animals. Areas used by animals were considered different if they were found collpas 1) different geographical formations (slopes of river gorges turns, hills, etc.) or 2) separated by more than 20 meters without exposed soil area. Areas used They were considered different parts of the same lick if they were in the same geographical formation, separated by <20 m and access by different routes (trails by land mammals branches for arboreal mammals, or flying area for birds) or separated by areas of vegetation soil or exposed but not used> 5 m in width. Areas used were considered part of the same section of collpa if they were found in the same section of exposed soil, had the same paths, and were separated by <5 m of land not used. For each area we used lick measured the height and width of the exposed soil and height, width and depth of the area used by animals. Additionally we measured 1) The vertical distance of each part of the lick used to living vegetation closest and 2) the horizontal distance from each area used to the vegetation in front of or next to each area used. For all the lick, for each side of exposed soil and used for each area we have estimated the percentage of its surface was covered by vegetation when seen from a distance of about 5 m.

For each area used for each lick, we have identified the animals who use it based on 1) sightings, 2) fingerprints, 3) pens, 4) teeth marks peaks and 5) reports of local people. Seen animals eating soil were targeted as “confirmed” for this lick. Species seen suspiciously wax to the lick (napped or standing near or leaving the area of ​​the lick) were targeted as “suspected.” The footprints that were considered for identification were those found in the lick and the main trails of access to collpa. The peaks and teeth marks were identified using photos with scale (Designed by Gabriela Vigo) and by local hunters. The team was able to identify traces of tapir, capybara, paca, agouti, preserve, peccary, collared peccary and easily. They could also identify other species or group including: deer, porcupine, monkey, squirrel, dove, a small rodent, turkey, and parrots. For each lick has scored the way was found: Meeting casual, people report, guided local or transect. A “casual game” it was considered when the team saw animals exposed near ground or when they reviewed pieces exposed soil seemed like licks while traveling by boat or hiking.

In a “chance meeting”, the possible collpa was not located within any transect (river or stream), the team was guided to it, and there were no previous reports of its existence. It was considered a “meeting report” when the local people said the field team where he had collpas and access them with this source of data and instructions collpas researchers found. A “guided encounter” I was considered when local people, including rangers team led researchers to collpas they knew. It was considered “meetings in transects” when collpas was during systematic transects river banks and streams.

Soil sample collection of Collpas:

The methodology of collection and the resulting number of samples taken was the same for the rivers: (1) Tambopata, (2) Chuncho, (3) La Torre (4) Malinowski and (5) Blue. The soil collection methodology used was as follows:

  • 1 soil sample from a cliff that seems lick but that is not being used by animals (land not used) for each of the rivers tested.
  • 1 shows each of the macaw clay licks found for each of the rivers tested.
  • 3 samples of ground parrot clay lick, found on the banks of the river, for each of the rivers tested.
  • three soil samples collpas parrot found within the forest, for each of the rivers tested.
  • three soil samples from mammals clay lick, used by different species mammals, found in different sections, for each of the routes rivers
  • one soil sample used for mammal lick, randomly selected from the total of collpas found on the banks of the river, for each of the rivers tested
  • 1 shows unused land, which is not part of a lick, located exactly on the opposite bank to the lick used by chosen at random on the banks of the river mammal, for each of the rivers tested

In total 13 soil samples were collected between used and unused land by river evaluated.
The collection held at the Heath River was conducted following the methodology of collection made in the mapping project Collpas 2007 and was performed at the discretion of the consultant Gabriela Vigo and the project manager Donald Brightsmith.

Macaws: treasures of Tambopata

At dawn, the first rays of sunlight illuminate the forest reserve Tambopata-Candamo and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park in southeastern corner of Peru. Spread the thick mist floating over the Tambopata River. I watch intently as the clay cliffs on the banks of the river appear slowly. I’m trying to spot any sign of life. Suddenly, I hear a familiar sound in fog, the distinct call of a blue and yellow macaw. The activity of the day has begun.

A typical walk through the pristine forest surrounding the Tambopata river reveals a amazing collection of living creatures, giant ceiba to gregarious and noisy monkeys and toucans huanganas stale. The jungle contains many hidden treasures, but our research focuses on some of its most famous inhabitants: the bright and noisy macaws. More than ten years since the Macaw Project has investigated a variety of questions about the ecology and reproduction of macaws, and the answers have a very serious impact on the conservation of the forests of South America.

The population of large macaw is endangered by several reasons. To the forbidden hunters like macaws for its beautiful plumage and its value on the black market pet trade. An even more immediate threat to the macaws are facing is deforestation. These birds nest in hollow trees emerging. The huge trees require centuries to grow to its full height and, as a consequence, the places where the macaws can be found nests are naturally rare. Even if the loggers cut only large trees and other vegetation left, they are destroying nearly all potential nests. Aggravates this problem the low rate of reproduction of the birds. If a pigeon survives three months, when approaching adult size, you have few predators and can live almost 60 years. During the first stage, however, the chicks are very vulnerable. Because parasites, predators and malnutrition, only 60 percent of the nests produce a calf every year. Therefore, it is possible that a population of only 200 macaws produce eight pigeons in one year. To help the player performance, project researchers are building, hanging, and noting that they can use artificial nests wild macaws.

Researchers have added 16 artificial nests at 17 natural that already They discovered near the Tambopata Research Center. We visited each of these nests regularly during the breeding season (November to March). It is quite difficult to check the nests. We have to climb over 30 meters using a rope system and jumars. The perched offer us breathtaking views of the canopy, but there are many dangers above ground, even poisonous snakes, macaws and adults angry bees brave. When the chicks are hatched, we return each day to measure and calculate its growth. The pichoncitos starve with frequency because of the strong competition with his older brothers for food. During the nineties, 34 chicks in danger of death were rescued and raised by researchers at the station. Some of these birds could leave your artificial to integrate with the wild flock under, but others (the researchers nicknamed guys) still visit the table in the dining room in search of an easy meal. To avoid this problem, now down to the pigeons they lack enough food, provide them additional food and return them to their nests. Despite our intervention, we have generally not increased rate survival. Although we had not been able to save the disadvantaged young, we encourage data success of artificial nests compared to natural. It seems that the nests built by men offer them an acceptable alternative macaws and could serve as an effective conservation strategy for populations of endangered macaws in the continent.

Macaw habitat spans all areas of the tropic Western Hemisphere, but Tambopata is the best region to study. The reason is the Colpa, the largest in the world. The birds love to eat clay and every day thousands of parrots and macaws come down to consume the land. This behavior occure in many species of animals and ornithologists have developed several theories to explain in birds. Some say that clay is combined with toxic substances, and that allows macaws digest poisonous seeds that are their food. In Tambopata, macaws prefer the saline land and is likely to use clay consumption to address the lack of sodium in their natural diet.

Whatever happens, this great assembly of colors and exotic sounds is absolutely incredible. As a researcher on the project, I witness this wonderful exhibition each morning. We use binoculars and telescopes to record the first arrivals of birds, where they go, and how long they stay on the lick in an effort to understand the complex interactions between all species. We also want to determine the impact of weather and tourism in the lick. Initial results show that the birds do not visit the clay during rainy days and controlled tourism to a minimum 150 meters distance to not disturb their normal behavior. In the evenings, we go to the forest to conduct censuses of Psittacidae. Census data provide us with information about the movement and behavior of parrots and macaws clay lick off. If we learn more about the birds and their habits, it will be easier to keep them.

I’m hanging 35 meters above the floor and the breeze sways me as I look fixed the river. The immense forest extends out of sight. The sun disappears behind the Andes mountains on the western horizon. A macaw escarlato lands on a nearby branch. He came to look for their children I just measure and return to their nest. I am relieved to find out that the beautiful bird is successfully raising a new generation of macaws. With our help, the skies above the lick still be full of colors and sounds spectacular. Another research journey comes to an end, but the hard work will never end. Life in Tambopata continue tomorrow as he has done every day. It is our duty to ensure that the macaws and other jungle animals always have a place to call home.







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